For decades, seasoned travellers have known that airplanes are flying germ-capsules, but that fact really has been hammered home by the outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus. The epidemic has all but brought air travel to a halt, but it will not remain that way forever, so follow these top tips to keep yourself healthy when you are able to fly again.
It is not only serious issues such as COVID-19 that you should be concerned about. Research shows that 1 in 5 people who travel by plane contract a cold or even the flu. However, by following trusted tips, you can decrease your chances of being that person.
1. Sanitize Surfaces With Wipes
Sanitizing wipes are one of the best things you can bring with you when flying. It may seem like an overreaction, but some germs can live on surfaces for up to a week.
To give your space a good, quick clean, wipe down the armrests, the tray table, the seatbelts and buckles, the touchscreen of the in-flight entertainment centre, and even the seat pocket.
Considering cabin crew have found half-eaten food, used tissues, and soiled nappies in seat pockets after flights, it is best to wipe down the front of the pocket, but do not be tempted to actually use it. If you need to go to the bathroom, use your wipes to sanitize the seat as well as pretty much anything else you need to touch. That also goes for your mobile device if you use it to play Bingo games for money.
2. Use Hand Sanitizer
In addition to sanitizing wipes, take a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer or waterless soap. Use it several times during your flight, especially after touching the seat belt, seat pocket, touchscreen monitor, or anything in the bathroom.
3. Eat Well Before and During Flights
Give your body and your immune system the support it needs to fight off germs by eating healthy, balanced meals. Do this for a few days before you fly if you do not eat that way regularly, and do not be tempted to indulge in junk food while on the plane.
Most airlines offer healthy options such as fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as foods that have been prepared using healthy cooking methods on their inflight menus. Taking vitamin C supplements or a good multivitamin can also help you stay healthy when you fly.
4. Bring Water and Stay Hydrated
Between air conditioning and cabin pressure, we can become dehydrated quickly during flights. This is most obvious in how fast the mucous membranes in our nose and mouth dry out when on a plane. The most effective way to combat this is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
5. Rest Before You Fly
A well-rested body is a healthy body. Sleep gives your body a chance to make much-needed repairs, and it helps ensure that your immune system functions properly.
It is not always easy to get enough sleep, so try to ensure that you get at least seven or eight hours sleep on the night before you are due to take off.