3 Ways to Avoid Catching a Cold or Flu While Flying

Being around large groups of people during cold and flu season is likely to increase your chances of getting sick during the holidays, and for those who need to catch flights, their chances of catching a cold or flu is even higher due to the amount of recirculated air in the cabin.

Can’t avoid flying? Here are 5 ways to protect yourself from getting sick on a flight.

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1.  Stay Hydrated

As tempting as it can be to down some alcoholic beverages before or during a flight, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking as much water as possible instead.  Why? Because of the lack of humidity while flying at high altitudes, the mucus membranes in your nose and throat are more susceptible to drying out, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to stay trapped within your natural drainage system instead of being flushed out. Drinking water keeps the mucus membranes in the nose and throat moist and better equipped to fight germs.

2.  Disinfect on Your Own

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has reported that germs from the common cold can live up to three hours on shared surfaces.  That said, even though airline crews do a quick clean of the cabin between flights, don’t be afraid to pack some disinfectant wipes to use on shared surfaces such as armrests, tray tables, your seat belt and bathroom door handles.  Better safe than sorry!

3.  Vitamin C

Start building up your immune system by downing a pack of Emergen-C or Airborne 2 days before your flight, on the day of your flight and even on the day after.  When combined with frequent hand washing, disinfecting your shared environment and staying hydrated. Vitamin C will help reduce your risk of becoming sick.