10 Dos & Don’ts When Traveling On An Airplane During The Pandemic
2020 has been a difficult and challenging year for people who have to travel by air. But the travel industry is slowly coming back, and airlines have had to adapt to a new way of getting people from point A to point B. Until the restrictions of COVID-19 are rescinded, there are a few general ideas to make your travel easier and more comfortable. Here are 10 dos and don’ts to keep in mind when flying on an airplane during the global pandemic.
Do: steer clear of the bathroom
If you’re on a relatively short flight, you are better off going to the bathroom before you get on the plane. The plane’s lavatories are extremely close quarters and you’re sharing it with everyone else, so the risk of contracting COVID-19 or any other virus increases.
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Do: wash your hands
If you do end up using the restroom, do not forget to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. That way you can feel better about going back to your seat. Hand washing is probably your best defense against anything you might pick up in the restroom.
Do: avoid the aisle seat
If you can, get yourself a window seat. Right now many airlines are blocking the middle seat, so your choices are the window or the aisle. The aisle seats are way too open to picking up something from someone randomly passing by, so opt for the window seat if you can. This is very important to remember since it basically contradicts the next entry.
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Do: take a walk around
If you’re on a longer flight, you would do well to get up out of your seat and make a loop around the room. Your legs will thank you for it. Be sure to keep your mask on at all times, though (remember all those people with aisle seats will be eyeing you suspiciously). Or, if you can’t or don’t want to get up and walk around, you can do this next one instead…
Do: exercise in your seat
Did you know you could exercise while in your seat? It’s a small thing you can do anytime you’re seated for long periods. These are simple resistance exercises like rolling your ankles or tensing up your legs for 10 seconds, then relaxing. This will improve blood flow to your extremities. This is extremely important if you have trouble with your circulation. Get up if you can, but you have options if you can’t.
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Do: use hand sanitizer
Airport security already makes you obey strict guidelines about bringing hand sanitizer on the flight with you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it, as long as it’s in a container sized 12 ounces or less. And since you’ll be touching any number of surfaces during your flight, from the arm rest to the call button to the window shade, sanitizing your hands frequently is a very good idea.
Don’t: get dehydrated
The only time you’re allowed to take your mask off on board is when you’re eating or drinking. So, staying hydrated in the dry, climate-controlled cabin is a must. Drink water preferably to alcohol, which can dry you out; keep a water bottle with you at all times. This will also help your circulation and digestion while you’re sitting down. But don’t forget drinking all that water may make you have to get up and use the restroom.
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Don’t: go barefoot
This may seem obvious but it’s true. Much as you might like to, if you’re wearing shoes with socks, please keep the shoes on. No one wants to be in a locked container with your socks. If you can, wear flip flops or sandals before boarding. But just imagine how many germs and microbes a planeload of people can bring in on the soles of their shoes. You wouldn’t want to take home those for a souvenir, would you?
Don’t: spread out all over the seats
Some airlines are keeping the middle seat empty and only allowing passengers every other seat, but some aren’t, and it won’t be forever. So if you’re on a more crowded flight, keep your arms, legs, and everything else in your space. If the middle seat is empty, don’t worry about it, but if there’s some poor person in the middle, treat them like you’d like to be treated and don’t overflow into their area.
Related: 12 Ways To Avoid Getting Sick When You Travel
Don’t: argue with the flight crew
Of all the important things to remember, this is the single most important. The flight crew is living through the same pandemic as you, so don’t be that person that has to argue about masks or seat assignments or luggage space just because you’re uncomfortable. Flight attendants can and will have you removed from a flight for arguing with them, and your fellow passengers will be only too happy to record the interaction and post it on YouTube. That’s not a good way to use up your 15 minutes of fame.