Science has confirmed what many seasoned travelers have long suspected: Your risk of getting sick increases when you fly. The Journal of Environmental Health Research reports that the airplane passenger transmission rate of cold viruses soars to 113 times the rate encountered under normal, everyday circumstances on the ground. So if you don’t want to spend your trip dealing with the misery of being ill, understanding how to avoid germs on an airplane is crucial. This knowledge allows you to take simple steps to protect yourself and your health.
How to Avoid Germs on an Airplane
Whether you’re flying for business or pleasure, being aware of how to avoid germs on an airplane is sure to come in handy. Here’s what you need to know to better your chances of staying healthy:
Plan for Prevention
If you want to stay healthy while flying, it’s helpful to be as healthy as possible before you board the plane. After all, when your immune system is already scrambling to combat one ailment, it is less able to fight off any new illnesses that attack. Fortunately, planning for prevention can help you dodge misery-inducing microorganisms like germs, viruses, and bacteria.
For starters, get plenty of sleep before your flight. Nourishing your immune system by taking vitamin C may also be helpful. Staying hydrated is smart because it helps to keep the mucus membranes in your nose and throat, which are amongst your body’s first lines of defense against germs, functioning effectively. Maintaining proper hydration also helps to keep your skin in good shape, improving its ability to resist cuts and scrapes that can increase your vulnerability to infection. Finally, you’ll want to think ahead and pack a few germ-fighting tools (like disinfecting wipes, saline nasal sprays, and hand sanitizer) in your carry-on so that you’ll have easy access to them during the flight.
Select Your Seat with Care
Where you sit can impact your chances of encountering germs when flying, so selecting a seat that minimizes your exposure is smart. Where should you sit? With the way most planes are designed, ventilation systems generally do a better job of circulating the cabin’s air near the front of the plane, so try to avoid sitting in the rear. Unless you’re claustrophobic, you may also want to opt for a window seat. Since these seats aren’t under constant bombardment by people traveling up and down the aisle, they tend to harbor fewer germs. Window seats are also preferable because the ultraviolet light coming in from the window kills a lot of germs in the area.
Wipe Down Hard Surfaces
As Time reports, scientists have found cold viruses, human parainfluenza viruses, norovirus, and MRSA (the superbug formally known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) lurking on airplane tray tables. To minimize your exposure to them, pack a few sanitizing wipes in your bag and wipe down your tray table and other hard surfaces in your immediate vicinity.
The air onboard a plane has less humidity than what you generally experience while on the ground. Why does this matter? The drier air tends to dry out your mucus membranes, which can leave you more vulnerable to germs. Saline spray offers a handy solution. Using a nasal saline spray will keep those membranes moist and help bolster their ability to fight off germs so that you stay healthy.
Be Wary of the Water
The water found in airplanes’ water tanks isn’t always as clean as you might like (source). So if health is a concern when you’re flying, you’re wise to be wary of the water. Don’t drink coffee or tea, which is often made using water drawn from the tanks. Also, wash your hands if you use the airplane’s bathroom – and don’t stop there. No matter how diligently you scrub, your hands won’t be truly clean if you’re using water that isn’t. Always follow up with a hand sanitizer.
Use Hand Sanitizer Frequently
Hand sanitizer just may be the most important tool that you can reach for when you’re trying to dodge germs on an airplane. The sheer number of passengers sharing a confined space for a few hours makes it virtually certain that germs will be on countless surfaces, and your hands are likely to be the body part that encounters them. Using a top-quality hand sanitizer frequently will eliminate any germs that you have picked up in your travels before they get the chance to make you sick.
So when crafting your strategy for how to avoid germs on an airplane, reach for SafeSpace Instant Hand Sanitizer. Available in a convenient travel-sized bottle, this skin-sanitizing foam is tough on germs; in fact, it’s 99 percent effective! It’s also packed with emollients that soothe and protect your skin, so it won’t dry out your hands like some other sanitizers. In addition, it’s alcohol-free, which reduces the risk of accidental poisoning and makes it a great choice for people of all ages. Order your SafeSpace Instant Hand Sanitizer today.