5 Flu Season Travel Essentials

We all know that airplanes double as mobile petri dishes. But with a particularly nasty flu epidemic upon us, the Gadling team thought we’d mother you by reminding you to get your flu shot, already. That, and bring along these proven deterrents to the flu and other airborne nastiness. Look at it this way: it can’t hurt.

1. Airborne or Emergen-C: If nothing else, these will shorten the duration and symptoms of an oncoming bout of cold or flu, if taken regularly at onset of symptoms. You can also talk to your travel doctor or primary care provider about prophylactic immune supplements (be wary of homeopathic or naturopathic preparations, which may not be FDA-approved, or could interact with prescription drugs you may be taking. Always talk to your pharmacist, first.).

2. Travel pillow: Need another reason? Because sharing leftover drool from an airline pillow is gross. While you’re at it, pack a lightweight blanket or shawl; if you are coming down with something, it will ward off the chills. And god knows your airline won’t supply you with one.

3. Ibuprofen: Being crammed into a seat is uncomfortable enough without adding fever aches to the mix.

3. Packet of antibacterial wipes: This time of year, it’s a good idea to wipe down airline bathroom faucets, your tray table, and possibly that runny-nosed, coughing toddler seated next to you.

4. Hand Sanitizer: Travelers should always be in the habit of carrying this, in lieu of soap and water. Use it after touching ATM’s, airline check-in screens, elevator buttons and money.

[Photo credit: Flickr user @alviseni]