Frequent flyers often find themselves exposed to various germs and bacteria during their travels, particularly when flying on airplanes. The confined space, recirculated air, and close proximity to other passengers make airplanes a breeding ground for germs. However, with proper hygiene practices and wellness tips, you can minimize the risk of getting sick and enjoy a healthier travel experience. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips to stay germ-free while flying.
I. Wash Your Hands Frequently
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs is by practicing good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating or touching your face. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Carry a travel-sized sanitizer bottle in your carry-on bag for easy access throughout the flight (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020).
II. Avoid Touching Your Face
Touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth, can introduce germs into your body. Avoid touching these areas as much as possible, as it is one of the primary ways viruses and bacteria enter your system. If you must touch your face, make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer beforehand.
III. Carry Disinfectant Wipes
Airplanes are notorious for harboring germs on surfaces like tray tables, armrests, and seatbelt buckles. Carry disinfectant wipes in your carry-on bag to clean these surfaces before using them. Look for wipes that are specifically labeled as effective against viruses and bacteria. Use them to wipe down the areas you will be in direct contact with, ensuring a cleaner and safer environment (CDC, 2020).
IV. Stay Hydrated
The air inside airplanes tends to be dry, which can lead to dehydration. Proper hydration helps maintain the body's immune system, making it more resilient to germs. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to stay hydrated. Avoid excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol, and sugary beverages as they can contribute to dehydration.
V. Use Air Vents
Air vents on airplanes provide a steady flow of fresh air from the cabin, which helps reduce the concentration of airborne germs. Adjust the air vent above your seat to create a gentle airflow that directs any potential germs away from your immediate vicinity. This can help create a personal air barrier and minimize the risk of inhaling airborne particles (Cramer et al., 2018).
VI. Bring Your Own Travel Pillow and Blanket
While airlines often provide pillows and blankets, they may not always be clean and germ-free. To reduce your exposure to potential contaminants, bring your own travel pillow and blanket. Opt for machine-washable materials and ensure they are regularly cleaned between trips.
VII. Boost Your Immune System
Maintaining a strong immune system is crucial for preventing illness while traveling. Prioritize a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and engaging in regular exercise. Additionally, consider taking immune-boosting supplements such as vitamin C and zinc after consulting with your healthcare provider (National Institutes of Health, 2020).
Staying germ-free while flying is essential for frequent flyers who want to minimize their risk of getting sick. By implementing the hygiene and wellness tips discussed in this blog post, you can significantly reduce your exposure to germs and bacteria during air travel. Remember to practice proper hand hygiene, avoid touching your face, carry disinfectant wipes, and stay hydrated. Utilize air vents, bring your own travel pillow and blanket, and support your immune system through a healthy lifestyle. With these precautions in place, you can enjoy a safer and healthier flying experience.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Hand hygiene in healthcare settings. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/index.html
Cramer, J. T., Cole, R. J., Capizzi, J. A., & Eagan, T. M. (2018). Effect of seat location on bacteria abundance during commercial air travel. BMC Infectious Diseases, 18(1), 595. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3516-6
National Institutes of Health. (2020). How to boost your immune system. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-boost-your-immune-system