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Most of us have suffered the experience of catching a cold just after returning from a holiday. You might have enjoyed a lot on your vacation, but once you catch the flight back home (or, which is worse for your holiday, when you catch a flight to your destination), you start sneezing. Sometimes the cold disappears within two to three days, but sometimes it takes longer time. All this depends on your immunity.
But have you ever given any thought as to why this happens every time you travel on an airplane? Well, here’s the simple answer – It is because of the germs that are present in the air of the airplane. As you know, germs can be found anywhere; and the rarefied confines of an aircraft are no exception. There can be bugs in the airplane blankets, or in the plate that is served to you for dinner, or in a lot of other places.To make matters worse, you have no way of knowing what germs your fellow passengers are bringing on board with them.
Needless to say, you need to focus on keeping yourself away from germs while traveling on a flight. Here are few tips to protect yourself:
Water is your savior
Bacteria strikes when the moisture levels in our bodies are low. While traveling on a flight, the strong air-conditioning, and the low humidity (less than ten percent) makes us feel completely dry, which is something the body is not used to. In this situation, it is easier for germs to attack our body. This is because the mucus in your body dries up due to low moisture levels. As a result, your natural defense system, or immunity, slows down, which makes the germs stronger within the body, causing us to catch cold and cough quickly. But if you consume a lot of water, then the moisture levels in your body won’t drop, and thus the germs won’t adversely affect you.
Carry a nasal spray
Using a nasal spray would help you keep your nose and throat region moist. For people who specifically have allergies and breathing problems, it is essential to carry a nasal spray or inhaler to use whenever required. But on an airplane, keeping a spray for your nose is an important step everyone can take, to protect against germs.
Check if your seat is clean and disinfected
Even if you are traveling business class, it’s important for you to check if your seat, and the surrounding area, is clean and disinfected. Ensure that your pillows, and everything else that you use on the flight (plates, cutlery, earphones etc.) are also germ-free.
Drink fresh bottled water
Ensure that you ask the flight attendant for fresh bottled water as soon as you board the flight. Check is the bottle is sealed, before opening it and drinking.
Avoid aisle seats
Even if you find these seats comfortable because you can spread your legs out a bit more, avoid them. These are the seats which put you in maximum contact with your co-passengers, thus increasing your risk of infection.
Customize the air-conditioner settings
The air condition of the flight doesn’t make the passengers sick; it is a myth. If you can adjust its filter and point the fan in such a way that the air will move in front of your face, you can enjoy the cold temperature without getting sick.
Another option for you, if you are really serious about avoiding germs, are germ masks. You can put the mask over your nose and mouth, and enjoy your flight, including interacting with your co-passengers freely if you wish; without worrying about getting an infection from them.
If you follow the aforementioned steps while traveling by flight, you can reduce your chances of getting sick after a flight by a significant degree.