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Travel Tip – Airplane Health Tips

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Travel Tips - Airplane Health Tips hero

I have been on a lot of airplanes in my life. A lot. So I thought I would share a few tips for trying to stay healthy while being trapped in one of these germs tubes. That way you may actually enjoy your destination when you get there!

Wear a mask.

This is the new reality of flying. You will need to wear a mask during your entire trip. You may want to bring more than one and bring a bag to hold used ones. If it is a shorter flight avoid eating and drinking altogether. The least amount of time without your mask on the better.

Bring sanitizing wipes and use them.

I always have a pack of these in whatever bag I am carrying around. Most of the time it is to clean myself off after enjoying the latest food truck item, but they also play a very important role on a plane (and let’s face it, some restaurants too). That tray table right in front of you hasn’t been wiped down in I don’t know how long (if ever). So before you set your drink down, open your peanuts packet, or even place your book/iPad on it, wipe it down!

I personally use EO Products sanitizing hand wipes in lavender because I like the scent. They come individually packed (which don’t dry out) and packs of 10 wipes. But more importantly, they are biodegradable which is important to me.

Drink water, but only from a can or bottle.

You know drinking water is good for you while on a plane. It is important to keep hydrated. But don’t drink water from a pitcher. The water that they use to fill the pitcher is questionable and you should only drink water from a can or bottle. Another option is to bring your own refillable water bottle (one with a filter, there are tons of brands out there) which you fill up once you are past security. For hot water bring your own tumbler and ask a restaurant in the terminal to give you hot water. Here is new (2019) research from Conde Nast Traveler on how dirty the water is on a plane.

Bring your own food/snacks.

Even when airlines did provide meals for free they weren’t worth much. Most airplane food is of poor quality with little nutritional value. So bring your own. Trust me you will be far happier, and healthier for that matter. If you don’t want to pack a sandwich, bring portable snacks. Whatever you bring will be better than what you get on a plane.


The air in the airplane will wreak havoc on your skin, your eyes, your sinuses, and nasal mucous membranes, your hands. Bring lotion, a travel-size water spray (or make your own and saline solution for your eyes and nose.

Be cautious of UV Rays from sitting in the Window Seat.

I have written about this before, it is just something to take into consideration. I prefer to sit in the window seat, and I am not likely to change my seat type any time soon, but since you should be wearing sunscreen every day anyway and sunglasses too when it is bright out, why not make sure you are doing the same when you are sitting next to a window on the plane?

Be active (if it is safe).

This is particularly important on long haul flights where the risk is high for clots (dehydration also plays into that). Get up and stretch your legs from time to time. Do some stretches, flex those muscles. You will feel far better when you arrive.

That’s it for my tips, how about you? Any of you road warriors have tips for making airplane trips healthier?

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Bryan E.

Sunday 15th of December 2013

Sanitizing wipes / washing your hands frequently, and staying hydrated with water are the best defenses when traveling via commercial airlines, especially during cold & flu season !


Monday 25th of November 2013

UV rays are everywhere, but no one believes me. I always try and wear sunscreen no matter what (near ANY window) but people think I'm crazy.. thanks for validating it!

Margaret Smith

Monday 25th of November 2013

These are such great tips. Never thought of uv rays from a window. Great tips.

Eileen Richter

Sunday 21st of July 2013

I have not traveled a lot, so this post is especially important for our family who will be traveling for a wedding next spring. ALL of us... husband and I an 6 kids and my older ones with THEIR kids. I am looking for travel info from blogs on how to deal with little ones, travel safety, etc. I never really thought about how dirty and germy travel might be. I assumed the plane is cleaned after each use, but duh...I guess not! So appreciate this fun would a family wedding be if ALL of us get some crazy virus and spend the week sick, esp,. the bride and groom. Also thinking about if most people on large family trips like this...I know air travel is considered WAY safer than by car, but wondering if the entire fam should travel on same flights? Am showing this post to my husband who travels a lot. I wonder how many germs he brings home to us while on work trips. (I call them "vacations" and he gets so mad at me. LOL!) He "gets" to travel to really warm locations a lot while we are stuck in the midwest.

Summer bartlett

Thursday 20th of June 2013

HAHA Germ tubes. That's great. I am a germ freak and I die a little inside when I hear someone hacking up a lung on the plane.