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By reading this title, you probably think that I’m going to give you some advice on how to avoid vomiting on your next flight. While that information can certainly be of use to us, that’s not the kind of “sick” I have in mind. Considering the fact that the weather is getting colder for most of us, it’s just about that time of year for sicknesses of all kinds to rear their ugly heads, and so, I figured I would offer some advice on how to avoid catching a cold from an airplane. Although airplanes have improved our lives dramatically, they are well-known for being breeding grounds for a plethora of diseases. Here are some ways that you can avoid getting sick the next time you travel.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

This is usually a common suggestion for those who are already sick, but when on an airplane, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated at all times. Honestly, this is just a good piece of information to use throughout your life. Since the air is considerably dry at 30,000 feet, your nose and throat are incredibly susceptible to drying out and being vulnerable to disease. By regularly drinking water throughout the flight, you’ll be naturally prompting your body’s immune system to stay alert and fend off any diseases that may be surrounding your body. You can also try using nasal mists in order to keep your nose protected from airborne illness.

Wash Your Hands

Again, this is a piece of advice that anyone can use in daily life, but it’s especially important on an airplane. According to an article from Smartertravel.com, research suggests that sickness-carrying bacteria can survive for hours on your hands. Although it may be a bit of a nuisance to your fellow passengers, make sure to get up and wash your hands as often as possible with warm water and soap. Avoid touching the bathroom door handle and toilet flush valve as much as possible, as these are cesspools for germs. If you can’t manage to get out of your seat as often as you’d like to, then bring a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer. The CDC suggests that the sanitizer contain at least 60% alcohol.