TAKE THESE ONBOARD TO KEEP YOUR COLD GROUNDED
We know that germs like to be frequent fliers, meaning airplanes are a hotbed for cold and flu transmission. One way to increase your chances of staying healthy on your next flight is to pack a handy cold and flu prevention kit in your carry-on luggage. But what exactly should you put into this germ-fighting bag of tricks? Let’s take a look.
A handy germ killer
Instead of continually washing your hands in the airplane bathroom, simply reach for a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It can kill many types of microbes very effectively.1 Squeeze a dab in your palm and lather up your hands every so often during your flight, especially after touching multiple surfaces.
Vitamin C…ya later
While consuming vitamin C in itself likely won’t prevent you from catching a cold or the flu, having an ample amount in your system may shorten the duration of symptoms should you get sick.2 Packing some vitamin C tablets or a mixable powder is a smart move just in case the wrong germs come your way.
Nasal spray keeps germs away
As airplanes climb to higher levels of elevation, air humidity gets lower which results in less moist air. This can dry out the protective lining in your nose and result in cracks that make it a potential entryway for cold and flu transmission. Periodically using a nasal spray can keep the lining of the nose moist and keep germs out.3
Pack some immunity-boosting foods and drinks
Airplane food isn’t generally regarded as high quality, nutrient rich food. Pack snacks and drinks that are loaded with nutrients that help to naturally boost your immunity. Snacks like oat bars and drinks like green tea are easy to pack and inexpensive. See our Grab and Go list for more ideas.
Toss these in for extra germ prevention
Supplement your kit with extras like a pack of tissues, bottled water to stay hydrated and a light blanket or sweatshirt to keep warm. You might also want to pack items to help relieve stress or promote sleep such as books, music, meditation aids, a neck rest and an eye mask. Low stress and proper rest may help your immune system stay strong.4
1. Show Me the Science - When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer. (2016, February 22). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html
2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, March 2). Vitamin C: Can it prevent colds? Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/health-tip/art-20049178
3. Summer Colds. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/common-cold-centre/the-common-cold/summer-colds
4. Flu and Colds: In Depth. (2016, January). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/flu/indepth
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