Business Travel Tips For Flying During The Coronavirus Outbreak
As a frequent flyer, I do between one to four trips each month. I’ve become a bit of a germaphobe over the years, and lately, it seems like every piece of news out there is specifically written to make you wanna stay home. While the most conservative approach would be to stay home as much as possible, that’s not a realistic option for everyone (myself included). Nor is living in fear *ever* a better strategy than educating yourself, living wisely, and making cautious choices.
So when everyone started getting excited about coronavirus, I decided to do my own research, both with national and international information sources, and to talk to friends who are doctors, and scientific, rational people about their thoughts, impressions, and experiences. Educating myself is an ongoing process, so as the situation evolves, my comfort level with it evolves. But for now, here are a few things I’ve personally decided to do which I feel will help lower my risk of getting sick. I’m not recommending or suggesting anyone else do this, just sharing what *I* do on flights right now.
Tips For Flying During The Coronavirus Outbreak
Wear glasses. I heard that you’re much more likely to inadvertently touch your eyes than your mouth, and to me, that feels true. So the simple solution for reducing that likelihood is: wearing my glasses. Bonus – they block blue light making it easier to sleep on the plane. (More on that below.)
No Snacks. I don’t eat the snack they pass out during the flight. Eating means you’re touching your mouth, at least a little bit. You can live a couple of hours without a snack (even though we’re all soooo conditioned to want a snack on the shortest of flights… you don’t need it). Unless its a transcontinental flight, I’m going for fasting on board. Think about it, by the time the flight attendant hands you your snack, how many other people and surfaces have they touched? Option: BYO snack and clean your hands before eating it.
Skip The Drinks. Similarly – don’t get a drink. I bring my own water bottle and just drink out of that for all the same reasons above.
Hand washing and sanitizing. I’m not a big fan of sanitizer in general (just regular old soap and water is more my jam), but lately, I’ve been using sanitizer and wipes to wipe down my seat area, armrests, tray table… and don’t forget the seat belt buckle. That, coupled with hand washing as often as it’s available to me. I am washing my hands before the flight, and maybe during (if I touch something potentially germy, or for some reason touch my face) and after the flight.
Vitamin C. I’ve been overdosing on vitamin C lately. Do your research and make your own decision, but I’m going higher than daily recommended doses. Emergen-C packs are in every pocket of my travel bag these days, and I’ve been adding in extra foods that are naturally high in vitamin C.
Sleep!!! Possibly the biggest thing I’m doing to stay healthy: sleep on flights and get extra sleep in general. If I’m asleep on the plane that means I’m not touching my face or eating a snack, but am in fact actively recovering, which is probably helping my immune system more than any amount of vitamins and supplements could do.
When it comes to sleeping on the airplane, I have a strategy. I intentionally walk around the airport while waiting for my flight (instead of sitting at the gate), to help tire myself out. This helps me rest and relax onboard, instead of feeling restless. Blue light blocking glasses also help me signal to my body’s circadian rhythm that it’s time to sleep (wear them at least several hours before the flight).
And my secret sleep weapon – half a serving of Beam dream before takeoff. I just ask nicely at a coffee shop for hot water and mix up half a scoop of Beam into it with a stir stick (no shaker/blender bottle needed, it dissolves). I’m a small person, so I only need half to PASS OUT, but other people may want to do their own dose experimentation. Tip for ordering the hot water: don’t have them put the lid on for you because their hands (which touch everyone’s money and germs) will contact the lid that your mouth touches. I just say “no lid” and then grab my own lid from the cream and sugar station.
While I’m not categorically avoiding all airports and large gatherings much more than usual, I’ve never been a big fan of either one, I am being extra cautious about the reasonable factors within my control to stay healthy.
Do you have any tips for Flying During The Coronavirus Outbreak? Please comment below!
Business Travel Life
Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.