Avoiding Illness During Travel


As the days draw closer and closer to summer, there is one thing that I am sure is on everybody’s mind: VACATION. When it comes time for vacation, there is always a laundry list of tasks to complete before boarding the plane. But, there is one thing missing from your to-do list: how are you going to prepare your body for the flight? Here are some tips to keep your exposure level low so you can ensure you are feeling 100% on your summer vacation.


Before the flight: drink water

I can’t say this enough: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Water is one of the main fuels your body uses to function and fight off germs. Never board a plane dehydrated, because the dry air in the cabin will only serve to dehydrate you more, leaving your system weakened and your body vulnerable. Start upping your water intake the day before the flight and always bring an empty water bottle to fill up once you pass through security. If you’re worried about annoying your seatmates with several trips to the bathroom, don’t be! You boarded your plane to go on a fun vacation–don’t let a minor inconvenience ruin your fun or your health.


Take your vitamins and supplements–or, at least vitamin C and Zinc

Vitamin C and Zinc are two amazing immune boosting substances that will give your body some extra support when you are squished between strangers and are holding your breath any time one of them coughs or sniffles. Check to be sure you are getting the correct dosage, though. Too much Zinc has actually been shown to temporarily lower the immune system.


Be mindful of what you touch

Personally, I don’t follow this rule too strictly. I will touch cart handles and bathroom door knobs with wild abandon! Germs are good for you, after all.  But, if you are laser focused on keeping germs at bay for a week or two, then be the type of person that uses a sanitizing wipe before grabbing a cart or who washes their hands immediately after getting home. This can be quite an effective method for staying well short term. Long term? You’ll do more harm than good.


Use hand sanitizer (sparingly!)

In a pinch, hand sanitizer can save the day. Keep it on hand for those vacation days when you or your child touch something yucky and can’t find a sink nearby. I try to avoid hand sanitizer because overuse of it contributes to bacterial resistance and because soap and water is still considered a better way to cleanse. So, be smart with your sanitizer!