Travelling Healthy: A Short Guide

February 10, 2020

Airplane in the sky
Emmanuel Feranmi

My friend, a doctor, once told me that if diseases could fly, airports would be airports. It was a terrible joke and helped confirm my suspicion. It appeared that doctors were in fact not funny. This is something that I had always suspected to be true, but couldn't quite prove.

However, asides that absolute joke of a joke, there is a bit of sense in what my friend told me. If diseases could fly, airports would be airports. Airports, generally, are melting pots of all sort of infections and illnesses from all over the globe. It is the same way doorknobs are day night-clubs for pathogens of every kind that you can think of.

What does this mean? When travelling, you're generally exposed to more viruses, germs, bacteria and so on than you can even imagine. From airport to airport, the story remains the same. Travelling out increases your chances of acquiring a new and interesting illness. So, basically, you're at risk of getting ill just be travelling.  

But the dangers of travel doesn't end there. Jet lag, chaos, and fatigue can all contribute to you getting a bug while travelling.

Thankfully, it doesn't always have to be so. Here are some tips that you can keep in mind if you'd like not to get Ill while travelling.

Find The Best Seat On The Plane

This doesn't mean that you should buy a first-class ticket if you cannot afford one (although, if you can, you absolutely should). We know that some seats on the plane are less desirable for travel, and you should try to avoid those seats as much as possible.

Studies have shown that window/aisle seats are less likely to be exposed to germs, so if you can choose a window seat, you absolutely should.

Sleep Is Underrated

It is important to get enough sleep. This may seem obvious, in fact, it may seem obvious enough to not be taken seriously, but it is very important that you get enough sleep while travelling. Sleeping is nature's way of resetting your body, and while on a journey, that can be very important to your health.

Long travels have the potential of knocking your biological clock off balance and throw you off your rhythm. Getting enough sleep could just be the solution to getting your rhythm back.

Wipe. A Lot.

Alcohol wipes of any kind should always be with you when travelling. Surfaces are breeding grounds for germs, and you should make sure to wipe every surface before you come in contact with it. These wipes can eliminate germs on contact, so they limit the level of germs that you are exposed to.

This should mostly be done in places like airport waiting areas, hotel rooms or even on the plane itself. In your hotel room, you should wipe down places that people might have had a lot of contact with phones and remotes. You cannot always trust hotel cleaning staff to do a proper job.

Drink Water.

If you're on a vacation or you're a tourist, you probably can't wait to get started on binge drinking.  

In fact, some people get started on the plane. But that isn't very safe, or healthy. While alcohol wipes are great for wiping down surfaces in an airplane, they aren't exactly the best stuff for you to drink. Drinking or getting drunk in the plane can weaken your immune system by dehydrating you, and that is something that you certainly don't want. Instead of alcohol, you should make sure to stay properly hydrated by drinking enough water.

Don't Stay In One Place

Most of us just want to sit back and relax once we get on a plane. While that may be relaxing, it is way better to move around and get some movement into your muscles. This will help reduce potential swelling or blood from staying in one place for too long.

Be A Boy's Scout

Boy's scouts are always ready and ever prepared, and when you're travelling you should emulate that behavior as well.

An emergency health kit should never be too far from you. This ensures that you're never stuck without the right medication. This is important because allowing diseases to fester makes them to be stronger. Packing antibiotics and antivirals can be very effective and helpful against common illnesses that may try to bug you down. 

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