Many people fear flying during flu season, as the hours spent on an enclosed flight with a possibly germ-filled person is a terrifying prospect. This flu season has been particularly bad, as each state fell victim to the ever-mutating virus, with the exception of Hawaii. Flying during the winter months doesn’t have to mean catching a cold from the lady sneezing in 13B. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy without sacrificing your family vacation.
While it’s generally suggested to avoid enclosed spaces during cold and flu season, that’s something that can’t be avoided if you’re flying. What you can do, however, is try to choose a window seat, which will keep you further away from the many passersby, thus lessening your exposure to whatever germs they may be carrying.
You can also wait a little longer before you board the plane, instead of being squished together with everyone else in a line. There’s another step you can take to prepare for the conditions of an airplane. Bring along some nasal spray, because the excessively dry air while in flight can lower your immune system’s defenses significantly.
“One of the things we’ve noticed, particularly on airplanes, is that as soon as your mucous membranes, particularly in your nose and your mouth, start to dry out, we lose one of the most valuable defenses for preventing respiratory viruses,” Dr. Nicholas Testa shared with ABC News. Another smart move would be to bring some antibacterial wipes along with you, in order to clean your tray table before using it. There’s no guarantee that they are adequately cleaned between flights, unlike the bathrooms.
Lastly, you might be worried about having an extra current of air blowing on you while you fly, however, the extra air circulation around your seat provided by the overhead vent can help disperse germs away from where you’re seating.