12 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling


I’m actually at home sick today, which is what inspired this post. I’ve been sick since Friday. I assume it’s because I was just in airports and traveling. Either that or food poisoning, but lemmetellya — I don’t wish this on anyone. I did sneak out on Saturday to go see the screening of the Advanced Style documentary in Georgetown (before I realized I could have something contagious, so if I infected anyone I’m really really sorry). I was uncomfortable the entire time but ultimately glad to get out of my condo and get some fresh air. I was trying to do that thing where you take a shower, and put on your makeup and just pretend that you aren’t sick, but really you feel awful and there’s just no tricking yourself. Not sure if it helped or made the rest of the day and Sunday worse.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to read up on and do a post about how to avoid getting sick while traveling. Typically I’m a total germaphobe — but sometimes when traveling if you don’t want to ruin your entire trip looking like a weirdo wiping down elevator buttons you just have to let go of the germaphobe ways. I try to do this a little while still being smart. Didn’t work out for me this time — guess I should take my own advice!

12 Tips to Help You Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

1. Get a lot of sleep. Getting enough sleep is good for just about everything. Your immune system, your energy, your skin — hello beauty rest! I never skimp on sleep.

2. Bring anti-bacterial wipes. Wipe down hotel phones, remotes, door knobs, light switches, hair dryers, in hotels and armrests, tray tables, and bathroom door handles on planes.

3. Bring your trusted meds with you. Depending on where you are going, medicine might either be more expensive than usual or you might not be able to find the certain medicine you like. I don’t know who likes liquid Pepto Bismol, but if that’s all they have you’re going to wish you brought some tablets with you.

4. For motion sickness bring Dramamine. If you are going on a boat and get motion-sickness, or aren’t sure if you do or not, bring some Dramamine or a similar drug with you. Ginger tablets can also help.

5. Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. When your nose gets really dry it’s more prone to infection, so if you need to bring nasal spray with you so it doesn’t get dry, that is a good idea. Staying hydrated is good just in general, but especially while traveling where there are lots of germs waiting for you.

6. Put Neosporin or Vaseline in your nose. I know, weird/gross, but keeping your nose moist really helps to help fight infection.

7. Don’t touch anything in that seat pocket on the plane, and don’t store your stuff there. Keep it in your carry-on bag.

8. Wash your hands. A lot. You can use a hand sanitizer like Purell but it’s not as effective as actually washing your hands.

9. Don’t overbook yourself! Give yourself a day before a trip and after a trip to rest, eat well, exercise, and get your things together so are aren’t rushing around. You don’t want to come back from vacation just to get immediately stressed out because you booked yourself solid!

10. Wear socks through TSA. I mean, that floor is dir-tay and nobody wants a foot infection. Designate a pair of socks your “airport socks.” Wash them immediately when you get home and only wear them though TSA — not during your trip.

11. Make sure to get your fruits & veggies before, during, and after your trip. Whether that’s in a green juice or smoothie or a big salad, the vitamins and nutrients from fruits and vegetables will help your body fight infection.

12. Ask to switch seats. If you are sitting next to someone who is sneezing or hacking up a lung, ask the flight attendant if you can move. Don’t feel bad about trying to protect yourself from getting whatever they have.


Do you have any tips to add? Please do in the comments!



Photo by Meg Biram