Fidgeting in your car on the way to the airport, your excitement has clearly gripped you like a scenic-view, and is given away by repetitive babble about not forgetting your tickets and a fear of flying.
While flying is supposed to be one of the safest forms of travel (in terms of not crashing all that often) the odds are not in your favour that you'll step off the plane at the other end, a germ-free tourist.
While airport security are always asking if you're carrying packages a stranger has given you, they never ask if someone gave you a cold or flu on the flight, and you wonder what they would bother to do to them if you could dob them in.
We hate to sound like your mother but you have no choice and follow the prevention-is-better-than-a-cure ethos, and there are lots of neat ways to defend yourself against in-flight germ warfare.
Could you please get plenty of sleep the night before you travel. If you're having a farewell party, do it a couple of nights before your go. Not only will it reduce exhaustion from flying, but will raise your resistance to colds.
Essential oils moisturise and refresh your skin during flying, and are powerful immune system stimulants with antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. To help refresh and moisturise your skin in the arid plane environment, try an aromatherapy facial spritzer and a facial moisturiser. For long flights, pack a wet wash cloth infused with relaxing lavender, rose or neroli essential oils to wipe your hands and face.
Take on relaxing herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint or combination blends; Nux vomica, a widely used homeopathic remedy that counteracts jet lag, air sickness, diarrhoea and a myriad of other travel-related conditions.
Build your immunity before flying by taking immune-boosting supplements and herbs beginning a few days before your trip. Keep up this regimen while traveling so you can stay healthy along the way. A few basics include vitamin C, zinc, echinacea, goldenseal and liquorice root.
Travel doctors recommend not flying if you have any of the following conditions: a respiratory, sinus or ear infection, bronchitis, a head cold, fever or the flu.
Dehydration is common on long flights and can cause headaches, dry skin, and nasal and throat irritation. Plus, dehydration makes you more susceptible to colds and flu. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least eight ounces of water every hour you're in the air.
Bring healthy, easy-to-pack snacks such as individual fruit sauces, fresh fruit slices, protein bars, dried fruits and unsalted, raw nuts.
Make sure you get up and stretch as often as you can. Cabin pressure and lack of exercise causes swelling and fatigue during long flights. You can do simple stretches in your seat such as flexing your wrists and ankles and moving your head from side to side to increase your circulation and prevent stiffness.
Melatonin and careful timing of exposure to bright light are the only known ways of re-setting the "body clock" and speeding up adaptation to new time zones.
Sleeping medication can be a good option, not so much on the plane as during the first 2 or 3 nights afterwards.
Source: Young and Trendy