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15 Strategies on How to Fly and Not Get Sick

(Last Updated On: March 29, 2024)

Air travel can be a thrilling start to a new adventure, a necessary part of our jobs, or a way to connect with loved ones. However, the confined space of an airplane and the multitude of travelers passing through airports can be a hotbed for germs and illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more alarming diseases like Ebola. Here are 15 strategies to help you stay healthy and avoid getting sick when flying.

1. Get Vaccinated

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / PhotobyTawat

Before your trip, ensure you’re up to date on vaccinations, including seasonal flu shots. Some destinations may also require vaccinations against diseases like Yellow Fever or, in rare cases, where travel advisories exist, Ebola.

2. Stay Hydrated

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

Airplane cabins have very low humidity, which can dehydrate you and dry out mucous membranes, making you more susceptible to germs. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight.

3. Use Hand Sanitizer

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / FotoHelin

Regularly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face. It’s a quick way to kill germs you’ve picked up from surfaces.

4. Bring Disinfectant Wipes

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / siam.pukkato

Wipe down tray tables, armrests, and other surfaces before using them. Studies have shown these are among the germiest places on airplanes.

5. Wear a Mask

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Thanakorn.P

Especially on long flights, wearing a mask can protect you from airborne pathogens. This practice has become more accepted and is a wise precaution in crowded conditions.

6. Avoid Touching Your Face

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / More Than Production

Your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses and bacteria. By avoiding touching your face, you reduce the risk of transferring these to your mouth, nose, or eyes.

7. Choose Your Seat Wisely

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Have a nice day Photo

If possible, select a window seat. People seated here are less likely to come into contact with as many fellow passengers as those walking down the aisle.

8. Stay Rested

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / zEdward_Indy

Being well-rested before flying can boost your immune system and help your body fight off any germs it encounters.

9. Eat Healthily

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / SunCity

Opt for nutritious meals before and during your flight to support your immune system. Avoid heavy, processed foods that can leave you feeling sluggish.

10. Keep Moving

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Matej Kastelic

Staying seated for long periods can increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis. Take short walks and stretch your legs and arms regularly.

11. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

Both can dehydrate you further and impact your ability to rest during the flight. Stick to water or juice instead.

12. Use Nasal Spray

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

A saline nasal spray can help keep your nasal passages moist, providing a better barrier against pathogens.

13. Bring Your Pillow or Blanket

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / kudla

Avoid using airline-provided ones unless they are sealed in plastic. Bringing your own ensures they are clean and reduces your exposure to germs.

14. Ventilate Your Space

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Surachet Jo

Adjust the air vent above your seat to create airflow in front of you, which can help keep airborne particles away from your breathing space.

15. Practice Mindfulness

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Surachet Jo

Stress can weaken your immune system. Practices like meditation or deep breathing can reduce stress levels and help keep you healthy.

Prepare, Protect, and Proceed with Caution

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Prostock-studio

Traveling, especially in the age of global connectivity, exposes us to a wide range of health risks, from the mundane to the exotic like Ebola. By taking proactive steps to protect yourself, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling ill during your journey. Remember, your health is your most valuable travel asset—guard it wisely to ensure your adventures are memorable for all the right reasons.

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The post 15 Strategies on How to Fly and Not Get Sick was republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / RossHelen.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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