Getting sick while traveling is the worst. Back when I flew four days a week as a flight attendant, my compassion soared day after day for passengers who didn’t feel well. I have seen grown men screaming and crying from ear pain. I’ve seen non-stop sniffling, sneezing passengers who never covered their mouths, even after I handed them a box of tissues. Then there was the time the plane landed with a passenger still in the bathroom because he had food poisoning. There is nothing worse than getting sick while traveling.
My grandmother often tells the story of the time (years and years ago) when she was having terrible ear pain while flying. The flight attendant kindly lit a cigarette and blew the smoke in her ear, relieving the pain. Obviously, today that remedy would be met with a a nice FAA fine but there are some new products that can help avoid ear pain and other ailments.
1. Avoid Ear Pain. First, never fly with a cold, especially a severe head cold. Some people, even when they’re not ill, still encounter clogged ears. If that describes you, consider EarPlanes. These are super cool, spiral shaped ear plugs that relieve ear discomfort, clogging and popping via a filter (called CeramX). They come in adult sizes and Small EarPlanes for the little people (ages 1-11). I used them on return trip from Quebec because I was feeling a bit congested and worried I would have some ear pain – they worked great!
2. Avoid the Cold All Together. Nozin Nasal Sanitizer is a citrus-scented liquid that is applied to the nose with a cotton swab and is designed to reduce the risk of catching colds and other airborne germs. It works up to 8 hours. The bottle is only .27 oz, so you won’t have any problems getting it though security. (I used it on my last trip and five out of the six flights, I was sitting next to people who were coughing or sneezing – and here I am on day five without a cold!)
3. Avoid Motion Sickness. I know all about this one. When I was a flight attendant, I flew six months pregnant with 24-hour sickness. It was not pretty. Here are two products to check out. (How I wish I had possessed both of these five years ago.)
Queasy Drops are tasty lozenges that are made to ease motion or morning sickness. Just suck on Queasy Drops throughout the day. There is even kid-friendly Queasy Pops for Kids (mine LOVE them).
Psi Bands (pronounced “Sigh Bands”) are acupressure wrist bands that help nausea caused by pregnancy and motion sickness (See, you can ride in the back of the plane or go on that sunset cruise after all!). The best part… look how cute they are (left). I’m thinking my pregnant sister-in-law could have used some Psi Bands.
4. Avoid Stomach Bugs. When I cross the border I don’t ask for ice or drink from the beer bottle that has been sitting in the bucket of ice, nor will I eat the chicken that has been sitting in the sun for god knows how many hours. After all, I have a childhood family vacation memory on that one. We were going to the Smoky Mountains but never made it. We ended up at a Pensacola motel while my parents were miserable and probably the sickest I had ever seen them. Thankfully, we kids dodged the bullet by having McDonald’s or Taco Bell. You do have to be careful of dehydration after food poisoning.
If you’re traveling and you have been sick, it’s best to give it a day or two to recover before boarding a plane.