Often times, between home and that relaxing vacation, stands a plane ride rife with germs. There are ways, however, to lower the health risks associated with plane travel.
1. Hydration: The pressure in a plane cabin is relatively equivalent to being at 8,000 ft of elevation. In other words, it’s hard to breath and low on humidity (about 25% as opposed to the comfortable 35% most people are used to). This tends to dry out the nasal passages, which lowers the body’s ability to fight germs. Two simple ways to counter this are to drink lots of water and use a saline spray for your nose.
2. Movement: Drinking water can also help with another issue of plane travel. It makes you move to use the bathroom. Movement helps with blood flow, which, when sitting for too long on a plane, tends to be restricted, leading to blood clots in the legs. Another way to help avoid this is to flex the calves as the calves are one of the main muscles that help circulate blood to your extremities.
3. Touch: With so many people in the same place, surfaces are loaded with germs. This means touching almost anything can get you infected. Bringing a small bottle of hand sanitizer is always helpful but, aside from that, consider these simple tips to avoid picking up germs in the first place.
a. Wear socks: Almost always, you have to remove your shoes during the screening process. To avoid picking up fungal and other infections on your feet, wear socks.
b. Bring a Pillow: If you like snoozing on the plane and want to rest your head, bring your own pillow. This keeps your face off of common surfaces (seat back or wall) and keeps you from having to pay for a pillow on the plane.
c. Use a Paper Towel: Anytime you use the restroom, use a paper towel to touch the door and turn off the faucet.
For more tips on healthy traveling, stop by WebMD.com