It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is here once again. For many people that means traveling by plane to see family and friends—and being exposed to all kinds of germs along the way.
A few years back, Dr. Jonathan Temte, with the University of Wisconsin, surveyed 641 air travelers and found that
- 7.3 percent had a respiratory infection at the time
- 35.3 percent had been exposed to a person with an acute infection within three days prior to traveling
- 22.5 percent had runny noses
- 14.2 percent had a cough
- 8.3 percent had sore throats
- Four people were traveling with fevers of 100 degrees or more
Add in the tight quarters and recycled air, and it’s no wonder so many of us wind up with colds or flu after spending time on commercial jetliners.
Here’s how I prevent colds and flu when I travel:
- Eucalyptus oil. When it comes to fighting airborne pathogens, I’m a huge fan of the eucalyptus oil product from V-Vax. Every 30 to 60 minutes on longer flights, I mist a couple of squirts into a tissue and inhale the fumes several times. Proper breathing techniques ensure the mist reaches deep into the lungs. Of course, you can use eucalyptus in any situation where you’re in close proximity to others—in church, at movie theaters, and on buses and trains. Look for V-Vax eucalyptus oil online and in health food stores.
- Nasal wash. In addition to eucalyptus oil, I use the xylitol-infused nasal wash Xlear at least twice a day before, during, and for a few days after traveling.
Safe (and healthy) travels, everyone!