Whether you’re an experienced traveler or leaving home for the first time, there’s always the possibility of getting sick while you travel. In fact, many people argue that your chances of getting sick actually increase while traveling due to exposure to new – and potentially, germy – environments and time spent in high‐traffic areas, like airports and train stations. Even if you rarely become ill, you may want to leverage these simple tips for an extra layer of protection on your next trip.
Strengthen your immune system
Many travel doctors suggest taking supplements – such as daily multivitamins, vitamin C, and probiotics – for a significant period of time before your trip. Other tried and tested ways to boost your immune system include: exercising regularly, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains (while avoiding saturated fats), getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol.
Pack a healthy defense
Before you leave on your trip, consider putting together a carry‐on “toolkit” of items to help you stave off sickness, or treat your symptoms if you do start to feel down. Example items include: hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, a light blanket, a travel pillow, and a first aid kit with staple over‐the‐counter medications like nasal spray or ibuprofen.
Wear glasses instead of contacts
According to this helpful list of healthy travel tips from Condé Nast, contact lenses can make your eyes dry and vulnerable to microbial invasions. To play it safe, consider wearing glasses instead. If you must wear contacts, be sure to bring a travel‐sized bottle of contact lens solution and a case in the event they begin to bother you in the middle of the flight.
In its helpful “avoid getting sick while traveling guide,” Caring.com reminds travelers that “planes fly at elevations of 30,000 to 35,000 feet, where humidity is well below the 15 percent required to keep nasalpassages moist.” When your nose and throat become dry, you become more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that may be floating around, so drink plenty of water to keep your nose and throat moist.
When in doubt, sanitize
This may seem obvious, but always remember to sanitize your hands after touching unclean areas – for instance, after touching the ticket kiosk, ATM, door handles, or anything in a bathroom. Condé Nast suggests using sanitizer on “all parts of your hands,” including fingertips and any rings you may be wearing.