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Avoiding the Germs: A Guide to Staying Healthy on Flights

Traveling by airplane can be a stressful experience, especially when it comes to staying healthy. The close proximity of passengers and recycled air can make it easy for germs to spread, leading to illnesses. However, with a little bit of preparation and some simple strategies, you can protect yourself and stay healthy while flying.

Before Your Flight

Get Enough Rest

Make sure you get plenty of rest before your flight. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep before your flight.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before your flight to help keep your body hydrated. Dehydration can make you more prone to illness. It’s recommended to drink 8 ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air.

Boost Your Immune System

Try to eat healthy foods and take immune-boosting supplements before your flight. Vitamin C, Echinacea, and zinc are all known for their immune-boosting properties. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can also help boost your immune system.

Pack Hand Sanitizer

Be sure to pack a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your carry-on bag. This will allow you to clean your hands when you can’t get to a sink. Make sure the hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol.

Get Vaccinated

Check with your healthcare provider to see if you need any vaccines before traveling to your destination. Vaccines can help protect you from illnesses that are more common in certain parts of the world.

During Your Flight

Choose Your Seat Wisely

Choose a seat away from the bathroom to avoid the constant flow of people and germs. Additionally, try to choose a window seat to avoid contact with other passengers. Studies have shown that window seats have the least amount of germs.

Use Wipes

Bring antibacterial wipes and use them to clean your tray table, armrests, and seatbelt buckle. These are all surfaces that can harbor germs. Make sure the wipes you use contain at least 70% alcohol.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water during your flight to help keep your body hydrated. This can also help flush out any germs you may have come into contact with. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you.

Don’t Touch Your Face

Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. This can help prevent the spread of germs. If you need to adjust your face mask, use hand sanitizer before and after touching it.

Wear a Face Mask

Wearing a face mask can help prevent the spread of germs. Make sure the mask you wear is a surgical or N95 mask, as cloth masks are not as effective. Keep the mask on throughout the flight, except when eating or drinking.

After Your Flight

Wash Your Hands

Be sure to wash your hands as soon as possible after disembarking from the plane. This will help remove any germs you may have come into contact with. Use soap and warm water, and wash for at least 20 seconds.

Change Your Clothes

Consider changing your clothes once you’ve landed, especially if you’ve been traveling for a long time. This can help remove any germs that may be on your clothing. If you can’t change your clothes, at least remove your shoes and wash your hands.


Take some time to rest and recover after your flight. This will help your body recover from any stress or strain it may have experienced during your travels. Try to get plenty of sleep and eat nutritious foods to help your body recover.


By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from germs while traveling by airplane. Remember to stay hydrated, boost your immune system, and wash your hands regularly. With a little bit of preparation and some simple strategies, you can stay healthy and enjoy your travels. If you’re still worried about staying healthy while traveling, Sickday can help. Our team of healthcare professionals can provide you with personalized advice and recommendations for staying healthy on your next flight. Whether you need help boosting your immune system or want to know which vaccines you need, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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