How to avoid getting sick on the plane

As you already know, I live by travelling but November is going to be an extreme month for me. I have three international trips on two different continents combined with a few journeys to London too and when I’m on the road, my immune system is not as strong and it’s easier for me to catch colds. When I am travelling I don’t pay that much attention to eating healthy or keeping fit and I also take my body to extremes by challenging it with hikes, long walks, or even extreme sports sometimes.

Every time I board a plane I remember the trip I took in April, to Mallorca, which left me with a very nasty virus caught on the plane, during the journey back home. I had quite a hard time recovering from it as it got to my lungs, and it took almost two months to get completely healthy again.

Now I pay more attention and try to prevent catching a cold on the flight by using some simple tips:


I wash my hands regularly

Imagine how many people pass through airports and travel by plane every day. Did you know that in any given moment, there are around 200.000 planes in the sky?  With an average of 150 passengers per flight, imagine how many viruses make their way from one corner to the other of the world. Due to the air being circulated inside a plane, it’s very easy to get sick while you fly, and one of the easiest way of catching a virus is through your hands. It is important to wash your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitizer, as one of the dirtiest surfaces on a plane is actually the tray in front of you.


I try to avoid touching my face

I know this is a hard one to do as usually I am touching my face all the time. To avoid doing this I usually wash my face too, together with my hands, and I use a balm for my lips. One of the reasons why I’m touching my face on a plane is to check how dry my lips get, but if I use a lipbalm I won’t feel the need to do it all the time. I also try to use a moisturiser cream, to avoid the itchiness feeling that comes on a long haul flight, due to the dry air inside the plane.


I brush my teeth as often as I can

Your mouth can be a paradise for bacteria, especially when you are traveling for quite some time and don’t have a chance to brush your teeth in between meals. I always brush my teeth in the airport, before boarding the flight and at the end of the flight. There is nothing wrong with it and even if you might get a few funny looks, your health is more important. Plus, the airport bathrooms are one of the cleanest you will ever find in the world. Besides toothpaste, I also use a germ killing mouthwash, like Listerine, to make sure my mouth is clean and my breath is fresh. And when I get off the plane, having a fresh minty taste in my mouth actually helps me embrace jet lag better and be ready to explore the new city I just arrived in.


I drink a lot of water

Drinking water not only helps your body stay hydrated but it also helps your body keep its defence system up against viruses. Did you know that being dehydrated reduces your defence against cold viruses? I remember my very long flight back from Cuba, which kept me for over 48 hours on planes and inside airports, and I recall how badly my body was asking for water. Therefore, I drank a lot of water and I found that it also helped a lot with the jet lag. Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee or tea while flying because they also dehydrate your body. Just stick to water and your body will thank you.


Use ColdZyme

Sometimes you need to give your body a little help to protect you from the cold viruses. ColdZyme is a mouth spray that targets the the causes of the cold, not just the symptoms, and it also reduces the duration of the cold when used prophylactically. The spray works by creating a protective barrier on the mucus membrane in the throat. The barrier works by trapping the viruses and preventing them from binding with the human cells, helping the body to remove them naturally. You can buy ColdZyme from Boots, Lloyd’s Pharmacy or independent pharmacies nationwide.


Disclaimer: Please note that I received ColdZyme for free to review it. However, all comments and opinions in this article are my own.

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87 thoughts on “How to avoid getting sick on the plane

  1. Me-An Clemente says:

    It was unfortunate that you caught a nasty virus on the plane before that left you sick for 2 months. Anyway, those tips are pretty helpful. Just to add to what you mentioned, we usually get flu vaccines when we’re going on long haul flights. Also, we get vaccines of possible air borne viruses that can be found on the certain country that we’re going to. I think those are also great tools for prevention of being sick on the plane.

  2. WhereMonicaGoes says:

    Interesting post. I do the handwashing and toothbrushing often too. We don’t know how many microbes and viruses are there so better be ready. I don’t want to get sick and ruin my trip that I would be looking forward to. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nina says:

    I absolutely love this and will be sharing it on Facebook as many of my friends love traveling as well. That’s awful that your trip back from Mallorca ended that way. Mallorca is on my list, so I will have to keep these tips in mind!


  4. Tania Potter says:

    It sounds like you picked up a nasty bug, I’m not surprised you want to avoid that happening again. Great tips and another one I use is to put a bit of Bactroban nasal in each nostril before boarding. It works like a charm.

  5. Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer says:

    I can relate with you. I brush my teeth as often as I could when I travel. I have noticed other passengers who are not so eager to do this. I wash my hands a lot too. I bring hand sanitizers and wipes. I buy bottled waters at the airport because the water on board the plane is not clean. I ask for juice instead.

  6. Veeyah says:

    Great tips! At first I thought this would be a post about how to avoid getting “plane-sick” (you, know, the paper bag situation), but turned out to be something else. Thanks for pointing out the washing hands bit, haha. I get really disturbed when I see people not doing that more often. And the amount of people in the plane that could potentially be carrying a virus of some sort is just terrible. Thanks!

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