Three Travel Tips: Stay Healthy When You Fly

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  08.13.07 | 2:03 PM ET

imageTravel tips are easy to find on the Internet, but some are better than others. Each week, we’ll bring you World Hum-approved travel tips from around the Web.

1) Take an early flight to minimize your risk of a delay. “[G]round delays are especially risky. That’s because pilots aren’t required to turn on the air supply until the plane is airborne. ‘As a result, everybody is basically recycling everybody else’s air,’ says Vance Fowler, M.D., assistant professor of infectious disease at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. A dramatic example of how rapidly illness can spread during a ground delay occurred in 1979, when a planeload of passengers in Homer, Alaska, was kept waiting for three hours. Almost 75 percent caught the flu, most likely from just one person.”—Self magazine

2) If your seatmate is sick, ask for a new seat. “There is a risk to having spray particles land on you (such as from a sneeze), since they can enter your body if you wipe that area of your skin on your nose or eyes…If you’re sitting next to someone who’s sick, you can ask to be reseated. Several airlines say that if there’s a seat available, they will reseat passengers upon request.”—The Wall Street Journal

3) Take echinacea. “To fight off cold and flu germs that might be lurking in the stale air of the jet cabin, start taking the herb echinacea several days before you leave. Three times a day, swallow a teaspoon of a 1:5 tincture made from Echinacea angustifolia root. Continue to take it regularly during your vacation and after you return home, but for no more than a total of 10 days.”—Andrew Weil, M.D.,

Related on World Hum:
* Three Travel Tips: Ways to Save Money in Europe
* Three Travel Tips: Clever Uses for Your Digital Camera

Photo by markhillary via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

2 Comments for Three Travel Tips: Stay Healthy When You Fly

Craig of 11.18.07 | 11:59 AM ET

The use of surgical masks in public in Asia is a common sight. They use them for pollution, to keep from getting ill, and to keep from spreading and illness to others.

It’s only a matter of time before such things become popular in the west.

Healthy guy 06.09.08 | 11:12 AM ET

Airplane is now the prime means for spreading disease, especially for the deadly scenario of global virus epidemic.

My way of staying healthy during travel is with enough rest, good food and sufficient nutrition.

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