According to infectious disease experts, one of the most common complaints people have in regard to air travel is their tendencies to get sick within days of touching down at their destinations. Crowds, close proximity to others, exposure to new viruses, dirty surfaces, stress and fatigue — which are common with air travel — can all take a toll on the immune system. As a result, traveling during cold and flu season has always been a risky endeavor. However, this upcoming fall and winter, travelers have something new to worry about: COVID-19.
As of right now, the CDC recommends against unnecessary travel of any kind, as COVID-19 can spread from person to person even when the host does not present any symptoms. However, if you have work or familial obligations that require you to take a flight, you may wonder if there is a “safe” way to do so. While the best way to stay healthy is to stay home, there are steps you can take to protect yourself at 30,000 feet during these unprecedented times.
What to Bring on the Plane
While most airlines are going above and beyond to sanitize their planes, ensure the safety of their passengers and maintain comfort as much as possible, they can only do so much. You can contribute to your own safety and well-being by throwing a few essential items in your carry-on:
- Disinfecting wipes
- Disposable gloves
The above are just the basics. Bear in mind that most airlines have suspended in-flight service for the time being, and that most airports have few dining options open. If you plan on traveling a great distance, pack snacks and maybe even a sandwich. To reduce contact between your food and the flight attendants as much as possible, bring reusable utensils, your own napkins and your own water bottle.
Get Plenty of Sleep & Stay Hydrated Prior to Flight
Lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to illness, as sleep deprivation can cause a reduction in the production of infection-fighting antibodies within your immune system. While you should aim for a full eight hours, travel plans or not, you should be particularly conscious of your sleep quality in the days leading up to a flight. If stress over your upcoming trip or other factors make it difficult for you to get some Zs, our library of resources may provide insight on what you need to get adequate rest.
Another simple trick for staying healthy during cold, flu and COVID season is to stay hydrated. Water helps to flush toxins from your body and allows it to restore nutrients quicker, thereby preventing illness.
Maintain Distance & Fly Alone if Possible
Though difficult to do on a plane, try to maintain the recommended six-foot distance between you and other passengers. If you are seated directly next to, in front of or behind another person, and if there are seats still available after everyone is seated, ask to be moved. To reduce the risk of bringing the virus to your travel destination or back into your own community, try to travel by yourself if possible.
Take Every Safety Precaution
If there was ever a time to be uber vigilance about your health and safety, now is that time. While wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance and washing your hands frequently can go a long way toward protecting your health during your travels, there are measures you can implement now that will keep you healthy all flu and cold season long.
To be best prepared, pack a box of Brillia Health Cold-Flu Recovery in your suitcase so that you can have it handy in case you feel that an illness is coming on. Studies confirm that it not only reduces the severity of the symptoms, it can also help shorten the duration of the illness. Plus, it does not have the chemicals that dampen your systems and make you drowsy or jittery. Learn more about how Brillia Health works.