Hello there, lovelies! Ok, so here’s the thing…I love traveling (shocker, right? 😂). And the thing is, I used to get sick whenever I traveled. Like EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I can proudly say I’ve become acquainted with pharmacies around the world, lol. For real. Even if it was a sort-of short (ish) flight, I would end up catching a terrible cold. But that was until I figured out how to beat this! *applauds herself* So without further ado, here are my recommendations on how to avoid getting sick while traveling and stay healthy.
1. During Flights, Disinfecting Wipes Are Your Best Friend:
I may have some issues with germs, which live everywhere, and that’s ok. But the germs on airplanes…well, those I really hate. After an airplane drops off its passengers, flight attendants may spray [something] or pick up papers, but no one’s cleaning the tray tables, much less the seat belt buckles or the AC button above your seat.
So, here’s somewhat disgusting news…the germiest places on airplanes are:
Magazines and touch-screen entertainment
AC knob on the ceiling
Toilet lid and flush button (for obvious reasons, lol! This should be no shocker)
Water faucet and soap dispenser
Paper towel dispenser
So, yes. I’m the kind of girl who as soon as she gets on the airplane, finds her seat number and safely tows away her carry-on bag in the overhead compartment, she has disinfecting wipes to the rescue. I sit down, open my purse, where I keep the wipes and do this – you can laugh all you want but I don’t get sick…*sticks her tongue out* 😅:
-Thoroughly wipe the seatbelt and seatbelt buckle before even thinking about buckling.
-I spray some Lysol on the headrest (did you know some headrests hide lice?). I always carry a travel size one. (Before we get into FDA regulations here, I use my own spray bottle FDA approved, like this one and use 1 part of liquid Lysol and mix it with 3 parts of water and voilá. If you want to take it up a notch, use this spray bottle). And if you want to be even safer, use your own pillow.
-Next, I wipe [thoroughly] my tray, armrests and touch-screen entertainment.
-I then wipe my window (yes, I always go for the window seat) and the “blinds” sort-of thingy (sorry, don’t know the proper name) 🙈 and the AC knob above my seat.
-After I finish all the wiping, I use some alcohol gel sanitizer (this one is my fave since it kills germs but also moisturizes skin) to disinfect my hands. You know, just in case. I’d rather be safe than sorry. A bit exaggerated? Who cares?! 😅
-Whenever I need to go to the bathroom, once I enter the tiny, almost-claustrophobic bathroom airplane, I wipe the door knob, faucet, paper towel dispenser and toilet seat (it’s hard to pee not sitting down with turbulence y’all!) and flush button. I also carry toilet seat covers, which is a plus.
-In the bathroom, you should be on high alert for E. coli — bacteria that can cause infections when coming into contact with the feces, or stool, of humans or animals. Give that lid a good wipe y’all!
2. Gel Alcohol is a Must:
Once I head back to my seat, I rub some alcohol gel sanitizer on my hands and carry on with my airplane life. (Also, if it’s a long-haul flight, you can read this post on how to salvage your skin at 40,000 ft. You’re welcome. 😉 ) I seriously don’t understand how some folks can fly without carrying a travel-sized gel alcohol.
3. A Rule of Thumb When Flying:
Ok, here’s a very important rule of thumb…when eating, if some chips or whatever fall on the tray, consider them gone. Adiós. There’s no 10-second rule in this case. Even if you thoroughly wiped your tray (you can give yourself a pat on the back for this) you did not kill all germs. I mean, really. Do not eat what fell on your tray and do your stomach a favor, ok? Take this from a girl who’s even caught stomach bugs on flights. Not fun people. Not fun.
Fear Not, My Young Padawans
Ok, so you may think I’m a little obsessed with germs on airplanes. Maybe a little? But hey, I-want-to-get-sick-during-my-flight said no one ever! Despite the germy part of traveling, I still love traveling (make sure you check this post on how to take care of your skin when flying). Although, I would prefer to consistently be flying first class with Emirates, but hey, maybe some day.😁 #WishfulThinking
Ok, so these are the basics for not catching a cold, the flu or E.Coli on flights. But, if you want to know more ways on how to stay healthy while traveling (and by traveling I mean flying) check this post from a kickass airline pilot, Mark. He sure knows his stuff.
A Few Extra Tips
Bring Your Own Water
Besides all the wiping and sanitizing I do on a flight. I also never drink water that is served by flight attendants. Water (including ice) is one of the most common sources of airplane maladies (click here for more info on that). I always take my own water bottle and politely decline when asked what I would like to drink during service times. I swear by SmartWater, but as long as you buy it after security screenings, choose whatever water brand you prefer.
Skip the Salad
If a meal has lettuce, avoid eating it. Now, let me explain the reasoning behind this: lettuce or salads are raw foods without peels. There’s a reason airplane food has a not so good reputation. You don’t really know for sure how the ingredients on that salad were handled. Gloves? Clean lettuce and veggies/fruits? You get the point. Try to steer clear from eating fruits and/or vegetables you cannot peel. And chances are, even if you can peel it, well, you must be quite skillful at using a plastic knife (if you get one).
Last But Not Least
Don’t freak out. Enjoy your flight (to the best of your abilities, lol) and keep calm. After all, if you’re on an airplane, chances are you’re heading somewhere *insert Bilbo’s voice here: I’m going on an adventure!* and somewhere is better than nowhere. As always, I would love to know your comments so make sure you drop them down below 👇🏻 or just say hi, whatever works for you 🙂 Now, tell me, what’s your biggest fear when flying? 😱
*In the spirit of full disclosure, this post may contain affiliate links. Please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.
Shop my travel picks: