How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

How to avoid getting sick when traveling-Staying healthy


Tips and ideas on how to stay healthy and not get sick while traveling. What you need to know so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest. Find out more about which products and travel hacks are necessary for healthy travel.


Hello there, lovelies! Ok, so here’s the thing…I love traveling (shocker, right? πŸ˜‚). 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 Β somewhat disgusting news…the germiest places on airplanes are:

  1. Seatbelt buckles

  2. Tray tables

  3. Magazines and touch-screen entertainment

  4. AC knob on the ceiling

  5. Headrest

  6. Bathroom door

  7. Toilet lid and flush button (for obvious reasons, lol! This should be no shocker)

  8. Water faucet and soap dispenser

  9. Paper towel dispenser

    Tips and ideas on how to stay healthy and not get sick while traveling. What you need to know so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest. Find out more about which products and travel hacks are necessary for healthy travel.

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* πŸ˜…:

-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.Β (Before we get into FDA regulations here, I use my own spray bottle FDA approved, like this one Β and use 1 part of liquid Lysol and mix it with 3 parts of water and voilΓ‘. 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)Β πŸ™ˆΒ and the AC knob above my seat.

-After I finish all the wiping, I use some alcohol gel sanitizerΒ (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?! πŸ˜…

-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 β€” 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. πŸ˜‰Β ) I seriously don’t understand how some folks can fly without carrying a travel-sized gel alcohol.

How to avoid getting sick while traveling

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. AdiΓ³s. 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.

Β 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.

Tips and ideas on how to stay healthy and not get sick while traveling. What you need to know so you can enjoy your trip to the fullest. Find out more about which products and travel hacks are necessary for healthy travel.

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 πŸ‘‡πŸ»Β or just say hi, whatever works for you πŸ™‚ 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.Β 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.

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56 Comment

  1. Take some zicam and saline nose spray! Use them right before getting on the plane. The zicam staves off colds, the saline spray moisturizes your nasal passages to trap the yuckies!

    1. Awesome tip!!! Thank you so much! I’ll make sure to take some zicam and saline spray on my next flight! You rock! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  2. I used to get sick all the time while traveling! This was such a good travel post. I really need to start disinfecting things. I never thought about how germy everything on the plane is, but now I will be πŸ˜›

    1. I’m so glad you found these tips useful! I hope these tips help you not get sick on your next flight! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  3. Oh my gosh these tips are gold! I have never, ever thought about the headrests! Lice! Ahhhh! I’m not a big germaphobe at all buuuuuut…. I am totally bringing disinfecting wipes on my next flight.

    1. Lol! Your comment made my day! Yes, airplane seats, well, airplanes in general can be very germy! Yuck! I definitely recommend packing some disinfecting wipes on your next flight! Thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  4. This post is super helpful! I always seem to get a little sick after flying, or even traveling a lot. I’m sure part of it is from stress, but these tips will really help me in the future. Thank you!

    1. I hope these tips are as helpful to you as they are to me! Hopefully you won’t get sick on your next flight! Thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  5. 21flavorsofsplendor says: Reply

    Great tips! I always for get about the ice on the flight. I will have to remember that and make sure I put an extra pack of sanitizing wipes in my bag.

  6. That aesop gel looks great – I’ll have to check it out!

    1. The Aesop gel is my favorite! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  7. I’ll be traveling this weekend- great tips!! Thanks for sharing! XO

    1. I hope these tips are as useful to you as they are to me! Have a great trip! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  8. These are really good tips for traveling. Especially having little ones wanting to touch the entire world lol, hand sanitizer and desinfecting wipes are something I always have on hand.

    1. I’m glad to know you always carry hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes! Yes, one can never be too careful with little ones! Thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks for sharing! I am constantly on the road as a travel blogger (and a background in public health) and swear by some of these tips as well. I always, always, ALWAYS wipe down my seat and tray table with disinfectant wipes. I also always bring some of my cold-fighting tea bags with me, just in case! Rooibos and peppermint are my two favorites!

    1. Thank you doll! I’m so glad to hear this! (well, read it. You get the point, lol) I’m definitely including the Rooibos and peppermint on my next flight! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  10. The Everyday Mom Life says: Reply

    This is a great post! It’s so hard to not get sick when you travel. I love all these tips!

    1. Thank you doll! These tips have really helped me and I no longer get sick. I hope these are as useful to you as they are to me. Thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  11. I totally did read that last part in Bilbo’s voice 😊

    1. Hahahaha!!! Girl, you made my day! I’m glad someone understood that part! Thank you for stoppin by (and for making my day!) πŸ™‚

  12. Oh wow these are great tips! I never realized how germy traveling can be. I will make sure to bring my own water next time.

    1. I’m so happy you found these tips helpful! And yes, take your own water!!! πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  13. Love the list of places to wipe down! I definitely forget some of those!

    1. I’m so glad you found these tips helpful! Thank you for stopping by πŸ™‚

  14. I wish I could travel so I can actually use these tips! It was really helpful xx

    1. Thank you dear! I hope you travel soon! I’m so glad you found these tips helpful! πŸ™‚

  15. Getting sick on a flight is the worst. I still have nightmares of a flight when I had to use mine and my seat neighbor’s sick bag.

    1. Oh, no!!!! So sorry that happened! But yes, getting sick on a flight sucks! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚ Better luck next time you fly! πŸ™‚

  16. I try not to travel because I always get sick when i get back. Thanks for these tips! I will keep in mind next time I have to travel. πŸ™‚

    1. Really? Have you been able to determine what makes you sick upon your return? I’m glad you found these tips helpful! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  17. Traveling is such a prime-time to get sick. Thanks for all the tips!!
    Cheers, Sarah Camille //

    1. I’m glad you found these tips helpful! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  18. Such great tips! I had never even thought about disenfecting the window, but so true. There are so many people that put their faces right up on it!

    1. Yup! Exactly! Lol! Glad you liked these tips! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  19. These are great tips! I’d hate to get sick while traveling – that sounds awful.

  20. YES! Disinfecting the airplane is huge. People always look at me like I’m crazy, but who cares!?

    1. Lol! Yeah, I get the same look! But I think disinfecting the airplane is important and has helped in not catching a terrible cold. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  21. Dyana @adebtfreejourney says: Reply

    I will be getting on a plane for the first time since I was 5 and I am a little terrified. I suffer from anxiety, and this time I will be bringing my small children so disinfectant wipes will be my best friend!

    1. Yes, those wipes will be your best friend on flights! I hope the flight was ok for you! Have a great trip! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  22. Ew! I hadn’t even thought about seat belt buckles! I’m usually so focused on the tray table. Bringing extra wipes…

    1. Yes, the seat belt buckles are the germiest place on a plane. Ew! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  23. wow, thanks for sharing! never heard of a gel santizier before.. I might have to get in on that xD

    1. Defintely worth traveling with gel sanitizer! It comes quite in handy! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  24. These are great tips! will definitely put a bag of disinfectant wipes in my purse the next time I travel!

    1. I’m so glad you found these tips useful! Thanks fors stopping by πŸ™‚

  25. Oh yes. Disinfectant wipes are genuis. I dont worry about germs but planes are gross. Lol. I dont eat or touch anything. I just sit there. Haha

    1. haha! Yeah, I know the feeling! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  26. Thanks for the tips! #1 has always been on my list, but I’ll remember the others!

    1. Glad I could be of help! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  27. Oh my gosh this is SO helpful! I have a super weak immune system and i’m so scared of getting sick on my honeymoon. This is going to help so much!

    1. Oh, my! I’m so glad you found this post helpful! I hope you have a fantastic honeymoon with zero sickness! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  28. I had never even thought about this kind of sickness while traveling. I thought you meant MOTION sickness from the title, which I would love to learn more about! I don’t fly often, but I’ve found myself easily motion sickened, even if I’m not doing anything like reading. I’ve heard peppermint can help, but haven’t personally seen that effect. Any tips on that kind of traveling sickness? Eye-opening post otherwise!

    1. Hi, Kelsey! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this! I don’t suffer from traveling sickness but I do know a few friends that do, but they take DIMENHYDRINATE 55 MG or ONDANSETRON 4 MG for that. The only issue is that dimenhydrinate can make you somewhat sleepy. I’ve taken ondansetron 4 mg and it doesn’t make me sleepy. But always ask your doctor first! I’ve heard great things about peppermint essential oil but if it didn’t help, you might have to consider something stronger πŸ™ˆ

  29. I think next time I travel I will head these suggestions a little bit more closely. My last trip was marred by a not too acute case of the flu.

    1. Hi, there! These tips have helped me tremendously and now I don’t get sick anymore when I travel. Who knew airplane cabins would be so germy, right? And catching the flu is no fun! So sorry to hear that. I hope next time you travel these tips will help you avoid getting sick! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

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