CareNow® - April 11, 2023

With spring finally here and summer on the horizon, most people have travel on their minds. While pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted and travel feels more normal than it has in several years, it’s still important that you continue to take precautions to stay safe when you fly this spring.

Sickness of any kind can be easily spread; however, airports and airplanes make it especially easy for you to catch a virus being in such close proximity to other travelers. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to make sure you stay healthy and have a fun, stress-free vacation!

How to prep for travel to stay healthy

It’s important that you start prepping in the weeks before your trip. Eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables is a good way to get the vitamins you need to stay healthy. If you take a multivitamin regularly, don’t forget to bring it on your trip. It’s easy to overlook while packing, but they can be the key to keeping you healthy as you travel.

One of the best things you can do for yourself and other travelers as well is to make sure you get checked by a medical provider before flying. Getting tested for any sickness prior to traveling not only prevents the spread of infection but also helps you go into your vacation worry-free.

The best way to stay safe in the airport

Before you even step foot on the airplane, you’ll be forced to navigate the germ-ridden airport. It’s just as important to practice travel safety at the airport as it is during your travel.

If possible, try to avoid crowded areas in the airport and opt for a less busy gate or waiting area. It’s best to stay at least six feet away from other people to reduce the risk of germs spreading through close contact.

Many airports now offer contactless options for various parts of the travel process such as mobile boarding passes and touchless payment methods. If you have to touch a surface, use disinfectant wipes to clean frequently touched surfaces such as terminal seat armrests and checkout counters.

How to stay healthy while traveling

Whether you're a frequent flyer or a first-time traveler, there are several things you should do to minimize your risk of exposure to various illnesses while on a plane. Taking these matters into your own hands is key to staying healthy. Here’s a look at some of the things you can do before your next flight.

Wear a mask

While it’s no longer required, one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy on a plane is to wear a mask. This is one of the best ways to prevent illness. Wearing a mask not only protects you but everyone else on the plane as well. Keeping your mask up is a great way to stay healthy on the plane.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the best ways you can prevent yourself from getting sick. When you keep yourself hydrated, it helps the body’s organs and muscles properly function. You don’t necessarily have to continue drinking water, but consider a drink that’s healthy with benefits like teas and juices. As long as you’re staying hydrated, your body will carry on fighting any ailments that may be present.

Sanitize everything you can

Carrying hand sanitizer or wipes on the plane will not only give you peace of mind but may also eliminate viral particles that might be sticking around from previous flyers. While airlines have a protocol to keep the airplane sanitized, germs can last up to seven days on metal surfaces. It is always a good idea to take extra precautions and wipe down areas around your seat before sitting down.

Keep your air vent open

The last step you can take to make sure you steer clear of germs on the plane is to make sure to have your air vent on at all times. This isn't something you would normally think of to keep you healthy; however, these air vents can create a barrier around the seats to block any airborne particles from spreading. These particles can easily cause viral infections to spread throughout the cabin.

Does where you sit on a plane matter?

A very simple method you can take for staying healthy is choosing the right seat on the plane. Opting for a window seat minimizes the amount of foot traffic compared to choosing an aisle or middle seat. Being seated by the window also ensures that you won't be interrupted by fellow passengers moving about.

On the other hand, selecting an aisle seat will subject you to a considerable amount of movement: from passengers finding their seats or going to the lavatory, to flight attendants walking through the aisle to serve food and tidy up.

The increased number of people moving around in the aisle could expose you to more germs. To decrease the likelihood of getting sick, you should choose a window seat if possible.

What to do if you get sick when traveling

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may end up getting sick regardless. If this happens, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible so you can still make the most of your trip.

With more than 175 locations throughout the United States, CareNow® is fully staffed with medical providers who can properly diagnose you and come up with a treatment plan to get you feeling better quickly.

We’ve also received the prestigious title of Accredited Urgent Care Center from the Urgent Care Association (UCA), highlighting our dedication to our patients’ care.

Before your visit, be sure to utilize our Web Check-In® feature so that you can wait from anywhere. We also welcome walk-in patients. Don’t forget our clinics are open after hours and on the weekend, so we can serve you when you need it most. To find the CareNow® location near you, visit our website.

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