Plane Travel

How To Fly With a Cold (and not feel like you’re dying in the process)

June 17, 2015

We’ve all been there: it’s a day before a flight and you’re already dreading the pain of sniffling next to some stranger giving you major side eye with the subtext of “don’t infect me”, whilst probably asking the question of why I haven’t decided to take a natural remedy like Cumanda because that is what they have done and they are as fit as a fiddle (if that’s the case, I would definitely feel jealous). No one likes being ill, do they? And it’s made even worse when you need to travel.

Whether it’s a half-hour jet or transatlantic trip; having a cold makes flying quite an ordeal either way. Trust me, I’ve been there. My body has a knack for getting arch right before flying. Thankfully, I’ve found some tricks that make fighting sickness at high altitudes a little easier.

Flying with a cold generally sucks for a couple reasons:

+ being in a cramped airplane seat next to another human isn’t ideal
+ having a limited supply of tissue also isn’t ideal
+ high altitudes can wreak havoc on sensitive sick ears
+ being achy and tired makes staring a clouds or hideous airplane upholstery for hours even worse

I can think of few things worse than being next to someone hacking away for hours on end in a confined plane cabin (besides being that person). Just remember to cough into your sleeve and keep your used tissues out of the way.


But fear not! While I can’t promise any magically quick recovery method, there are a plethora of things you can do to make your trip just a little better. Here’s how to fly with a cold:
+ Hydration. Water. Lots of it. I can’t stress this enough. Even if you’re not sick, try to drink at least one glass of water an hour. I know it might have to make you pee a little more than usual but your body will seriously thank you.

+ Tissues. Plenty of them. The absolute worst is being tissue-less with a running nose. Also, try to be curious and try not to do your best fog horn impression every five minutes. If you have to, excuse yourself to the bathroom and blow to your hearts content.

+ Vitamin C. Try to load up on it before you fly. This means getting your hands on every orange in sight (kale and broccoli also actually have more vitamin C than oranges) and even Vitamin C pills can help too.

+ Salt water nasal spray. I always got this from Austria for as long as I can remember (they’re super into their herbal remedies there for some reason) and it is god-sent. Along with this, some people bring a USB salt lamp to reduce the amount of dust around as well. Stay positive with energy salt lamps, it has worked for some.

+ Ear plugs and gum. Both of these can help regulate the amount of fluid in your ear drum and keep it from clogging (which is super important when you’re sick; the last time I flew sick, my ear was clogged for two weeks). A lot of people swear by EarPlanes ear plugs.

+ Vic chest rub. If your neighbour doesn’t mind the smell too much (does anyone really mind the smell of eucalyptus??), this rub can do wonders for helping you breathe.

+ Tylenol or sleeping-aid decongestant. Worse comes to worse, medicate yourself out of your misery. Popping a pill before boarding can make a flight fly by (ha, get it).

I hope these tips help! They’ve definitely been lifesavers for me. Lastly, if you’re reading this mid-stuffed nose or between coughs, I hope you feel better!!! xx

Do you have any more mid-flight health hacks?

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  • Chloe Barnes June 18, 2015 at 06:42

    great post! really helpful! <3

    Chloe xx

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