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airplane sick ill illness cough coldEvery Wednesday, we’ll feature one practical travel tip here, on our blog. Get our clever weekly tips and other travel resources in your inbox by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our newsletter.

Winter’s not over yet — and cold season’s still running strong. According to a well-known study, travelers are more likely to catch a cold on an airplane than during their day-to-day routine, a fact that won’t surprise anyone who’s ever been stuck next to a sneezing, sniffling seatmate at 33,000 feet.

In Avoiding the Airplane Cold, travel expert Ed Hewitt shares some helpful tips on keeping healthy in the air. One important thing to remember, writes Hewitt, is to stay hydrated: “It turns out that drinking plenty of water will not only counter the overall dehydrating effects of air travel, which can lead to headaches, stomach problems, cramps, fatigue and more, but can actually fortify your preemptive natural immune mechanisms to function considerably better.”

To stay hydrated in the air, of course, drink water — and lots of it. Carry a water bottle or some juice (buy this after you’ve been through airport security). Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Fliers may also want to purchase nasal mists to keep their mucous membranes moist.

Keeping hydrated while traveling by plane certainly isn’t a cure-all for the cold. But it’s one simple, easy way to keep your immune system strong.

What do you do to avoid colds while traveling?

– written by Caroline Costello

4 Responses to “Travel Tip of the Week: Avoiding Colds on Planes”

  1. soliteyah says:

    I am pretty obsessive about hand washing (especially before eating/snacking on a plane), and I usually bring some alcoholic hand sanitizer as well. I definitely drink lots of water too, just because airplanes are so horrendously dry.

  2. Sabrina says:

    Yeah for hyrdration and keeping your hands clean :) I also try to get lots of sleep the nights before long flights, so you don’t start feeling so bad already. And just keeping up with the exercise the week before helps me also.

  3. Keep warming is a big one for me. If you’re cold, your body’s less likely to fend off germs. And those planes get cold.

  4. I always take my probiotic! I have one that is a chewable called Vidazorb which is nice because I can carry it along with me without refrigerating it. I also drink lots of green tea to help boost my antioxidants.

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