Low humidity is the main culprit. Most planes travel at around 30,000 feet, which generally has humidity levels at 10% or less. Germs and bugs love dry conditions and in low humidity environments, our body’s natural defence of mucus in our throat and nose dries up, creating a haven for germs.
I always take my ‘travel medical kit’ with me every time I fly. The travel kit includes hand sanitiser, nasal spray, eye drops, Betadine throat gargle, throat lozenges and tissues.
Here are a few tips to help you arrive at your destinations in top shape.
- Stay Hydrated – Of course this is an easy one – but remember alcohol and caffeine can have the opposite effect. Your best option is to drink plenty of water on the plane.
- Personal Hygiene – Wash your hand constantly! I always carry hand sanitiser with me and if i’m taking a long haul flight, I always carry face washers, a toothbrush and toothpaste with me.
- Eye drops and nasal spray – When travelling I always carry eye drop and nasal spray. The mucociliary clearance system is the first line of defence against germs and by keeping this area moist it will help your body fight against germ-filled airline carriers.
I’m sure that most people who have been on long haul flights have at one point been laying wide awake at 3am and almost falling asleep at 3pm. One way to overcome this is to turn your watch to the time zone that you will be travelling to. For example, if you are leaving Australia and travelling to Europe, change your watch to the European time zone as soon as you get on the plane. That way you can try and work your sleep on the plane to coincide with when you will be sleeping at your destination.
Once at the destination I will avoid napping during the day so that it makes it easier to sleep at night. While it can be tempting to lay down and have a power nap after travel, it will only prolong the time its takes for your body to adjust to the current time zone.
Hopefully this helps to make your travel a little less stressful and you arrive at your destination a little fresher.