How To Avoid The Health Risk All Travelers Are Exposed To

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There's nothing better than climbing aboard an airplane to a sunny, exotic locale, where rest and relaxation (along with sunshine and piña coladas) await. So, you forge ahead, despite knowing that the dreaded curse of traveling — the airplane cold — may join you on your much-anticipated vacation.

Add kids to the flying mix, and you're virtually guaranteed this unwelcome traveling companion. At least one member of your family is going to de-plane with a sniffle, sneeze, or cough that wasn't there when you checked your bags before the trip.

While winter is known for being rough on the immune system, springtime is always a sneaky time for colds and other viruses to crop up. But, you can do a few things to protect yourself and your loved ones before boarding to minimize your chances of bringing germs along on your warm-weather vacay. From holistic remedies (we swear, they work!) to common-sense products that are easy to tote, we've collected some wise tips for preventing airplane colds.

Click through to learn more.
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Wipe It Down
Don't take it for granted that the flight crew has really cleaned that plane before boarding. Wiping down your armrests, screens, and anything your hands will touch with wipes will cut down on contact with lingering germs. Same goes for those bathrooms — just swipe before you touch.

Go Herbal
Homeopathic and natural medicine fans swear by blends of essential oils for protecting your immune system during travel. A few drops on your chest (or on the clothing of babies and young children) is enough to keep you healthy while airborne (and after).
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Take Your Vitamins
Supercharging your Vitamin C intake pre-flight is one way to stoke your immune system to prepare it for fighting off any offending germs. Handy packets mix into plastic bottles easily, and are readily available at most airports should you forget to tote some along.

Stay Moist
We all know our skin gets dry on airplanes thanks to all that climate-controlled air, but the real killer is how it can dry out your nasal passages, rendering them useless against keeping bad-guy germs out. When you keep the cilia of your nose moist, they're super functional at fighting colds. The solution? Frequent spritzes of moisturizing saline spray for the whole family.

Smart Scents
Aromatheraphy roll-ons can be blended with immunity-bolstering and antimicrobial essential oils, including lavender, rosewood wood and eucalyptus. Roll onto temples, insides of wrists and sides of your neck for maximum absorbtion.
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Stay Hydrated
As tempting as a coffee on an early-morning flight or an afternoon glass of wine to take the edge off can be, both caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating. Drinking water (and plenty of it) before, during and after your flight is a smart way to keep your body running optimally.

Wash Up
Perhaps a no-brainer, but sometimes you find yourself in an airport bathroom that's out of soap, and that cabin bathroom stuff can be so drying. Paper soap leaves (no worries about liquid carry-on sizing here) offer a convenient one-dose soap for sudsing up anywhere.
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Bust Out The Balm
Dry, cracked lips are another gateway for germs. Choose a lip balm that you apply directly to your lips to cut out concern about germs on your fingers.

Be Prepared
If you do all you can to prevent it, but wind up with a cold anyway, be prepared with a remedy you can start taking at the first symptom (proven to shorten the duration and intensity of colds).

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