Did you guys know that more than 1 in 5 people who travel on planes will suffer from a cold or flu after the flight? The chances of getting sick on a plane are pretty high and with the recent coronavirus outbreak, I know I am even more concerned about protecting myself while traveling. Between that and the usual peak of cold and flu season, it’s especially important to take steps to minimize your risk of getting sick after flying. Today I am sharing seven simple steps you can take on how to avoid catching a cold on a plane!
You’re not being paranoid — airplanes are dirty. Plain and simple, you get sick on planes because you are in close contact with other people and their germs for hours at a time. You touch grimy surfaces that, just moments before you, may have been touched by a cold-ridden person.
If that weren’t enough, high altitude and low humidity dry the air. This, in turn, dries up the mucous membranes in our throat and nose that normally protect us from over 99% of the diseases we encounter in a normal day.
With that said, there are still ways to keep yourself healthy. Here are seven healthy plane travel tips on how to avoid catching a cold on a plane!
You want to believe that the airplane crew is cleaning up your seat area before you sit down, but chances are good that they aren't. Cleaners don't have time to thoroughly clean planes between journeys. To avoid catching any cold or germs, bring your own sanitary wipes to wipe down your entire seat area to potentially get rid of any lingering germs! Tip: I like to offer wipes to airplane neighbors!
*update 3/7/20: Alarm over coronavirus has caused a run on hand sanitizers. And now, sanitizers from Purell and other brands are exceedingly hard to come by. Where it isn’t sold out, enterprising sellers are charging outrageously inflated prices simply because they can. If you don’t have any hand sanitizer, you’re not likely to get some while the manufacturers are creating enough supply to meet the frenzied demand caused by panic over coronavirus. (To be clear, we don’t think anyone should panic.)
The dirtiest places on your flight:
Given a choice, though, the best thing you can do is wash your hands and keep them away from your face to avoid getting sick after flying. You've heard this advice over and over again all your life, but that's only because it works. On the plane, there will be lots of times when you can't get to a sink and soap. CDC recommends sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol like Purell. Remember that although using hand sanitizer is a smart way to slow and prevent the spread of viruses, keep in mind that washing your hands thoroughly with soap is more effective than using hand sanitizer. TIP: Sanitizer is only effective if you cover your hands thoroughly and then let them dry. Squirting a few drops into your palms and then wiping your hands isn’t going to help at all.
Purell Hand Sanitizer - SHOP ON AMAZON
An airplane cabin’s extremely low cabin humidity can dry out the mucus in our noses and our throats are crippled, creating a much more tolerant environment for cold and flu germs to infect us. It is important to protect our "natural defense system". Keeping these delicate tissues hydrated with during long flights could help you fend off germs from the guy coughing behind you. Ayr and Baraka are a few of the travel-size options worth considering to avoid catching a cold on a plane!
Dry Nose Nasal Moisturizer - GREAT NASAL HYDRATION for Seasonal Dry-out, Arid Climates, Plane Flights, High Altitudes & Sore/Chapped Noses
Drink lots of water!! Proper hydration is the key to flushing out the virus or bacteria from your system and keeping your throat hydrated to avoid catching a cold on a plane! Try to drink at least 8 ounces of water every two hours. Staying hydrated not only serves as a defense against dry cabin air but can ease jet lag and keep you healthier overall. The LARQ Bottle is the World’s First Self-Cleaning Water Bottle–using innovative non-toxic mercury-free UV-C LED technology to purify water and clean the inner surfaces of the bottle by eliminating odor-causing bacteria and viruses!!
Try to give your immune system a boost with some Vitamin C & Elderberry to avoid catching a cold on a plane!! While research on the effectiveness of vitamin C is mixed, I have been on hundreds of flights and I rarely get colds. I just take elderberry especially during flu season and when traveling. I always take extra vitamin C on days before, during, and after flying.
Try Nuun Immunity's proprietary botanical blend is packed full of hydration-boosting Electrolytes, free-radical fighting Antioxidants, and internal recovery Anti-inflammatories. Includes zinc, turmeric, elderberry, ginger & Echinacea.
It's a myth that the recycled air on planes causes illness -- but you still may be at risk for airborne pathogens hovering around your face. Turning on your air vent (and positioning it toward your feet) can help circulate said germs away from your nose and mouth. This is an easy way to avoid catching a cold on a plane!
You know that nice little pocket in front of you that will conveniently hold all of your items? Yeah, you probably shouldn't go anywhere near it. It is the black hole of grossness definitely isn’t deep-cleaned between flights. Ugh. Just don't put anything in there—it’s like storing your stuff inside a public trashcan for the duration of your flight.
You can use these airplanes tray packet covers:
If you have kids, I highly recommend getting these seat covers:
Shop the look: