How to Stay Healthy on Flights
Family travel with kids By Ashley Burnett
Keep your whole family healthy when on vacation with these tips. (Flickr: Hamza)
Is there anything worse than a vacation ruined by getting sick during takeoff? Airplanes are an amazing invention, but also full of germs—from your seat to the bathroom, bacteria is everywhere. It’s so easy to pick up a virus thanks to being in close quarters with coughing, sneezing strangers. And while planes are cleaned in between flights, you never know what spots were missed. Vacation plans can easily be wrecked thanks to how easy it is to catch something on the plane.
So, if you don’t want your next family vacation ruined by illness, make sure you take some precautions. Whether that means stockpiling vitamins, healthy eats or wipes, make sure you cover all of the bases.
To that end, we’ve gathered five tips to help you stay healthy on a flight. Read on to find out how to avoid colds, the flu, stomach problems or worse on your next trip.
Pack Healthy Snacks
Airplanes and airports are not known for healthy food. Staying healthy on your family vacation starts with a good diet. So make sure to plan ahead before you head out to the airport. Avoid the chips and cookies they pass out on the plane by packing healthy substitutes like nuts, dried fruit or granola. These will keep your strength up and help you avoid any stomach bugs, too. Planning ahead when it comes to food is one of the easy ways to stay healthy on a flight.
Use Hand Wipes and Sanitizer
As soon as you get in your seat, clean your space with a hand wipe. That includes arm rests and tray tables. While planes are cleaned, we’ve all been on a flight or two where our seat still looked… well, unclean. So take matters into your own hands and help combat some of the germs in your immediate area.
Also make use of your hand wipes or sanitizer throughout the trip if you’re seated near someone who is sick. Especially use hand sanitizer after any trips to the restroom—they’re the germiest part of the plane, after all. This is by far the most important way to stay healthy on your flight.
Take Vitamin C and Zinc
Studies show that vitamin C and zinc do in fact shorten the duration of colds. This is especially true for children, making them a good choice for those looking to stay healthy on a flight. If you’re heading for a family vacation with young kids in tow, you’ll want to add them to your diet.
There’s a reason doctors tell you to keep drinking fluids when you’re sick. Staying hydrated helps your body perform at its best, which means combating any potential illnesses. Make sure to buy a bottle of water (the biggest you can find) at the airport. Or, try bringing in an empty bottle that you can fill once you get through security. Multiple medical studies have shown how important it is to stay hydrated. Some even suggest that those who don’t drink enough water are four times more likely to get the flu. So, stay healthy on a flight by chugging water—your family vacation depends on it.
Sleep, like water, is of the utmost importance for our health. Those who don’t get enough sleep leave their bodies vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. While traveling for a family vacation often messes up our sleep schedules—hello, red-eye flights—fight this by sleeping on the plane. If you have trouble falling asleep, consider natural sleep aids like melatonin to help you out and avoid caffeine. The latter will also help you keep hydrated. Sleep is one of the best ways to stay healthy on a flight.
Ashley Burnett contributed this to MiniTime.