4 Things You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do on an Airplane to Stay Healthy, According to Flight Attendants

Photo: Unsplash/Louis Magnotti
Healthy travel isn't just about the destination. It's about the journey, too. After all, no one wants to start a week-long wellness retreat in Bali feeling less than om-azing. But between the germs and arid cabin conditions, it can be a real struggle.

There are, however, a few  practices you can adopt on an airplane that can help tip the odds of staying healthy on your trip further in your favor, according to flight attendants. Spoiler alert: you should be very careful in the bathroom.

Scroll down for 4 flight attendant-approved ways to be healthier on an airplane.

Photo: Stocksy/Miquel Llonch

1. Do bring your own food

To up your odds of a healthy travel experience, your best bet is to pack plenty of good-for-you snacks, says flight attendant Kelly B. That's especially true, she says, "if you have a dietary need." Just make sure your ginger shot is under three ounces and you should have no problems at security.

2. Don't use the bathrooms (unless it's an emergency)

World champion skier Lindsey Vonn isn't the only one who suggests not skipping to the loo on an airplane. While "the bathrooms are cleaned between every flight,” says Kelly B., she recommends you time your bathroom breaks for before or after your flight. In it for the long haul? Pack some natural cleansing wipes to disinfect its surfaces yourself, first.

3. Do keep your shoes on

The only place you should really be removing your footwear is security, according to flight attendant Nguvu Tsare—especially if you're not wearing socks. "[Don't] walk barefoot on airplanes,” she advises. Instead, opt for some chic slides that can slip easily on and off and save the grounding for your final destination.

4. Don't forget to wash your hands

The number one rule for staying healthy in the air, is actually the same as it is on land: "Wash your hands after using the bathroom,” Tsare says. Packing plenty of natural hand sanitizer isn't a bad idea, either.

Originally published November 18, 2017; updated November 18, 2018.

Another important way to stay healthy while traveling is by kicking jet lag's butt. Here's how Well+Good Council member McKel Hill does it.  

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