Defeating the Travel Cold

With the weather turning colder and the kids back in school, cold and flu season is just around the corner. There is no way to completely avoid the common cold or flu, but there are ways to limit your chances and some preventative measures you can take.

The Best Defence

The absolute best defense is to wash your hands! Most people don’t wash their hands correctly. Using warm water, you are supposed to use soap and sing the happy birthday song before your rinse off the soap. The soap needs time to react to the germs on your hand. Once you wash your hands, ensure you are not touching dirty handles to doors or other contaminated surfaces. Use your elbows. 

If you do not have access to soap and water, antibacterial hand sanitizer works just as well. I wouldn’t overuse it, but it is supposedly just as effective as soap and water. If you are traveling, you will need to make sure your hand sanitizer is less than 3 ounces or 100 millimeters. 

Wiping Down Common Used Items

If you are flying on an airplane or sitting on a train, the first thing you should do once you are settled is wipe down your tray table, arm rests or any other communal surfaces. One of my essentials for traveling is a pack of baby wipes. They cost around $1 at Target, Walmart or your local drug store and are worth their weight in gold. 

In my other post, I mentioned that if you are flying then you should know that most tray tables are never cleaned. When a plane lands the cleaning crews will pick up garbage, service the restrooms, vacuum, but they are on an extremely strict time limit. The cleaners have an average of 7-12 minutes depending on the size and type of the aircraft. 

Your cell or mobile phone touches many surfaces throughout the day, have you thought about where you take it and where you put it? If probably will gross you out when you think about it. Take a moment to wipe it down! 

Building Up Immunity

Before you hit the road, know that you are entering a new environment. Your immune system will need time to adjust to it; consider boosting your intake of vitamins or specifically vitamin C at least 2 days before you travel. The vitamins will need time to enter into your body and become adsorbed. I recommend orange juice, Emergen C, or vitamin C tablets. I like orange juice and gummies vitamins. 

Ensure your body is properly hydrated if you will be flying by drinking as much water as possible. Airplane cabins can be some of the driest environments on Earth. With drinking water, making sure your body receives enough sleep is also key. I don’t sleep well myself, and have to rely on making myself as tired as possible the night before I am due to fly.

The Bottom Line

You can go to the extreme of wearing a doctor’s or surgical mask like many Asians do, but it’s not necessary. Use your common sense and listen to your body. Rest, hydrate and remember to wash your hands. A little goes a long way! Until next time, happy travels!