Coronavirus has everyone feeling cautious about germs and the spread of disease at the moment, and it's a good reminder that it's always worth being extra careful about your health when travelling.
Intimate contact with total strangers means you can be exposed to a wide range of bugs. And there really is nothing worse than spending weeks, months or even years planning an amazing trip, only to have it ruined when you pick up a cold on the airplane from the annoying sniffler sitting next to you, and then are sick on arrival. Or struggling your way through a busy work trip full of client meetings and events with the flu.
It's gross - but also preventable! There are numerous things you can do to stay fit and healthy when you travel on an airplane, especially long haul, and here are our favourites ways to show some self-care when flying:
Minimise contact with others
This might sound anti-social but it also totally makes sense: less contact with other (potentially sick) passengers means you're less likely to pick up nasty bugs. Choose a window seat rather than an aisle (so you can avoid sick people wandering past you along the aisle) and try to limit your time standing in dense queues before boarding or when waiting for luggage.
Whack on a mask + breathe easy
Yep, it's that easy. We love the fabulous hygiene masks from TECMASK (and include them in many of our packs including The Signature, The Signature Man, The Executive and The Aussie Welcome) because they create a barrier between you and the germs. Plus, they come in a range of stylish designs!
Make clean hands a priority
This might seem obvious, but it's surprisingly easy to forget. Throughout your travels you should wash your hands regularly (even more than usual and not just when you go to the toilet) with plenty of soap and dry them carefully. We're talking before and after all meals or snacks, and after touching ANYTHING, such as the back of someone's chair or armrest. And avoid touching your hands to your face as much as possible. If there isn't an opportunity to wash your hands with water, then a swipe with an antiseptic wipe is always effective. Slathering on some hand sanitiser is also a good move to keep the bugs at bay.
Keep it clean
It might be a bit excessive, but we are HUGE fans of wiping down all of the surfaces on or around your airplane seat with an antiseptic wipe as soon as you board. There's no guarantee seats get thoroughly cleaned between flights, and you have no way of knowing who was in the seat before you (and if they were battling a raging cold). Better to be safe than sorry, and don't worry about getting funny looks from fellow travellers. As our air travel guru Naomi Campbell points out, if it comes down to protecting your health then it doesn't matter what other people think.
Pimp your seat
Speaking of Miss Campbell, she's also a huge advocate for putting a cover over her seat when she flies, and we think it's a great idea. You can get these ones from Amazon pretty affordably, or splash out on this gorgeous stylish option, which costs a little more but can be washed for multiple uses.
Catch some zzzs
Being rested and relaxed really can help you to fight off bugs when travelling, so try not to set off on your journey feeling too tired (this means don't leave your packing until 1am on the day you fly out;) and do everything you can to get some quality shut-eye during the flight. Stay warm (some socks, like the one in all of our Departures packs are great for this), put on your silk eye mask and ear plugs, snuggle up (with your TECMASK on) and enjoy some sweet dreams.
Stay super hydrated
Being thoroughly hydrated is also crucial to help you battle germs on a plane, as it helps your immune system fight off intruders more easily. This means lots of water (ideally laced with Hydralyte for extra hydration) or herbal tea, limit your alcohol intake, use a hydrating spray, and possibly even bring along a nasal spray. Put lots of jojoba oil (such as the lovely one included in all of our packs) on your face, especially around your nostrils and lips, to make sure the skin doesn't dry and crack, as this can give germs easy access to your system.
Pop some pills
Keeping up your nutrients when flying is also a huge help when it comes to staying healthy. Vitamin C, Echinacea and garlic tablets are all good options and easily available from your local pharmacy. But we're particular fans of the natural well-being travel supplements created by Flightamins. They're formulated by a nutritionist and Chinese medicine expert to make sure they are packed with everything you need for optimum health when travelling - and they're available as an add-on item in our customised packs!