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9 Things to Avoid and be Wary of While Flying

 Since flights have become more accessible and cheaper than ever before, we have been taking more and more vacations in other countries and taking advantage of the variety of options that have been opened to us. Despite the excitement of traveling from one country to another, there are things to keep in mind during your next flight that'll help keep you healthy and avoid unpleasant situations with various air pressures, contaminants and other passengers. So, if you want to avoid getting sick and other uncomfortable circumstances, you should read the following list of what not to do on your next flight.

1. Avoid drinking sodas

The rise in altitude we experience when flying may cause the need to release any gas that has accumulated in our intestine. This is why it’s recommended to avoid drinking soda during the flight, as well as foods that increase the production of body gases such as legumes, fried foods, dairy products and so on. If you follow this recommendation, you can effectively prevent the unpleasantness and embarrassing situations that many face while flying.

2. Suffer from motion sickness? Stay clear of the back seats

If you suffer from nausea when flying, the effective tip for preventing it while riding in a car or a bus is also valid when in the air. Avoid sitting at the back of the plane and try to choose seats further up or near the wing. You should also pay attention to what you eat the day before your flight and avoid fried or fatty foods and alcohol.

3. Don’t drink tea or coffee and avoid ice

In most flights, the water and ice cubes that are served come from water tanks that are on the plane. These tanks are often old and dirty. Although the water in the coffee or tea you drink has been boiled,  it's recommended to avoid it and opt for mineral water or other (non-carbonated) beverages that come in a closed bottle. Another reason to avoid coffee or tea during a flight is that the caffeine in them is a natural diuretic and can cause us to lose vital fluids while we’re already in a cabin that dries us out.

4. Avoid using things that you get on the plane

During most flights, we get headphones and blankets to pass the time and keep our bodies warm in the air-conditioned and cold cabin. Although the headphones come wrapped in plastic and the blankets look quite clean, they aren’t new and haven’t necessarily been properly cleaned between each passenger's use. To avoid contact with other traveler’s dirt and bacteria, use your own headphones, and always pack a jacket or a light blanket in your carry on.


5. Don’t touch some strategic things on the plane

Most planes are cleaned between flights, but this isn’t a heavy-duty cleaning and focuses mainly on garbage collection and seating arrangements. This means that the cabin on the plane is, unfortunately, a pretty dirty place. If you want to draw attention to some of the more filthy areas of the plane, look to the food trays that are not cleaned after each flight, the toilet handles and the sink, the floor carpet and the seats that have already come in contact with a fair amount of liquids, including blood and vomit, and of course, airplane windows which have had many passengers fall asleep, cough and breathe on them. Since we can’t walk around with gloves and avoid all contact with the plane, we recommend taking a few preventive measures such as wearing long clothes on flights, not walking barefoot, using sterile wipes in areas where you want to lay your head or when using the restroom. If you find these restrictions difficult, follow at least the following iron rule – don’t put your hands near your face and mouth without washing them first. 


6. Don’t wear contact lenses

Contact lenses make our eyes drier, and when combined with the dry air in the cabin, the result may be unpleasant and even harmful to our health, as our eyes need constant moisture. If you don’t want to wear eyeglasses, use disposable, breathable moist lenses, and if necessary, use eye drops to increase moisture.

7. Don’t close the vents above your head

If the air vents above your head are making you cold, it would be better and wiser to wear a long shirt than to close them. The reason for this is that the air coming out of the vents blows away the germs that penetrate your personal space in such a closed and crowded space, so closing them increases the risk of contracting diseases.

8. Don’t fall asleep before takeoff

Our ears tend to get clogged during takeoff and landing due to changes in air pressure. Sleeping before taking off makes it difficult for our body to find the natural balance between the pressures and therefore it's best to avoid it. If your ears are still blocked, try chewing gum, forcing yourself to yawn, and if that doesn’t work, pinch your nose shut, close your mouth and push the air out.


9. Do not fly with a stuffy nose

A stuffy nose is not something we can control, but it's certainly something we can handle, which is especially important during flights. A stuffy nose creates more pressure on the ears, which tend to clog anyway, due to differences in air pressure. If you have a cold and suffer from a runny nose, use a spray or nose drops before taking off and landing. If you have sinusitis, consult with your doctor before boarding.
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