No one wants to spend their vacation being sick, but that’s oftentimes what happens when traveling. Airports and airplanes are filled with germs and viruses that get recycled with the air and multiply in the warm conditions. About 63-percent of travelers get sick, according to a national travel survey by Rx for Travel Health.

While I’m not a health expert, I am a frequent flyer who has experienced the ugly side of a vacation at one time or another – stuck in the hotel room with a fever and flu. That’s why, along with packing for a trip, travelers should remember to boost their immune systems as well. Here are some things that I do before and during travel to prevent from getting sick:

Eat More Fruits/Veggies/Supplements: Fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants, which naturally boost the immune system. Oranges, blueberries, carrots, broccoli and spinach fall on the list of immune boosters. I always pack Emergen-C, to take before and during travels. That’s the tasty powdered drink mix of vitamin C and vitamin Bs. They come in a variety of flavors and are easy to pack. A coffee shop at the Denver airport gave these to every customers who bought a coffee.

Get Sleep: Forget about those late-night social events when the 48-hour countdown to your vacay begins. Sleep is the best way to ensure your immune system is not under any stress when you fly. Plan to have at least eight hours of undisturbed sleep. That also means to plan ahead when it comes to packing and not sacrificing precious hours of sleep stuffing your suitcase when you could of did that days ago.

Drink Water: H20 is the way to go! Carry a water bottle with you, which can be filled after going through airport security or bought from a store near the airport gate. Drink enough water before, during and after traveling to keep your nose and throat hydrated. When they’re dry, germs have easy access inside of your body.

Stay Sanitized: I always carry a travel-size hand sanitizer with me to use before eating meals on the plane and even after using the airplane restroom. Not to sound like an OCD freak, but do you know how many hands touch those trays at the security screening checkpoint?! Thousands! Everyday! Make sure to wash your hands immediately after or use a hand sanitizer.

Avoid Sharing Airplane Linens: My zebra-print neck pillow and fleece blanket go everywhere with me when I travel. Not because I’m in constant need of my blanky but because the airplane linen are filthy! They’re not cleaned after every flight (confirmed by several travel websites), so you just never know who sneezed into the pillow or wiped their boogers on the blanket. You get the point.


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