Even though it may be for a summer vacation, traveling can be a stressful situation. Nobody wants to get sick on any trip, whether it's for business or for pleasure. Airports can be a Petri dish of germs just waiting to bring down their next victim. Studies show 1 in 5 people who travel by airplane will suffer a cold or the flu right after their flight.
Germs are more likely to survive plane trips because airplanes are small, confined spaces where people from all over the world sit for significant periods of time. A recent research study found that germs can survive in an airplane for up to seven (7) days. We don’t know about you, but that definitely makes us want to be more cautious when we’re flying.
There are several, practical ways you can decrease your chances of getting sick during your travels. Here are our top five (5) ways you can stay in tip-top health while flying.
Disclaimer: Jackpot Candles is here to provide helpful advice when it comes to candle selection, but if you're sick or prone to illness, be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional first before traveling!
1.) Essential Oils
We wrote an entire blog about our love of essential oils, which allegedly have a ton of health benefits. For example, inhaling peppermint oil can open up your airways, clear head or neck pain, and can assist in calming a nervous stomach. Peppermint oil can also give you a slight energy boost, which is great if you’re facing a long travel day. Other oils, like Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil, are great to use if you’re trying to keep airborne germs at bay. Tea Tree oil has properties that help with warding off inflammation and bacteria. Eucalyptus Oil has a property called citronellal in it (not to be confused with the mosquito repellant). Citronellal assists with pain and inflammation, which means these are great to fight off early cold symptoms.
2.) Stay Hydrated
One of the main factors that contribute to people getting sick when flying is dehydration. The reduced oxygen and humidity of the pressurized cabins can drain the moisture from your body. According to health studies, having dry mucous membranes can decrease the amount of protection your body normally has from bacteria and viruses. By drinking at least 8 ounces for every hour you’re on the flight will help stay up to the pace of the dehydration you may encounter.
3.) Bring Hand Sanitizer and/or Wipes
Since we are constantly touching knobs, seats, and screens that hundreds of others have touched, it is important to remember to clean your hands frequently. While water and soap may not be readily available, you can definitely purchase a small bottle of hand sanitizer for one or two dollars that will meet airline requirements. Make sure your hand sanitizer contains 60% alcohol in it.
Speaking of keeping your hands clean, to be extra safe, be sure to wipe down all the surfaces that you come into contact with.
Don’t forget that germs last up to 7 days on a plane.
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4.) Leave Your Face Alone!
We touch our faces on average about 2,000-3,000 times per day! This substantially increases the opportunity for bacteria and viruses to enter into our bodies. Most individuals think germs enter through their mouth because your hands are always near it. In reality, germs have a higher chance of entering through your nose and eyes.
Avoid putting your hands on your face or rubbing your eyes, especially if you don't have any hand sanitizer with you!
5.) Catch some Z's
It sounds cliche to say, but it doesn't make it any less true - be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep before you travel. Lack of sleep has been shown in numerous studies to lower your immune system.
If you aren't getting enough restful sleep, you have a higher chance of getting sick after being exposed to a virus. It can also affect how long it takes you to recover from an illness as well. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep the night before you leave for a big trip.
Traveling can be significantly stressful for a lot of reasons. However, you shouldn’t have to worry about being sick on your vacation or business trip because you came into contact with harmful viruses and bacteria in the airport and plane.
Don't forget to relax the night before you head out! If you want to aide in your relaxation before your trip, check out our excellent selection of bath bombs and scented candles.