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Airplanes are dirty. Here are some tips for staying healthy on your flight.

Airplanes top the list as breeding grounds for dirt and germs. It makes sense that they would, seeing that they are basically small, enclosed metal tubes housing hundreds of people together for a lengthy time period! CBC Marketplace recently conducted a study which determined five of the dirtiest places on an aircraft. Aside from the obvious places that come to mind such as the toilet, sink or floor, you may be surprised to learn that the headrest is the dirtiest spot on an aircraft, followed by the seat pocket, washroom handle, tray table and seatbelt.

Now, combine this with cold and flu season, and you may be thinking about putting yourself in a bubble or cancelling your flight altogether!

Can you avoid getting sick on a plane?

Don’t worry, you’re not doomed! Here are some ways you can protect yourself from catching the cold or flu on the airplane.

Tips for staying healthy on a plane – start preparing a few weeks before your flight:

  1. Take Oil of Oregano. Oregano oil is a natural powerhouse for preventing cold, flu and many other health issues. You can find oregano oil or pills at any drug store, department store health section, health food store or online. If you have any health issues or on any medications, be sure to talk to a health practitioner to determine if the oil is safe for you to use!

  2. Up your Vitamin C intake. There are so many health benefits of Vitamin C yet many of us are deficient. If you’re not already getting enough Vitamin C through your diet, supplement with tablets as well. Do this well before a trip and you will be boosting your immunity.

  3. Remember to take your daily vitamin. Speaking of Vitamin C, if you aren’t already taking a daily vitamin, it definitely doesn’t hurt to start taking a multi-vitamin well in advance of your trip. Everything you can do to help your immune system will help your body stave off unwanted cold and flu germs on an aircraft.

How to not get sick from germs on the plane – do these things when you get on the plane:

  1. As soon as you get to the seat, wipe everything and I mean EVERYTHING – down with alcohol wipes. Other people might look at you funny at first, but I’ve had so many other passengers comment to me about what a great idea it is. They end up borrowing some of my alcohol wipes to do the same around their seat. Be sure to wipe down the seat, headrest, armrest, seatbelt, tray, window, wall and inside of the seat pocket.

  2. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer during and throughout the flight. I love the Bath and Bodyworks hand sanitizers because they are small and easy to pack.

  3. Avoid the bathroom if possible. This is easier to do on short-haul flights! If you do have to use the bathroom, be sure to sanitize your hands when you get back to your seat.

  4.  Drink lots of water. It helps keep you hydrated and that’s always a good thing for your immune system!

  5. Turn on the air vent. Many people turn off the air vent when they arrive at their seat, but according to research, you should actually leave it on! Here’s a great article from Travel + Leisure on Why You Should Think Twice Before Turning Off the Air Vent Above You on Your Next Flight.

When you arrive at your destination:

When you arrive at your accommodations, be sure to change your clothes and wash your hands and face. I would also recommend wiping down anything that you took out and used while on the plane. For example, your phone, tablet, laptop or books.

I hope these tips helped keep you healthy during your journey. Do you have anything that you do that I should add to this list and share with fellow travelers? Please leave a comment below.

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