By Allison Davis
It’s a cruel joke that the busiest travel time of the year is also high season for illnesses. Thanks to crowded flights with recycled air, catching a cold or other virus is a common post-flight fate. Here are some simple tips to help you survive the travel season relatively unscathed.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Ok, this may seem obvious, but it bears a reminder: Wash your hands regularly. To do it effectively, experts recommend scrubbing your hands with soap, under warm running water, for at least 20 seconds. But in a pinch, a hand sanitizer will do. Plus, it’s nice to have a quick-clean option after touching surfaces like sticky arm rests and tray tables. To avoid dry hands, we recommend Belli Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer with jojoba oil, or Burt’s Bee’s Aloe and Witch Hazel Hand Sanitizer Spray, both in travel-size bottles.
Long-haul flights can do a number on the body, causing cramps, muscle pain, and neck strain. Taking periodic walks up and down the aisle is one remedy but there are other alternatives, like yoga poses. A Sun Salutation in the aisle may not be appreciated, so try these less space-consuming moves. Cat and Cow Variation: Sit at the front of your seat, with your back straight. Round your back and shoulders and breathe deeply, holding the pose for a few seconds. Then move in the opposite direction, slowly arching your back. Repeat several times. Seated Twist: Place one hand on the opposite knee and twist your torso towards that hand. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch. Hip Stretch: Cross one leg over the other and lean forward, folding over your legs. Hold, then switch legs and repeat.
While flying, it’s best to avoid drinks that will dehydrate you. The list includes all of our favorite vices, from alcoholic beverages to caffeinated sodas and coffee. Try drinking water or juice instead, and don’t rely on the airline to provide enough during your flight. It’s always a good idea to bring a water bottle with you, filling it up at a water fountain before you board the plane. We like this alternative better than buying bottled water at the airport, not only for environmental reasons, but because you’ll want to stay hydrated on your trip too, whether you’re spending time on the beach or gallivanting around a big city.
Improve your mood and boost your immune system by staying as well-rested as possible before, during, and after your trip. To help aid sleep in-flight, pack your own travel pillow and blanket, like the plush Lug Travel Blanket and Pillow Set. A great set of noise-cancelling headphones, and an eye-pillow are also recommended. And if all else fails, a glass of warm milk is always an option.