Look after your health when you’re travelling with our tips and advice for staying germ-free and healthy;
1. Always carry disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, wet wipes and spare tissues, which will come in handy when travelling with children or when you’re using less than sanitary facilities!
2. Bear in mind that the blankets and pillows on your aircraft might not be regularly cleaned so take your own. Same goes for your aircraft seat, tray table and seatback pocket, just think how many people could have sat there since they were last disinfected! Minimize contact with your face and use your own pillow for sleeping, especially if you sleep with your mouth open! Put your shoes on for a visit to the in-flight toilets; do not go in barefoot or in just socks. Just think about it, four toilets for a couple of hundred passengers!
3. Always pack and use enough high-factor sun tan lotion, even when it’s cloudy outside. Make sure you apply enough and regularly and use a hat, sarong and shawl as well. Sunburn and heatstroke are no fun at all!
4. If your travels might include some ‘sexy time’ make sure you carry (and use) condoms. Returning home with a sexually transmitted infection or even HIV is one holiday memory you won’t want!
5. Eat plenty of fruit and veg before your trip and if necessary stock up on vitamins and supplements as well. Clear your fridge before you leave and whip up a tasty smoothie or veg juice with your leftovers.
6. Be aware of the facts about DVT (deep vein thrombosis – literally when blood clots form deep inside the veins) and avoid the hype. Yes there is slightly increased risk of DVT on longhaul flights and on certain medications (such as some brands of the contraceptive pill). Walk along the aisles regularly, stretch your legs out to increase blood flow and lay off the alcohol. Compression socks can help if you’re worried always ask your doctor.
7. Don’t drink alcohol just before or during your flight (even if it is complimentary) as this will dry you out and alcohol is an immune-suppressant.
8. If you are germ-laden then be a considerate traveler and keep your germs to yourself.
9. Carry a first aid kit and include some cold remedies, painkillers etc as your destination may not always sell what you need.
10. Avoid restaurants and food stalls that show unhygienic signs; dirty surroundings, undercooked or overcooked food, poor hygiene from the waiters etc. Trust your instincts!
11. If you do eat something dodgy when travelling make sure you drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep and eat dry toast and bananas to keep your strength up.
12. Check to see if you need any pre travel injections, booster vaccines or malaria tablets for affected areas.
By Julie Bowman