5 tips to stay healthy while travelling

22 July 2016

One of the biggest inconvenience many travellers dread besides having an airline lose their luggage is falling ill. The unnecessary and time consuming hassle of finding a doctor in a foreign city can very much ruin a trip, especially if you’re in a remote area or don’t speak the local language.

And don’t even get us started on having to miss out on some amazing food while your palate goes MIA. How about feeling weak and fatigued when your itinerary requires you to explore every nook and cranny a city on foot? In short, prevention is key. Here are five tips to stay healthy while travelling with a few cues from Dr Oz.

Get some shut eye

Remember the time you put in all those late hours at work, only to fall ill later? As tempting as it may be, avoid staying up for your 4:00am flight or rushing in that workload pre-departure. Go to bed early and set those (multiple) alarms. Not getting enough sleep can weaken your immune system, making you prone to all the potential viruses, bacteria and germs floating around in the the cabin. Falling sick before your trip even started? A definite no-no.

Stay hydrated

You’ve probably heard this time and time again to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane. Up in the air, your nose and throat are more prone to drying out easily, making them vulnerable to catching bacteria. Drink plenty of water prior to, during, and after your flight.

A side note form personal experience: Being at the window seat is no excuse to skip that extra glass of water. It’s better to cause a minor inconvenience to your in-flight neighbours as you duck out to the loo rather than ruin your trip before it even started. We hear that using a nasal spray just before you board can be helpful too to keep those membranes moist.

Wear socks

If you’re going through a fairly thorough security check at the airport, chances are, you’ll have to remove your shoes regardless of the type of footwear (sandals, boots, sneakers). Wear socks to avoid picking up anything from the airport floor — the chances are low but you might accidentally transfer those germs while putting your footwear back on and later touching your face as you brush your hair out of the way while piling back on your jacket and such.

Have sanitary wipes and gels handy

You may or may not have sniggered at the germaphobe you saw wiping down their in-flight tray table once upon a time, but the truth is, a little prevention goes a long way. We hear that cabin crews most likely do have the time to disinfect all surfaces throughly (or at all) in between flights. Be sure to win down the table tray, headset, handset and window panel. Sanitise your hands after going to the restroom — a good practise once on ground: removing your luggage from the carousel, at the ATM, local public transportation.   

Readjust the overhead air vent

We have been guilty of readjusting the air vent to blow directly at us after a rush through from the airport or walking along the tarmac at times. However, But while the immediate effects can do more harm than good. One way to know how far off the air vent should be, ball your hand into a fist and bring it over your chest (like you’re pledging allegiance), then adjust the air vent to blow onto it. This will help keep harmful moisture droplets that may carry germs away from your nose, eyes and mouth.

Written by Dee May

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