If you’ve got a trip coming up, whether it’s for work or fun, the last thing you want is to get sick while you’re away from home. But traveling is one of the fastest ways to get exposed to a whole variety of bugs including colds and the flu. A little bit of time planning your healthy travel strategy can go a long way toward making your trip more enjoyable.
As a health advocate and public speaker, I spend too much time in airports and on planes to risk getting sick. Here are some of my strategies to stay healthy while traveling.
• Think before you touch – Germs are everywhere in an airport and some of the nastiest ones stay active on objects long after the sick person deposited them there. So before you touch anything, think about who might have touched it before you. Avoid putting your bare hands on things like door knobs, faucets, paper towel dispensers, and escalator hand rails. Some touches are unavoidable. So be alert to what you are touching and make sure you keep your hands away from your face until you can wash up or use sanitizer.
• Bring your own – Shared items mean shared germs. So bring your own items whenever possible. I’m talking about things like a pillow and blanket if you’re going to try to sleep on the plane, as well as your own food. You never know who packaged that sandwich, or if the flight attendant handing items to you is fighting a cold or something worse. Also stay away from airplane magazines and anything else in the seat pocket. Don’t even touch the pocket if you can help it!
• Protect yourself – I think hand sanitizer wipes are one of the best inventions ever. Yes, I said wipes, not gel. Wipes last longer and are easier to use on things other than your hands. Start with your chair in the waiting room and wipe down every surface you have to touch, including door handles and sink faucets. You may go through a bunch of wipes, but your health is worth it! My favorites are Herban Essentials Towelettes.