When taking long flights across time zones there are many factors that can lead to getting sick. Airports are gathering areas for people from around the world which means its also a meeting point for forms of bacteria that your body may have never been exposed to. This leads to an increased susceptibility to illness. Here are a few precautions that can be taken to help limit exposure to high bacteria areas and general well being while traveling.
Avoid the Water in the Airplane Washrooms
Washrooms aren’t usually the cleanliest place in a building and an airplane is no exception. Be sure not to drink the water or even use it to wash your hands. The water can be extremely dirty in older planes since the storage containers are rarely cleaned, if even. Carry hand sanitizer instead of using this water.
Get lots of Rest
Being well rested before traveling is an ace in the hole when it comes to health concerns. Tired bodies are more susceptible to illness. Getting lots of sleep the night before traveling and sleeping on long plane rides will go a long way towards adapting to jet lag. Prepare for time zone changes by setting clocks to the time at the destination before departing. This will allow the mind to start adapting to the changes before arrival.
In addition to a rested body, a healthy body is key to preventing illness while traveling. If taking vitamins is not a part of your regular routine, try drinking tomato juice on the plane. Drinks like coffee and soda can cause dehydration. Tomato juice is a good source of vitamins even though its not the most refreshing thing to drink.
Staying hydrated is another tool in the arsenal of illness prevention. Be mindful of which country you are traveling in before drinking any water that is not bottled. Unlike in North America, the tap water in parts of Asia is not potable so it shouldn’t be used to fill water bottles.
Airborne viruses often enter the body through the nostrils. Aside from nasal sprays, petroleum jelly can be used to coat the nostrils and help prevent these illnesses.
These tips are not coming from a doctor but instead are general rules of thumb that can be followed to travel without getting sick. The main concept to grasp is avoid contact with things that may be carrying high amounts of bacteria to ensure the best possible chance of staying healthy.