How do you stay healthy while flying?

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#1
Nebraska
29 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
First-time cruiser here and also someone who has only flown one other time as an adult - I keep hearing horror stories about people who get all stuffed up and end up with a cold after flying and I want to be in tip-top shape for my cruise! Looking for any tricks or tips you guys have used to stay healthy during the flight so I don't arrive on the cruise ship not feeling so hot. I have already purchased antibacterial hand gel to use alot and wipes for the cabin to wipe down when we arrive. Any other ideas? Thanks!!!
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#2
Louisville, Ky, USA
4,158 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Have lots of wine.........no problem.

Seriously, we have never had a problem. We take reasonable care with sanitation and avoid close contact with others who have sniffles, etc.

Hope you have a safe and 'healthy' trip.
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#3
Los Angeles
7,891 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I rely on Airborne. It doesn't stop you from catching cold, it helps bolster your immune system. It's vitamins & minerals. I start taking it a couple days before I leave, and I have some packed to take with me on the trip. If I know I'm ging to be around a crowd of people, I take one. If I start feeling stuffy, I take one.

When I had oral surgery, the dr. asked me if I took vitamins, and I told her I used Airborne. She answered that was a good source of daily vitamins and minerals, so I've continued to use it.

Have a great trip!
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Eleanor
#4
Missouri
928 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I've been on 25+ flights, along with my husband and kids and have never gotten sick. you'll be fine.
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#5
Toronto, Canada
3,781 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Oil of oregano capsules. I'm not an "alternative medicine" or believer in herbal or vitamin supplements generally, but this is one that I believe really works (and so do lots of people I run into). Some brave people take the oil directly, but I can't stand the smell, let alone the taste, so I take gelcaps. It's an anti-microbial, so I take it at the first sign of an illness, as well as the day of travel.

You're right to be concerned - between the stress of travel, the recirculating air, and the mass of people, there is definitely a higher risk of getting sick while traveling than at home.
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#6
California
2,122 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Skip65
First-time cruiser here and also someone who has only flown one other time as an adult - I keep hearing horror stories about people who get all stuffed up and end up with a cold after flying and I want to be in tip-top shape for my cruise! Looking for any tricks or tips you guys have used to stay healthy during the flight so I don't arrive on the cruise ship not feeling so hot. I have already purchased antibacterial hand gel to use alot and wipes for the cabin to wipe down when we arrive. Any other ideas? Thanks!!!
Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! Use hand sanitizer every chance you get. Be aware that everything and anything you touch at the airport may have just been touched by someone with a bug that will make you sick. So, door knobs (don't touch door knobs leaving the restroom after just washing your hands. Most airports don't have doors now, but if they do, use a papertowel to grab the door knob). The chairs in the terminal (especially the arms), the counter where you order/pick up your food, money, the chair and table in a restaurant, the condiments area, especially where you reach in and grab a packet of ketchup or mayo or mustard, or the pump thing on the bottles. You wash your hands then go to the restaurant, then touch things that 100s of others have just touched and they may not have washed their hands. Use hand sanitizer before you pick up that fork or food. The arms of your airplane seat, and the emergency instruction card and magazine stuck in the pocket of the seat in front of you. The flight attendant will tell you to look at the emergency card while they do the demo. Use hand sanitizer after. Avoid touching your eyes and mouth as much as possible. If you see someone obviously sick, walk away. If the person next to you on the plane is sick, ask to move to an empty seat. If the plane is full, descretely keep a kleenex over your mouth and try to keep your head turned away. You don't need to walk around paranoid about anything you touch, just wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and just be aware and use common sense.

And make sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and eat right while you travel. The immune system is controlled by hormones that kick into high gear while you are sleeping. Your body does most of its fighting, healing and recovering while you're asleep. Miss out on sleep and you really weaken your ability to fight off anything you were exposed to.

And last, avoid alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you and more importantly destroys vitamins in your body that are essential to the immune system. It also disturbs your sleep cycles which again affects your immune system.
#7
13,939 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by agabbymama
I rely on Airborne. It doesn't stop you from catching cold, it helps bolster your immune system. It's vitamins & minerals.
Airborne had to stop advertising that it prevented people from catching colds after they were involved in a class-action suit for false advertising. The company had to pay more than $23 million to settle this suit. Besides its lack of demonstrable efficacy (a little problem shared by virtually all cold medicines), there is the additional concern that Airborne might contain an unsafe amount of vitamin A.

It's simply an expensive multivitamin (each tablet costs ~.70), but if anyone feels it works, the placebo effect is a powerful one.

I personally advise you to drink lots of alcohol. Alcohol kills germs, right?
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#9
Anchorage, Alaska
2,992 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We take a travel size Clorox wipe packet and wipe the arm rests and tray table with it as soon as we sit down. They don’t have time to wipe all that stuff down between flights. Never know who might have been sitting there before you.

Originally posted by 6rugrats
I personally advise you to drink lots of alcohol. Alcohol kills germs, right?
Actually, we're not sure if it's the wipes or the alcohol but we do both!
#10
148 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I don't think I've ever gotten sick from a flight, but I also am exposed to more germs than other people perhaps (take mass transit daily). Also, I would think that the cruise ship is just as likely to expose to you to germs as the airport.

I've never been a vitamin taker, but I do sometimes take emergen-C when I feel a cold coming on. Not sure that it does anything, but I figure it can't hurt.

Flying does make me feel bleh though and that's because of the dehydration. I find that it really affects me. So make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the flight.
#11
Vancouver, BC
650 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
drink lots of water, wash your hands/use hand sanitizer. I've also heard of placing Polysporin on a q-tip and swabbing the inside of each nostril once seated. I've never tried it myself.
#12
Boca Raton, Florida
2,910 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
While the advice above is good, I never used it, and always arrived healthy, even after flights from New York to Europe. Take the advice and just fly. This comes from someone who has been a pilot for 37 years.
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Boca Raton, FL

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#13
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Flights/travel in general will always raise your exposure to lots of things so that is one reason people get sick more often than not.

Isn't there a hit song right now about "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

Just like when you were little and went to daycare or school and got exposed to lots of nasties and your immune system develops the antiboides to fight it. Eat like a local to avoid suprises when you go somehwere where sanitiation or other is different. Trravel a lot to get exposure to things you are most likely to see, so vacation a lot!

Drinking lots of water, eating well balanced meals, and being healthy helps too. We often throw out the first two when traveling, so hopefully you have that last thing as your pillar. Anyone who thinks taking some exlar of vitamines or other stuff boost your immune, drop me a note, I got another snake oils I can sell you
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#14
Knoxville, TN, USA
367 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
I hold my breath from the time I get on the plane until I leave it and I don't touch anything while onboard.

Honestly, after many, many flights( short hoppers to 18 - 24 hours on a plane, I have never felt sick afterwards. Hydration is usually the key to this. I try to keep a bottle of water with me most of the time. Knock on wood, I just don't get sick very often. Probably because I was raised to play outside no matter what the weather and I probably have ingested more germs as a child than most people would in a lifetime.

Gene
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#15
Toronto, Canada
3,781 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by chipmaster
Just like when you were little and went to daycare or school and got exposed to lots of nasties and your immune system develops the antiboides to fight it.
Sure, eventually......but you very well might be sick in the meantime. And if you're sick during your vacation, that can be a real downer.
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#16
Nebraska
29 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Thanks for the great advice - I especially like the holding breath one lol! I am loading up on vitamines and will try and drink more water. I always hate drinking much while traveling because it seems like I'm always looking for a bathroom but if it will help me stay healthy I will do it - thanks again!!
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#17
Miami, FL
454 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I was given these tips by a Dr. for overseas flights. Every couple of hrs suck on a "Cold-EEZE" with zinc lozenges. She said germs don't like zinc. Also use saline solution nasal spray every few hrs. The dry air in a plane drys out the nostrils and germs seem to like that environment. Go and have a great time, what will be will be. Have a great trip.
#18
Los Angeles
7,891 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by 6rugrats
Airborne had to stop advertising that it prevented people from catching colds after they were involved in a class-action suit for false advertising. The company had to pay more than $23 million to settle this suit. Besides its lack of demonstrable efficacy (a little problem shared by virtually all cold medicines), there is the additional concern that Airborne might contain an unsafe amount of vitamin A.

It's simply an expensive multivitamin (each tablet costs ~.70), but if anyone feels it works, the placebo effect is a powerful one.

I personally advise you to drink lots of alcohol. Alcohol kills germs, right?
You are absolutely correct that Airborne had to stop advertising that it prevented people from catching colds. And I stated that at the beginning of my post. My doctor just says it's a good form of getting your vitamins & minerals. I hate taking pills, they get stuck in my throat (have since I was a child), so the liquid aspect of Airborne is good for me. And I was concerned with how frequently to take them as just a dietary supplement. Again my doctor told me there was absolutely nothing in Airborne that could harm a person, no matter how many you took a day.

Now my cousin prefers Zicam, and I see their new add for the mouth spray shows a guy on an airplane. I haven't tried it though.

While washing your hands on a cruise is a great idea, on an airplane, not so much. Especially if the 6 or 8 people sitting around you are hacking and whacking from a cold when they board the aircraft. My last flight to Europe, seemed that everyone had a cold. Pretty hard to avoid getting sick, and believe me there is nothing worse than waking in a foreign city not speaking the language and trying to find cold remedies. Even cough drops were hard to locate. Happened on them by chance when I stopped at a tobacco shop for a soda, there were cough drops at the checkout counter. Not one pharmacy had one cough drop. Who knew they would be sold at a tobacco shop!

And I'm told alcohol (actually dehydrates you) and is the absolute worst thing you can drink on a long flight. Water is the best beverage. Keep hydrated.
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Eleanor
#19
2,195 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Even though I exercise and am generally healthy, I am not one of those whose immune systems can handle a lot, and I get a cold at least once a year. Of course, I also work in a school and ride the subway so I'm exposed to EVERYTHING. Most people who travel are fine, but some of us need a little help. The re-circulated air on planes is not healthy.

I used to always get sick during Christmas when we would fly to Florida to be with my family. Now I take a few precautions and they seem to help significantly:

- drink OJ or otherwise make sure I get sufficient Vitamin C in the week before travel
- wash hands wash hands wash hands and don't rely on gel, although that will do in a pinch
- bring wipes for wiping down the tray, armrest, seat controls, and to use before eating if I can't get to a rest room to wash hands first
- drink water on the flight, no soda no caffeine no alcohol
- for long overseas flights I bring saline nose drops

I don't go crazy, and these are simple things to do to keep me healthy on vacation.
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#20
239 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Skip65
I always hate drinking much while traveling because it seems like I'm always looking for a bathroom but if it will help me stay healthy I will do it - thanks again!!
Walking keeps your circulation moving! That is part of staying health also!