A woman has a headache while in an airplane

How to avoid viruses and stiffness while on board an airplane

Are you dreading your upcoming trip just because you fear catching a cold or becoming achy from sitting for hours crammed among all the other passengers on the plane? Don’t worry: travelling by air doesn’t have to mean sneezing and stiffness if you take some precautions.

Don’t forget your disinfectant

Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers go a long way toward preventing you from getting sick during a flight. Use disinfecting wipes on the armrests and any other surfaces you come in contact with at the airport or on the plane. Always use a hand sanitizer if you have to touch doorknobs, magazines, trays, or other items people might have used. Purchase travel insurance before you leave in case you become ill on your trip.

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids helps your body ward off many germs you can’t kill or avoid. Bring water with you, and get your daily dose of orange juice during the week before the trip. Also, bring a saline nasal spray with you on the flight. Keeping your sinus passages clean can help ward off germs. Staying hydrated before and during your trip will help prevent soreness and ward off colds.

Get your exercise

Take every opportunity you can to get some exercise. Walk around the airport while waiting for your flight, and use layovers to stretch your legs. On long flights, take a few moments every half hour to stand up, walk to the restroom, and if possible, stretch a little.

Go ahead, be a germaphobe

Germs from other passengers usually won’t travel more than four to six rows away, so don’t worry if a sneezing passenger isn’t sitting close to you. If an obviously sick person is close by, politely ask the airline attendant if it’s possible to move. You can avoid the potential for foodborne illnesses by bringing your own food on the flight.

No matter how cautious you are, it’s impossible to avoid all germs. Travel insurance – like that found at www.on.bluecross.ca – is invaluable if an illness postpones or otherwise interferes with your travel plans.