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Tips For Avoiding Getting Sick at BlogHer or Whenever You Travel

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 21, 2009

Are you going to BlogHer ’09?  Sadly, I won’t be able to make it this year.  But, if you’re planning on flying to Chicago (or anywhere else for that matter), you might be worried about getting sick.  If so, I can totally understand.  Because after my first BlogHer Conference in 2007 I ranted about how sick I got from flying, and in 2008 I blogged about coming down with the dreaded Post BlogHer Bola Virus.

It’s not just BlogHer, I seem to get sick whenever I travel. So even though I can’t make it to Chicago this year, I thought I would share my recently discovered tips about avoiding getting sick while flying.

Here goes.

Recently I flew to my home state of Pennsylvania for a graduation party and to visit two of my very best friends.  I assumed at some point I would get sick, because I always do when I fly.  But for the first time in years and years, I actually traveled on a plane and didn’t get sick.  This is a ginormous deal for me, and I’ve been trying to figure out what I did differently, so I can do it again the next time I fly. I’ve been able to come up with two things, and I thought that maybe sharing this information could benefit some of you traveling to BlogHer this year.

To start with…Usually when I fly I pick the window seat.  This time I didn’t get to pick and ended up with an  aisle seat.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was sitting in the aisle seat or the fact that I couldn’t reach that little air vent (you know, the one re-circulating all that contaminated air throughout the airplane) and point it in my direction.  Because normally when I’m in the widow seat, adjusting that vent to blow air in my face just seems like the natural thing to do…In reality, it’s probably one of the worst things to do.

Then between delays, missed flights, and turbulence I had little to no hydration before or during my flights.  For this reason, I also had no need to use that germ-infested cabinet the airlines call a lavatory…Let’s face it, the lavatory on a plane is totally disgusting, and you should avoid using them at all costs. And just in case you don’t believe me about the airplane germ-infested lavatory thing

This is from Lower Your Cabin PressureHow to Stop Getting Sick When You Travel

By now you know the rules to reduce the risk of spreading or catching germs: stay more than six feet away from sick people, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands. And carry hand sanitizer, especially in flight, observes Traveling Mamas blogger and former flight attendant Beth Blair, as “most airplane lavatories only provide cold water,” which is not efficient for killing germs. Even if you wash or sanitize your hands after using an airplane lavatory, the simple truth is that “many of those who used it before you did not,” points out tour leader and Trip Chicks co-owner Ann Lombardi. “There are germs lurking on the door knobs and handles,” she notes, “and if you close the door from the outside with your freshly-washed hands, you can pick up some nasty germs again. Use hand sanitizer once you’ve returned to your seat” and clean your tray table with an anti-bacterial wipe, she adds.

So to reiterate…Here are my top two tips for avoiding getting sick from germs picked up on an airplane.

1.  Sit on the aisle and don’t point the recirculating air vent in your direction. 2.  Avoid using the lavatory at all costs. In addition…Don’t be embarrassed to come off as a total germaphobe, and go ahead and use anti-bacterial wipes on anything you have to touch (or just don’t touch anything).

Do you have any tips for avoiding illness that you can share with fellow BlogHers flying into Chicago for this year’s convention? If so, let us know in comments. For an even more extensive post on avoiding getting sick at BlogHer, check out this post by Jenny Prokopy from Does This City Make Me Look Fat – Pondering: How To Stay Healthy During BlogHer 2009

Staying healthy during big conferences isn’t easy, what with all the dining out, drinking up, partying down, walking, walking, sitting in awful chairs, walking, and more walking. You’re shaking all those hands, hugging people, and otherwise sharing lots of germs. It’s not exactly the most healthy environment, even for the fittest folks. This is my first year to attend BlogHer (and I’m speaking!) so I’ve reached out to see how other people prepare. The best strategies can be summed up in a few categories.

Some of you are blogging about already being sick or having children that are sick… From Average Jane – Average Jane Gets Sick

Just when I need to be getting ready for BlogHer, I’ve managed to come down with something. My mad WebMD research skillz suggest that it’s e-coli food poisoning, which makes sense considering some of the stuff I’ve had to eat this week. . . . I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can bounce back quickly and be energetic and well by the time I leave for Chicago on Wednesday. Wish me luck.

From Taste Like Crazy – List to Lose and Sick Kids

And to add to the insanity, both kids have come down with something that involves lots of snot. SO, first thing this morning I was speed dialing the pediatrician’s office so that I would be the first call that they took when they turned off their answering service. Luckily, I got them both in this morning at 9:30. I was worried that if I didn’t get them in that Mom would be left with a sick Cara who had to go to the doctor and we would be left with a sick Ollie-in Chicago. Not fun thoughts.

From Issas Crazy World: Blogiversary

Today is my one year blogiversary! Party time!!! Or well it would be if I wasn’t sick. Rain check? Today none of you would want to party with me, trust me on this. My only consolation is that I’m sick this week and not next. Because, sick at BlogHer is not on my list of things to do.

Well sick or not sick, I’m sure you will all have a great time at BlogHer ’09.

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