Travel: Cold and Flu Prevention Tips to Avoid Getting Sick When Traveling When You Have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance
If you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, you want to avoid getting sick as much as you can. This is because when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, getting sick can hit you harder than others.
I’ve been getting a number of questions from people concerned about getting sick. Especially given the issues with MRSA, SARS, and now Coronavirus.
One of the top places to pick up viruses when you travel are on planes and in hotels.
The airlines aren’t able to sanitize the plane between passengers. And hotels also don’t sanitize their rooms between guests.
I used to always get sick when I traveled. Without a doubt, I would come home with a cold that would last for weeks. Then I implemented the tips below. I have followed them carefully for a few years.
A couple years ago, I decided to skip a few steps to save time. Sure enough, I got sick with a head cold, sinus infection, and bronchitis.
I went back to following all the tips below. And then a couple months ago, I flew again. I was short on time and didn’t wipe down my area on the plane with disinfecting wipes. And guess what? I came home with a cold again. Ugh!!
So, I’ve decided by now that these tips do really work. I’m going to share these tips with you to help you avoid getting sick too when you travel.
How to Avoid Catching a Cold or the Flu when You Travel
There are a few major tricks here.
One is to avoid touching surfaces with cold/flu germs and then touch your face, mouth, or eyes. Which is practically impossible. So instead, I take multiple changes of gloves on the plane.
Another trick is to reduce your germ exposure. For this, I wipe down surfaces with non-toxic disinfectant wipes or spray surfaces and areas. Be sure to avoid Clorox and Lysol type wipes – these are fairly toxic. They also are very mast cell and histamine un-friendly.
Let’s look at how to use these tricks on planes, first.
Here is a run-down of the steps I take on a plane.
1. Get Several Pairs of Cotton Gloves
Like these: White Cotton Gloves
Wear the cotton gloves in the airport and on the airplane.
Take multiple pairs and change them after you wipe down your area, go to bathroom, open overhead compartments, etc.
Try not to touch anything with your bare hands.
2. Non-toxic Disinfectant Wipes Use
With your gloves on, wipe down your area on the plane with the wipes.
Wipe down these areas:
- Head rest
- Seat belt and buckles
- Seat pocket area
- Tray table
- Arm rests
- Window shade – if in a window seat
- Air flow and attendant buttons
I only use wipes on the plane. I tried using a disinfectant spray a couple times. But it bothered the people next to me.
So, be courteous and just use wipes.
3. Turn the Air Flow on High
There is a lot of still air on an airplane. And air that doesn’t move concentrates germs.
Use your disinfectant wipe to turn the air flow on high. This will help blow germs away from you.
If you get cold on a plane, take a scarf or sweater. You can even wear a hat on the plane to stay warm.
4. If You are Very Concerned, Wear a Face Mask with a Filter
Like these: Face Mask with filter
The type of face mask that has a filter is much more effective for filtering out germs. And they are much easier to breathe through than you might think.
These are also great if you are sensitive to fragrance.
I wore one of these masks at the hair salon. It really helped filter out the chemical smells.
5. Stay Well Hydrated
Airplanes are very dry. It is easy to get dehydrated. And this can weaken your immune system.
Also, cold and flu germs thrive in dry air.
Be sure to avoid caffeine. Also, bring extra water on the plane. I know airport water is expensive. But it is worth it for your health.
Further, water is a natural antihistamine. Drinking water will help decrease histamine reactions.
6. Travel with Your Own Food
Most of us with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance bring our own low histamine food when we travel. There are way too many histamine and mast cell triggers in airport and airplane food.
When others are preparing and touching your food they can easily transfer cold and flu germs to you. So, bringing your own food can help protect your immune system.
You’ll also be sure to have something healthy to eat. And you’ll be less tempted by junk food and other high histamine foods that could flare your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.
Next, let’s look at how you can avoid cold and flu germs in your hotel room.
Cold viruses can survive for around seven days. Flu viruses are shorter, surviving around 24 hours. They live longer on metal and plastic than on fabric.
Think about this. The guest in your room checked out at 11am. She was sick with a cold. You checked in at 4pm. Those germs can survive in the room.
But there are definitely some things you can do to reduce your risk.
The big thing I do is use Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray to spray down the hotel room.
If I have room in my checked bag, I take it with me. Just put it in a couple layers of sealed gallon size Ziplock bags in case it leaks.
If I don’t have room in my bag, I pick it up at Whole Foods or other grocery store. Just avoid the toxic sprays like Lysol.
Spray down everything you would touch in the room, including:
- Key card
- Door handles – inside and outside
- Light switches
- All surfaces – dresser, nightstand, vanity counter, etc.
- Inside drawers
- Toilet – seat, cover, and handle
- Faucet handles – sink and tub
- Tub surfaces
Remember to use and pack your personalized flare plan, too.
All these steps can go a long way toward not getting sick when you travel!
What are your favorite tips to prevent illness when traveling?
More Tips for a Healthy Immune System
- Cold and Flu Prevention for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
- Immune Support Supplements and Tips for Mast Cell Activation and Histamine Intolerance
- Immune Supports and Supplements that May Reduce Risk of Cold or Flu in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
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