Travelling by plane means sitting in close proximity to lots of other people for several hours or more – and usually without much space to move.
The facilities on a plane can also be pretty basic – and it only takes one person to be ill and the whole plane can go down with a viral illness.
On flights to children’s holiday centres or amusement parks, it is vital that people do not travel with illnesses like chickenpox or measles, as there may be seriously ill children or pregnant women on board flights to such destinations.
Chickenpox and other viral illnesses can have very dangerous consequences for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
If you or your children feel unwell or your suspect your children may have chickenpox or measles, contact your GP before flying. If you arrive at the airport with spots emerging as a result of these illnesses, it is unlikely you would be allowed to fly anyway, so save yourself a lot of stress by making sure you are fit enough to fly before you depart.
The air in a plane is constantly renewed through the air conditioning, but it is still possible to breathe in stale air, so keep on the move in the cabin whenever you can get up. This also will lower the risk of chronic deep vein thrombosis (DVT) developing through long periods of being sedentary – this is especially important on long haul flights, so buy flight socks to help maintain your vascular health while airborne.
Many travellers also think that the flight is part of the holiday and immediately get stuck into their holiday drinking. This is not only a bad idea because it can be upsetting for fellow travellers to have to put up with you if you drink too much – but flying accelerates the effects of alcohol and also your blood pressure and you can also become easily dehydrate in mid-air, so you may end up feeling very ill indeed very quickly if you have more than one or two drinks.
Drinking bottled water may sound dull, but it really is the best option when you are flying. Commercial airlines usually offer peanuts with your drink, which can make you even thirstier, so stick to water and avoid drinking more than one or two cups of tea and coffee, both of which act as diuretics.
Kidneys and your urinary tract can also take a bashing on flights – you are sitting in a cramped seat usually, with your kidneys and urinary equipment squashed uncomfortably beneath you for hours. This means urinary infections can develop if you do not flush out your urinary tract with water and visit the loo to pass it through your system – and arriving on holiday with cystitis or a kidney infection is no fun, so make sure you drink plenty of water and get up and exercise and go to the loo to prevent infections travelling up your urinary tract during the flight. Airline WCs may harbour bacteria, so either wipe the seat with an antibacterial hand wipe – or hover above it.
Finally, eat light, nutritious meals on or before a fight – and give fast food the elbow. Not only will it smell out the cabin and make travelling unpleasant, a heavy tummy while airborne is not a good idea. An in flight snack of a chicken or tuna sandwich on wholemeal bread with salad and maybe some avocado is a perfect balance of complex carbohydrates and protein to give you long lasting energy – and arrive perky rather than porky.
People who suffer sickness abroad at their hotel often don’t know that they can claim holiday sickness compensation for their suffering.