Avoid Getting Sick During Travel: Preventative Measures

netipot - Avoid Getting Sick During Travel

How Do You Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel?

It can be pretty hard but I think it is possible to remain healthy and sick free while on the road. I wanted to share some of my tips on how to avoid getting sick during travel, whether it be avoiding get the cold or flu or stomach issues.

Here some things that I do to avoid getting sick: 
Take Vitamins And Boost Your Immune System Prior To Travel

Take your vitamins and supplements! I’m not going to list them here since I am not a health or wellness expert, but I would suggest asking your doctor what is best for you. At the very least take some Vitamin C and start a few days before you head out.

When I go to special events or conferences where I will be coming into contact with a lot of strangers and shaking a lot of hands, I will drink a vitamin sachet to counteract all the germs. I always get sick at conferences because I usually don’t get enough sleep, am up to late going to dinners and having drinks with colleagues, and am shaking hands with strangers.

Lately, I’ve been taking Oxylent which has vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes, no sugar and is gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine and artificial additive free (they use Stevia though).

oxylent - Avoid Getting Sick During Travel

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netipot - Avoid Getting Sick During Travel

Do you use a Netipot? What is a Netipot?

A Netipot is a ceramic or plastic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and a magic lamp. Nasal irrigation is a personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses.

I have heard about this practice for so long but had never tried it till last year. My friend Lisa who is a nurse who is also a blogger recommended using a Netipot after I had gotten really sick last year. I am not sure how much it helped me after the fact but I think it has helped this cold season since I have been cleaning out my nose and sinuses.

Please note proper instructions if you do decide to start using a Netipot. Distilled water must be used. Do not use tap water!!! There have been fatal cases from using tap water. Also, be sure to clean out the Netipot after each use. I will wash it with dish soap and then dry it right away with a clean dishcloth or paper towel.

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Wash Hands Or Use Hand Sanitizer

This is very basic but it’s always important to wash hands and even more so during the winter months when colds and flu are rampant. I get a bit freaked out by touching surfaces like door handles, escalators, buttons in elevators, grocery carts, etc. When it’s winter and I have gloves or long sleeves, I’ll use those to cover my hands before I touch things.

The CDC recommends wetting your hands with clean, running water. Turn off the tap and apply soap. Later your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Be sure to lather the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds and then rinse clean.

cleanwell - Avoid Getting Sick During Travel

If you are in a pinch and can’t get to a sink to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. Cleanwell is an all natural brand that I like.

During the plane if you touch your tray table, read the magazine, go to the bathroom, keep washing your hands and using hand sanitizer. Also, reapply when riding taxis, taking public transit like subways or buses. Just keep applying or washing hands as often as possible!!!

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Bring/Wear A Shawl or Scarf

I don’t only use scarves and shawls for warmth but to cover my face to protect myself from coughs and sneezes of other people or to shield others from mine.

Wear Eyeglasses When Flying If You Wear Contacts

I wear contacts when I’m out of the house but when I travel I tend to wear my glasses on the plane. The airline cabins are quite dry so they make me want to rub my eyes and that’s a no-no!

When traveling to hot countries where there is hardcore air conditioning, I bring some eye drops. My friend who’s an optometrist recommended single use drops like Systane.

Systane Single Use Eye Drops

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Public Bathrooms (Restrooms / WC / Water Closet)

Public bathrooms…my ultimate nightmare. I hate going but when I’m traveling, I always try to go to the toilet more often than not to avoid being in a situation where there is not a toilet to use and your bladder is full. Do not put your bags on the floor or your toiletry kit on the counter if at all possible. I try not to sit on the toilet and when there are toilet covers, I use them. If there’s a lid, kick it down to cover the toilet before you flush or turn your back to the toilet if there isn’t one. Wash wash wash your hands after using the toilet and heading back out of the bathroom. Use the paper towel to open any doors or touch handles and find a garbage near the exit or outside to toss out the paper. If not, use hand sanitizer after your visit to the bathroom.

Wear Socks Through Security

This is pretty basic information. Depending on the country, you may be asked to remove your shoes. If you plan on wearing sandals or no socks with your footwear, be sure to bring an extra pair of socks to slip on and wear during security as well as on the plane. It’s just a good idea to not wear open toe footwear while in transit.

Bottled Water For Plane

Don’t drink the water from the plane! There have been many articles lately about the water used on the plane plus I have asked flight attendant friends. It’s worth the high price to buy one in the airport shops for the flight.

Wipe Down Your Area On The Plane With Sanitizing Wipe

I know you may get weird looks from your seat neighbor but who cares! You’ll never see them again and you won’t be the one who’s sick! Have you seen and read all of those articles lately about the dirtiest places on the plane? I have been carrying wipes around for a while and am so happy they now come in handy travel sizes. They have these small pocket sized ones but I also carry the 30 pack because I’m just like that.

Clorox Wipes - Avoid Getting Sick During Travel

Clorox Wipes are my best friends on the plane!

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For Your Stomach

I like to think of my stomach as a steel trap but that is not the case. I have had my fair share of stomach issues and they aren’t always during travel. I recall getting a serious case of food poisoning when I lived in Montreal. I still wasn’t sure if it was a crepe place or a sushi place. Anyways it was bad and I even had to travel to a conference while I was sick.

I always try to take a probiotic pill or have some yogurt. It’s always handy to have a good healthy gut. There are some shelf stable probiotic pills when in a jam but the best ones are the kind you keep in the fridge, or yogurt (I’m having a container of lactose-free yogurt right now for all you sensitive to lactose).

pepto chewables
When overseas and eating things like street food, be sure to bring some Immodium and Pepto Bismal (chew tabs so you don’t need to worry about liquid in your luggage). These saved me on previous trips. I actually didn’t bring Immodium when I went to Asia in the Fall of 2014 and nearly had a bad situation ripping through shelves inside a Watsons Pharmacy in Hong Kong. I ate something in Thailand and it hit me 24 hours later. Luckily I did find a box of Immodium but the box was in Chinese with tiny labeling for Immodium. Best thing is to have some in a kit for emergencies. Pepto chew tabs are great. I actually chew them before a street food meal. I also pack some Tums just for heartburn.


How To Avoid Getting Sick When Traveling | www.rtwgirl.com

How do you avoid getting sick during travel?
Share some tips in the comments below! 

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Round The World Girl is a blog by Arnette, a solo female traveler, lover of adventure, coffee, tropical islands, and unforgettable meals. She shares a retrospective of her 19 month, 19 country round the world trip, adventures both near and far, destination guides, helpful tips and tricks for travel, as well as tips and reviews of her favorite things.

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