What are your chances of getting sick on an airplane? More than one in five passengers will become ill following a trip. Surfaces like seat pockets, safety belts, armrests, magazines and toilets are teeming with germs. What’s more, many of those germs can survive for hours or days after a passenger exits a plane. Studies have shown that MRSA and E. coli can both live on airplanes for up to a week! There’s even some research to suggest that the way the process of flying lowers the human immune system could be partly to blame for why so many people get sick after flying. Is there anything you can do to avoid getting sick after a flight? Learn these 11 tips for avoiding airplane sicknesses.
Avoid Touching Surfaces Too Many Times
Be very vigilant about keeping your hands close to your body as you board your plane. Some people have a habit of letting their hands brush against all of the seats they pass on the way to their own seats. This is a very easy way to pick up germs. In addition, you should generally avoid touching any surfaces you pass by as you make your way around the interior of the plane.
Sit Near the Window
A window seat can be a much healthier spot than an aisle seat. You will be somewhat tucked away from germs if you are in a window seat. Passengers in aisle seats risk being breathed on and coughed on whenever other passengers walk by them.
Wipe Down Everything in Your Seat
Make sure you bring along a travel-sized pack of sanitizing wipes if you’ll be flying. There’s a good chance that the germs left behind by passengers from the previous flight are still lingering on all of the surfaces you’re touching while sitting in your seat. Wipe down every surface you’ll be coming into contact with while sitting in your seat.
Avoid the Bathroom
It may not be possible for you to avoid the bathroom during longer flights. However, you should avoid using the bathroom if possible during shorter flights. Unfortunately, you never know if a passenger was ill inside the bathroom before you arrived. The door handle, toilet seat and sink handle could all be contaminated.
Drink Plenty of Water
Being dehydrated can make it impossible for your body to perform at its optimal level. That means you may be too weak to fight off any viruses you pick up while flying. In addition, becoming ill with a stomach virus when you’re already dehydrated can put you in a very bad spot.
Skip the Alcohol
Some people really look forward to enjoying a drink to ease their nerves while flying. It may be okay to do this during most of year. However, you might want to skip the alcohol if you’re flying during peak flu season. The reality is that having a cocktail is really a perfect cocktail for sickness when you’re flying. The problem with alcohol is that it can cause you to become dehydrated. Becoming slightly dehydrated from alcohol can make your symptoms much worse if you do become ill from something you catch on the plane.
Wear a Mask
It is becoming more and more acceptable to simply wear a mask when flying or passing through a crowded area. In fact, wearing a mask when using public transportation is simply part of everyday life in many major cities around the world. A mask is going to serve as a nice buffer between your respiratory system and the germs inside the plane cabin.
Ask for Utensils
You may be worried that you don’t have a way to keep your hands totally clean when you’re on an airplane. The truth is that it can be hard to get your hands properly sanitized if you’re avoiding the lavatory. What’s more, actually washing your hands in the bathroom sink on an airplane could leave them dirtier than when you started. One way to ensure that you’re not letting germs pass into your body through your mouth is by keeping your hands away from your mouth. Go ahead and use a fork to eat foods that are traditionally finger foods. There’s no shame in eating a muffin or pastry with a fork when you’re on a flight if it means you can avoid illness.
Take a Nap
It can be very hard for your body to fight off illness if you’re sleep-deprived. Unfortunately, a person can feel very wiped out after traveling. Bring along eyeshades and earplugs to create a good environment for getting some rest.
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
We sometimes use our hands as default pillows when trying to rest comfortably in an airplane seat. However, this can make it easy for germs to spread to your mouth and eyes. Be very conscious about keeping your hands away from your face during your flight!
Take a Shower When You Arrive at Your Destination
Build some room into your schedule that allows you to head straight to the shower at your home or hotel room once you land. You should also put on a different outfit from the one you wore on the plane once you’re done with your shower. The fact that many germs and viruses can live for hours or days means that you could be contaminating everyone and everything you come into contact with if you don’t change clothing.
Being “Germ Smart” Can Keep You Healthy in the Air
The truth is that there’s only so much we can do when it comes to staying healthy while flying. It is impossible to avoid all germs when 6 million people around the world board flights every day. Of course, we can all do our part to keep the people around us healthy by staying home instead of getting on a plane if we are exhibiting symptoms of an illness.
Source: frugal travel guy