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Flying High: Staying Safe and Healthy When Travelling by Aeroplane

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Travel Health / Health and Wellbeing /

healthy-plane-253704592Air travel still remains the most popular way in which people reach their holiday destinations, with over 3.1 billion people each year taking to the skies. It’s hardly surprising, as flying is often far quicker than other alternatives, not to mention cheaper.

However, air travel can have an adverse impact on your health if you don’t plan effectively for your journey, particularly if you suffer from any pre-existing conditions. Here’s a guide to help ensure you stay in good health throughout your flight and the rest of your holiday.

Staying Safe on the Plane: Pre-Preparation

In the weeks leading up to your flight, make sure that you have got enough medication if you need it. You are permitted to take medication in your hand-luggage, but you’ll need a prescription from your doctor to prove that you’re allowed to carry it on-board, so make sure you arrange this before you go.

Also, if you suffer from high blood pressure or any heart-related problems, or if you’ve had surgery recently, you could be at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s important to discuss this with your doctor before departing. If your GP believes you’re at risk, you may be given some compression stockings to wear during the flight.

Airborne Germs when Flying?

The air in aeroplanes is not as germ-filled as popular myth would have you believe. In fact, when it comes to airborne cold and flu germs, it’s only about as bad as your average office space. Charles Gerba, an environmental microbiologist from the University of Arizona, claims that instead of the air, “it’s more likely that the food you eat and the things you touch will make you sick.”

If you want to ensure you stay as fit and healthy as possible both on and after your flight, here are a few useful tips.

  1. Stay hydrated. Many people claim to have a headache after flying and often, the root cause is dehydration. When on the aeroplane, drink plenty of fluids and avoid dehydrating drinks such as coffee and alcohol.
  1. Clean the surfaces around you. Many of the cold and flu germs found on aeroplanes are in high-contact areas, such as aeroplane tray tables and armrests. Take a pack of antibacterial wipes in your hand-luggage, and quickly wipe down your tray and surrounding surfaces when you arrive at your seat. When you go to the toilet, you may also want to take a wipe for the handle, which is a breeding ground for germs.
  1. Move around regularly. This is particularly sensible if you’re flying long-haul. If you remain stationary for extended periods of time, you are not only at heightened risk of blood clots or DVT; your circulation will also suffer. Taking a brisk stroll up and down the aisle will help to boost your circulation, which will make you feel a lot healthier.

Taking Precautions to Get the Most From Your Holiday

It’s worth taking the time to consider how you’ll stay healthy on your flight. Although most airborne journeys are uneventful, picking up an illness after aeroplane travel can really put a dampener on your holiday, so it’s worth taking the necessary precautions to ensure you have a great time.

Finally, never assume that the worst couldn’t possibly happen and that you don’t need travel insurance. It is such a great way to spend what is often such a small extra amount of money to ensure you are covered if the worst does happen. It really is money well spent, for peace of mind if nothing else. That is priceless!

For a full over 50s travel health checklist, click on this link to our earlier article.

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