How To Avoid The Flu While Traveling
Right now the flu is going around, but that shouldn't stop you from living your life. This time of year, especially here in Minnesota, we want to get away to someplace warm. And the best way to get to that warm destination? Flying. But how do you stay safe from all of the germs floating around that enclosed, tight place? Here are some tips to keep you on the beach soaking up the sun, rather than in bed with onions in your socks!
1. Wipe down communal surfaces such as tray tables and armrests
You should be wary of the communal hard surfaces on airplanes, such as tray tables or armrests. Doctors have stated that the flu virus can last on hard surfaces up to 24 hours.
2. Turn on your air vent
The air on most planes is circulated through a system that filters it from ceiling to floor every two minutes.
If one person with the flu sneezes, the germs can quickly spread through the air directly toward the passengers seated behind or to the side of that person, according to a simulation done by the magazine Popular Science.
3. Let other passengers board first
It is not just aboard airplanes that travelers should be cautious of flu germs. Thousands of people pass through major airports across the country every day, standing close together in tightly packed lines.
If you're traveling be patient when it comes to boarding a plane. It may just prevent the spread of flu germs. With people packed tightly together it makes it easier to get infected by someone.
4. Choose a window seat
When it comes to where to sit on the plane choose the window seat, because you will have less people coming into contact with you, than you would on an aisle seat.
5. Avoid caffeine, alcohol while aboard
Doctors also recommend that you avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol while flying if you don’t want to get sick. Studies have shown that caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you and can decrease your immune system.
6. Use a nasal spray
Using a nasal spray keeps your mucous membranes moist. Those membranes are our first line of defense against airborne illness.
What do you do if you already have the flu? Some airlines may give you a refund with a doctors note, but that is usually a case-by-case thing. It's better to call and check with the airline before the flight if you are ill.