It’s almost a given that the risk of catching a cold during a flight-especially on a long-haul one-is high. But seasoned travellers know ending up scot-free and healthy even after spending hours with strangers in an airplane is no accident-it’s a result of some well-planned preparation stretching back weeks before the scheduled journey. While a well-researched policy to cover travel insurance for family holidays should always be your first pre-holiday task, then it’s time to prepare your family for the upcoming journey using these tips.
Understanding the Risks
The reason people tend to get sick on a flight is simple: the cabin pressure causes humidity at low levels, which causes dry mucus. (Mucus helps provide protection from air-borne pathogens.) However, that’s just one thing among myriad factors that could lead to sickness during a flight- not having enough sleep, stress and other small reasons can all contribute to an immune system that succumbs to an inflight infection. This is why even a small degree of preparation can go a long way. Make sure everyone gets enough sleep before the flight, and always have anti-bacterial gel handy. And when it comes to travel insurance for family groups, the only tip is – get it!
Prepare Weeks in Advance
There’s nothing more effective than prepping your body’s immune system and resistance weeks, even months, before the scheduled journey. If you carry out this preparation with the same degree of care you spend, say, choosing your travel insurance for family holidays, you’ll start from a good place. You should also adapt your diet; for example add an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, as cruciferous, fibre-rich veggies are known to work directly with our body’s immune system. It also helps if you can improve your gut flora by eating plenty of plain yoghurt. There are also things you must cut out, such as sugar (especially refined sugar, which is known to hamper the activities of leukocytes), and, of course, alcohol. And while you’re at it, at least 30 minutes of exercise a day will help in myriad ways.
Even if you and your family have diligently spent the weeks leading up to the flight boosting your immune systems, you will still need some help during the flight-especially a long-haul one where you spend up to 18 hours sharing a pressurised atmosphere with a bunch of strangers. Bring certain health supplements with you to take throughout the journey. For example, you can add to your daily dose of vitamin C (or sodium ascorbate) a probiotics capsule (similar to yoghurt, but in a more compact form), and a 15mg supplement of zinc. Taking 500 mg of olive leaf extract two times a day also works wonders in a travel situation as it stimulates the body’s production of leukocytes.
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