Five tips for avoiding getting sick on a plane

Recently I spoke to a co worker who had just returned from a trip to Europe. She told me about how she got really sick on the return flight without any airsick bags at her seat and made for a miserable trip. I’ll spare you all the gory details.

Getting sick on a flight ranks right up there with situations that are about the worse thing possible. During my travels, I try to follow these five guidelines to try to avoid getting sick on a plane.

1. Avoid deep fried and fatty foods right before getting on a flight. I always bypass the pizzerias, Mexican food, and the deep fried fish and chips and the like in favor of “safer” food like grilled chicken or sandwiches.

2.Drink plenty of water. I always try to keep the soda intake to a minimum and instead drink water or orange juice.

3.Get up and move around the plane. I will take an aisle seat over anything else just so that I can get up and walk around. It keeps the blood circulating and helps keep everything moving.

4.Ensure safe food consumption the day before getting on a plane. It’s great to sample the local fare on the streets during your trip, but I always make sure I’m eating safer food the day before I get on a plane.

5.Get plenty of rest prior to flight. When I travel I’m always in economy and don’t have the luxury or comfort of a lie flat seat. I try to make sure I get a full night’s sleep devoid of any distractions prior. Your body is already going to deal with multiple time zone changes and connections – try to ensure that sleep deprivation isn’t causing your body to break down.

By following the five rules above, I have never been sick on a plane. As backup should it occur, I always make sure to carry supplies with me to limit the extent of getting sick. Aspirin, Imodium, and even prescription strength Imodium for severe situations.

What are your tips for staying healthy on flights?


  1. I might add if you have to take any medication ( even aspirin)

    don’t lie down for about 20 minutes, some meds irritate the walls of the stomach when lying in one position at first consumption .

  2. One tip, avoid sitting next to alcohol consuming Russians…my wife, as a teenager, was flying somewhere TATL and the Russian man next to her threw up all over her. She luckily had a jacket but unluckily the plane was full so she had to sit on a soiled seat cushion the remainder of the flight.

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