There's something about travelling – whether by plane, boat, coach or train – that makes you feel at the mercy of all germs. Is it the confined space, shared facilities, close proximity of so many other travellers and thought of all those foreign germs and viruses that can make you feel so susceptible?
Fortunately, most methods of public transport probably aren't as bad as you may imagine thanks to modern air filters etc, but there are still simple steps you can take to protect yourself while you are on your way...
- Be rested - a strong immune system can help fight off germs so get plenty of sleep and eat well before you travel.
- Keep hydrated – this keeps your respiratory tract moist, which gives you more protection against germs.
- Clean hands regularly - simple hand hygiene (washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand gel) should get rid of most of the germs you come in contact with.
- You can also help reduce the amount of germs nearby by, for example, wiping down your passenger tray before you use it and not picking up that well-read newspaper or magazine that could be impregnated with the germs of previous readers.
- Likewise in any public toilet, try to avoid touching surfaces as much as you can – use fresh paper towels to protect your hands when touching taps, flushes, door handles etc.
- Finally, have a laugh! Our immune systems work best when we are happy, so take something amusing to read or listen to on your journey.
Of course if you do come down with something it is always easier if you are prepared so talk to your pharmacist about remedies for common ailments like coughs and colds before you go.
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