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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Fly Home with Memories, Not Illness

By Jordan Gerard


Airplanes are a most convenient way to travel, but being squished into a pressurized metal tube with over 100 strangers on a flight leaves germs free to fly around, too. Not to mention turbulence that has the potential to churn any iron-clad stomach. Here’s our tips to come home with memories, not illness.

Avoiding Germs

The risk of contracting a respiratory illness on a flight is low, but here are some tips to avoid bringing home more than memories from your vacation. 

  • Wash your hands often and bring hand sanitizer, especially if you plan on eating or drinking on the flight. 
  • Bring wipes to wipe down your seat and hard surfaces. Since the pandemic, airlines have stepped up cleaning procedures, but it’s still a quick turn-around time in between flights.
  • Wear a mask if you want to be extra cautious. Airlines have retired pandemic guidelines, but passengers can still wear a mask if they choose. Of course, if you feel like you’re coming down with something yourself, opt to postpone your trip or mask up to prevent spreading your germs to others.
  • Choose a window seat over an aisle seat. A study by Emory University biostatistician Vicki Hertzberg found that passengers who choose window seats leave their seat less often, which reduces contact with other passengers. 

Avoiding Motion Sickness

Traveling by plane isn’t the most natural thing in the world for humans, and for some of us, the motion is just too much. Try these tips to make your next airline trip easier. 

  • Choose your seat with care. Seats closer to the front of the plane or between the plane’s wings tend to be less bumpy.
  • Recline your seat back slightly and try shutting your eyes or sleeping.
  • Stay hydrated with water and limit your caffeine and alcoholic beverages. 
  • Eat small amounts of food frequently.
  • Don’t smoke before a flight. Holding off on smoking for a short period of time before your flight helps.
  • Distract yourself. Most flights have personal movie screens, and often come with movies, TV shows, and games, and some airlines even provide new ear buds. 
  • Try flavored lozenges like ginger, or take ginger tablets or a ginger beverage before flying. Ginger calms an upset stomach. 
  • Medicines like Benadryl and Dramamine are often helpful. Make sure to consult with your healthcare physician before consuming.


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