If you’re about to fly somewhere for Christmas, you’re probably dreading the possibility that you’ll catch a bug along the way. And you’re not alone. Many people report coming down with something in the days following a flight and research has shown that airline carriers are formidable carriers of cold and flu viruses.
You are 20% more likely to catch a cold or flu virus from air travel and the common cold may be more than 100 times more likely to be transmitted on a plane than during normal daily life on the ground. Possible causes include close quarters, shared air, shared toilets, poor personal hygiene and extremely low cabin humidity. In most cases they can be prevented by doing the following 6 things:
Stay hydrated – your nose and throat are on the front lines of the war with exceedingly dry air and are the first places to suffer so sip water throughout your flight and spray a nasal spray like Nasonex to keep the nasal cavities working effectively. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which also dehydrate
Wear a face mask especially if someone is coughing or sneezing nearby
Use alcohol wipes to sanitise the tray table, arm rest and anything else you touch. Try not to read the magazines in the seat pouch and take a wipe to the toilet so you can use it on the handle
Wash your hands with soap regularly before and after meals and bathroom visits or use alcohol wipes
Use a germ killing mouthwash
Stay away from ice in drinks and try to get bottled water as studies have shown a lot of bacteria is in the reused ice and water dispensers in planes
In the event you still get sick with a sore throat, coughing, chest infection and other cold and flu symptoms here are my 5 things to pack just in case so no matter where you are, you don’t need to worry about finding a pharmacy and currency where there are no credit cards.
Hot water bottle – no matter whether you are in a plane or hotel room you can always get access to hot water. A hot water bottle is genius for any type of pain like body aches and is vital to warm the chest and reduce coughing and also break up phlegm from cold or flu. I don’t travel anywhere without my hot water bottle.
Panadol – You will need pain killers for all sorts of problems while you’re away from headaches to period pain to fevers. Always better to take something from home that you’re used to taking without any side effects that can also be taken without food on an empty stomach.
Strepsils – Strepsil numbing variety in the blue packet is the best on the market. Not only are these an anaesthetic to numb any pain in the throat, they can be used in flight to lubricate the throat from dry air and can also be used for mouth ulcers and to help kill the bacteria which can cause sore throats and mouth infections.
Euky Bear Rub – You may be used to using Vicks but Euky Bear Rub is far superior and my preference as it is an Australian Eucalyptus chest rub that helps relieve a sore throat, stuffy nose, irritating cough and general aches and pains. Used before sleep, it helps make breathing easier and doesn’t give you chest pimples like Vicks can as it’s designed for sensitive skin. You can even use it on insect bites! I swear by it and use it daily.
Nasonex – This nasal spray can be used to prevent and treat allergy symptoms, itching and sneezing and as it is a corticosteroid it works by reducing swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages and can be used for sinusitis.
Hope this helps