During this holiday season when many of us are looking forward to being with family, friends or just getting away from it all here are some travel tips to be aware of. Staying safe is the name of the game and keeping stress to a minimum. The first thing, if you are using a travel agency, they need to be alerted to any specific special needs.
Although airlines are frequently cleaning and disinfecting areas that you might touch, it is a good procedure to sanitize and disinfect what you can. The best thing to bring is disinfecting disposable wet wipes. The check-in touch screens are one of those places. Where possible print your boarding ticket at home or the office. Thousands go through security checks and have touched where you too will touch, therefore wearing gloves (washable and throw away) and washing your hands immediately after leaving security is your first safeguard. The hand rails on the walkways, stairs and escalators are there for our safety and stability so wherever you touch disinfect where possible. Added to the list are tray tables, seatbelts, and headrests. The seatbelt needs to be disinfected before you fasten it. Bathrooms are the last on my list and the flush toilet button should not be neglected; wherever and whenever possible wash your hands with soap and water.
All food on an airplane is cooked in advance, often many hours before the flight and simply heated up. Pre-packaged meals are delivered to the plane just before takeoff. There is little difference between first-class tickets and the rest regarding food. This food is cooked and prepared on the ground along with all the other meals. I personally have a bag of spices and salt and pepper I might use to jazz up a meal. The taste of the food changes because you are often being served above 30,000 feet above ground and this makes your taste buds less active. Often at this altitude the taste buds are less sensitive. Coffee and tea that are served on an airplane, because of the altitude the water never gets to the recommended 100 degrees boiling point that it would reach on the ground. The water that is used for beverages does not always come from filtered water but rather may come from the planes water system. Keeping the food that enters your stomach on the lighter side might help to eliminate swelling in the legs. Drinking alcohol while flying may have a different effect on you and this might be a subject to discuss with your doctor or health advisor, before your travels, so you are fully aware of how you may be affected by alcohol at higher altitude levels.
Airlines are prepared to accommodate anyone who has physical limitations such as needing a wheelchair or if you are bringing your own adaptive equipment. Airlines are here for your safety and comfort and with preplanning and alerting them to your potential needs might assist your trip going more smoothly.
I wish you a safe and relaxing holiday.
Most Sincerely, Dr. Marion Somers