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Avoiding that post-flight cold: Healthful tips for your next trip


Getting a cold after airplane travel is unfortunately very common. With so many passengers crammed into a tight space, you’re bound to be exposed to germs and viruses waiting to infect your healthy body. No one wants to spend the holidays, their vacation or even a business trip feeling sick. Here are a few tips and tricks to stop those nasty germs from joining you at your final destination. 

  • Wash your hands – Seriously! This seems like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised how many people go for hours without washing their hands. If you touch something that lots of other people have touched such as escalator rails, check-in kiosks, TSA bins, armrests, seats or overhead bins in the airplane, it’s time to wash!  
  • Use hand sanitizer – Carry hand sanitizer for those situations where washing your hands isn’t an option. It’s always best to wash with soap and warm water, but hand sanitizer is the next best thing. 
  • Don’t touch your face – Avoid touching frequently handled items and then touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Touching your face provides a direct path for germs to get from your hands into your body.  
  • Wipe down your area – When getting settled into your flight, it’s a good idea to wipe down the armrests, tray table (front and back) and any other items you may touch with a disinfecting wipe. You obviously can’t wipe down the entire plane, but minimizing germ exposure in your area can help.  
  • Don’t touch the bathroom latch – You’ve just washed your hands and they are nice and clean. Don’t get them germy by touching the bathroom latch to exit. Use a paper towel or tissue instead and then immediately throw it away. 
  • Drink lots of water – Your body is incredible and can fight off infection with its immune system and proper hydration. Allow toxins to get flushed out of your body by keeping yourself hydrated!   
  • Take an immune booster – An extra added boost of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C, during and after your flight can give your immune system the fuel it needs to send germs and viruses packing.   
  • Get your yearly flu shot – We know that the flu isn’t a cold, but flu germs can also be rampant on airplane flights. Stop it before it starts by getting a regular flu shot.  
  • Use your own stuff – Try not to depend too much on the airport-provided amenities. Use your own headphones, pillow and blanket to avoid contact with items that many other people have used as well.   
  • Try a saline solution – Clear your nostrils of unwanted and trapped germs and pathogens by flushing your nose with a saline solution. Try one from a pre-made squirt bottle to mitigate contamination from using a public faucet to mix the solution. 
  • Wash your hands – See how we snuck this one in twice? It’s so important to wash your hands! It can’t be stressed enough. Wash your hands before you eat. Wash your hands before touching your face. Wash your hands just because clean hands are the key to a healthy body. Please wash your hands!  

Now you’re ready for your flight! Put your seat backs and tray tables in the upright and locked position and prepare for your (mostly) germ-free journey! With these simple steps, you can prevent picking up that unwanted souvenir … the post-flight cold.