Traveling can be an exciting adventure … that is until you get sick.
Are you one of those people who always seems to catch a bug while traveling no matter what you do?
If you are, you’re not alone, and studies show long-distance flights greatly increase your chance of becoming ill.
In fact, The National Institutes of Health admits that massive sickness can occur while traveling:
“Fatigue, impairment of immunity as well as increased stress and mental changes has been reported during and after long-distance flights A recent review of medical in-flight events lists respiratory symptoms among the most common medical complaints reported. Not surprisingly, many studies have investigated the occurrence of nasal dryness and the increased risk of developing upper respiratory disorders such as allergic rhinitis and attracting virus or bacteria induced respiratory infections during long-haul air travel. Moreover, an added risk of spreading respiratory diseases, including influenza, aboard commercial flights exists.”
Wow! That’s a lot of stuff.
So is it possible to avoid getting sick while traveling?
While nothing is guaranteed, there are certain things you can do which can help you keep your health so you can actually enjoy your vacation.
Check out our top tips to stay healthy while traveling.
- Keep Your Immune System Strong
Traveling can wreak havoc on your immune system.
Missed or delayed flights can bring on a lot of stress – and don’t forget getting groped by the TSA.
The stress of traveling coupled with the actual hotbed of germs lurking on the airplane is a recipe for disaster.
Which is why making sure you are loaded on the right vitamins and supplements is key.
Ideally, you should already have a strong vitamin routine in place, but if not start taking them at least a week before you travel.
And no, we don’t mean get the flu shot.
Instead, load up on immune boosting vitamins, minerals, and supplements like Vitamin C, Zinc, and elderberry syrup.
And don’t forget to add Echinacea to the list which studies show is an effective proactive medicine to help stop you from developing respiratory issues you can pick up while traveling.
The National Institutes of Health reported:
“Recently, for the first time a herbal medicine, echinacea, was trialled in travelers and showed protective effect against the development of respiratory symptoms during travel involving long-haul flights. Following travelers return from overseas, participants using echinacea displayed a lower respiratory symptom score and the overall percentage of participants affected by respiratory disease symptoms was marginally lower in the Echinacea group compared to placebo.”
- Sanitize Everything
So you made it past the TSA and on the plane – congrats.
But now the real danger begins.
As you get ready to lower your tray – you don’t know what happened the flight before.
Maybe the person on the previous flight hacked all over it, or a mother changed her baby right where you are about to eat or open up your laptop.
Make sure you carry spray sanitizer and spray it down before doing anything else.
While you’re at it spray your seatbelt buckle and armrests too.
We’re not saying be a weirdo about it, just give it a quick spray.
And once you land, don’t forget to spray your luggage.
Aquaint sanitizer did some research on just how much bacteria looms on your luggage and the results were shocking.
Fox News reported:
“Sickness and ill health can put a damper or even ruin well-deserved holidays abroad that have been planned for months or even years,” explained Bola Lafe, founder of Aquaint. “Airplanes, airports, cruise ships, and hotels can all be breeding grounds for bacteria.“
The source of much of the bacteria is our own suitcases.
The study, which looked into how dirty airline travel can be, found that planes are absolutely teeming with bacteria, which can cause a whole host of illnesses. Your luggage can come into contact with up to 80 million bacteria before you even set it down in your hotel room. This is largely to do with the number of people and places it comes into contact with on its journey — an average of two baggage handlers, a member of the airline crew, two cabdrivers, etc. The hands of each person could carry approximately 10 million bacteria at any one time”.
Germs are everywhere while traveling, but carrying around a simple spray sanitizer helps you beat the odds a little bit.
- Bring Your Own Stuff:
While we’re at it, don’t even think about cozying up with the customary airplane blanket and pillow.
Do you actually think they wash those things in between flights?
Many airline attendants have admitted they don’t.
So that pillow you just used to rest your head was the same pillow used by the sick guy who just coughed and hacked a lung on his pillow the last flight.
MSN even reported a story where one unfortunate traveler found feces in her blanket.
Don’t think it couldn’t happen to you too.
Instead, bring your own travel pillow and blanket and pass on the “free” pillow and blanket offer.
- Stay Hydrated:
Freedom Health News previously reported on just how important water is for your health.
While traveling, this is even truer!
You’ll be sitting for hours in stale dry air on a plane and it is critical you keep your sinus cavities hydrated!
Purchase a bottle or two of water and bring them with you on the plane.
But even when you’re off the plane make sure to stay hydrated while on your trip!
Dehydration leads to a whole host of health problems like fatigue and headaches.
If you’re traveling overseas to a third world country, make sure to only drink bottled water – the last thing you want to do is drink the local water and end up with traveler’s diarrhea.
In fact, the Mayo Clinic even suggests brushing your teeth with bottled water and avoiding ice cubes while traveling in high-risk areas.
You can never be too careful.
Try our tips above to avoid getting sick while traveling.
The last thing you want to do is spend your vacation in a hotel bed instead of on the beach enjoying the sunshine.
And don’t forget your exercise routine! Keeping your body active and moving will help keep you healthy
Have you ever gotten sick while traveling? What do you find is the most difficult part about staying healthy while traveling?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how to stay healthy while traveling!