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Hi all! Thanks so much to everyone who’s been checking out my blog over the past few months! I’ve been trying super hard to post more articles I thought you guys would love as I traveled around like a crazy person this summer and fall. And since I’ve been traveling so much, I wanted to cover a VIP (Very Important Problem): how to avoid getting sick while traveling.
Most of my travel involves planes and trains, but almost all of it involves me getting up way too early, staying up way too late, and running myself ragged trying to pack ALL OF THE JOY into every trip.
Because I like to travel as affordably as possible, I will usually book the earliest (i.e. cheapest) flights. They tend to leave around 6am, which means I have to get up at 4am in order to get ready and over to the airport. If you’re like me, by the time you arrive at the airport you’re already a haggard mess by the time you get on the plane. Perfect for plane napping!
Since sleep is one of the most important factors in overall health, it’s not ideal to purposely wear yourself down. But luckily, I have a few tips and items that should help us both avoid getting sick while traveling.
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I mean, tip #1 to avoid getting sick while traveling should really be “don’t breathe.” But it’s not exactly a practical plan. So the first tip is to wipe down everything you might touch on the plane. You can’t wipe down the bathroom, obviously, but you can wipe down your tray table (front and back), arm rests, the button that puts your seat back, air vent knob, and the window. Sometimes I feel a little extra wiping down my zone, but then I remember these people don’t know me, and they probably wish they had their own wipes. So then I swab away! My favorite wipes are these Clorox disinfecting wipes that come in a travel sized package.
Wash your hands directly before and after your plane ride. And before you eat or touch your eyes or mouth, use hand sanitizer. I really love the Organic Dr. Bronner’s Hand Sanitizer (bonus: it smells great!) and I also stash a travel sized Purell in my day pack.
As pictured above! I bought this sleek and fashionable mask for my trip to Beijing, which has one of the worst air quality ratings in the world. Cambridge Mask Co makes a military grade mask that is adjustable around your ears, nose, and jaw. Their website says the masks are made with “British Military Filtration Technology filters almost 100% of pollution, gases, and bacteria and viruses.” Perfect for flying! You will look and feel like a weirdo. However, you’re reading this article so you can avoid getting sick while traveling. The pros of the mask are: nobody will strike up random convos with you, the air in the mask stays moist so your nose doesn’t get dry, and you will stay more germ-free during the flight. All wins in my book!
Another great tip to prevent getting sick while traveling is to drink lots of water. Please pack your own reusable bottle! I love this insulated water bottle from Camelbak that doesn’t leak and can be washed in the dishwasher.However, do NOT drink plane water if it’s coming out of a pitcher. Bottled water is fine. But I’ve read articles about how the plane water lines are run right next to the sewage line and are serviced at the same time and by the same tech. Also, do not drink plane coffee or tea. The bins that hold the water are not regularly cleaned, so you can imagine what might be lurking in there. Just stick to your bottle of water if you can.
I just found out about a natural remedy that’s been around for hundreds of years: Elderberry. According to folklore, the elder tree and its fruit ward off witches and spirits.Aside from that, Elderberry syrup or lozenges can be taken to prevent colds or to shorten a cold or flu you already have. I don’t think there are solid medical studies proving this, so it’s up to you to give it a try. I just bought the syrup and lozenges to give it a try!
And two bonus recommendations to avoid getting sick while traveling: SLEEP and a flu shot! Try to sleep as much as you can before and after the flight. And if you’re able to nap on the plane, go for it!
What are your best tips to prevent getting sick while traveling? I’d love to hear them!
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