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Three Invisible Risks To Your Health When Going On Vacation

How To Build Your Immune System Before Jetting Off

By Richard HearnePublished 4 months ago 4 min read
Three Invisible Risks To Your Health When Going On Vacation
Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

It's that time of the year and many of us are looking forward to a well-earned vacation. The chances are that your break will go without a hitch and you’ll return home feeling refreshed and raring to go again.

However, jetting away to a luxury hotel and sandy beaches comes with a set of challenges that can put a strain on your body, and may increase the chances of catching something that may take the sheen off your vacation.

Being in close proximity to other people, exposure to new environments and allergens, and the stress of travel can all weaken your immune system and increase the risk of getting sick.

Potential health risks of flying

Apart from sitting next to an over-talkative, heavy-drinking stranger (OMG, what a nightmare), there are other health risks you should be aware of when flying.

Invisible Germs

The air inside the cabin is recycled, which means that any germs or viruses that are present can circulate and infect passengers. Being packed in like sardines increases the likelihood of direct contact with someone who is carrying something. These germs are easily transmitted through coughing or sneezing in this environment.

Low humidity Levels

Low humidity levels contribute to the spread of disease on planes. The air inside these metal tubes is typically very dry, which can cause irritation to the nasal passages and throat, making it easier for germs and viruses to take hold. Additionally, dry air can cause the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract to dry out, making them more susceptible to infection.


The stress and fatigue associated with air travel can weaken the immune system, making passengers more vulnerable to infections. Long flights can disrupt sleep patterns and cause dehydration, which can further compromise the immune system and increase the risk of infection.

Health Risks At Airports

Airport terminals play their part in the spread of disease. Vacationers who pass through busy airports come into contact with people from all over the world, increasing the risk of exposure to different types of viruses and bacteria.

The surfaces in airports, such as door handles, security trays, and check-in counters harbor germs that can be easily transmitted to travelers.

Washing your hands regularly, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and avoiding touching your face are routines that will help you fight off infection at the airport.

Visiting foreign countries can increase your health risk

Different countries pose different health risks, depending on factors such as geography, climate, and local health practices. For example, some countries may have a higher incidence of mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria or dengue fever, while others may have higher rates of foodborne illnesses like salmonella or E. coli.

Research the country you are traveling to and follow the guidelines recommended by its Health authority.

Reduce your chances of getting sick on vacation

One of the most important steps in boosting your immunity against diseases is to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off infections and viruses.

Supplements can also help boost your immune system. Vitamin C is one of the most well-known for immune health, as it is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost white blood cell production. Zinc helps support immune function, as it plays a role in the production and function of immune cells. Finally, the “sunshine vitamin” Vitamin D builds immunity and helps fight off infection by regulating the activity of immune cells which elicit antiviral responses.

Find a dietary supplement that includes these three ingredients and start taking them regularly, about two months before your vacation begins.

Stay hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated while traveling. Not doing so can lead to dehydration which can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of getting sick.

Drink as much as you can to boost your immune system. I mean water, by the way, not alcohol, which will expedite the dehydration process. The frozen margarita can wait until you are sitting on the balcony of your hotel room, checking out the sunset.


Boosting your immune system when visiting foreign countries can reduce your risk of contracting infectious diseases that may not be prevalent in your home country. Many countries require travelers to be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as yellow fever or hepatitis A, before entering the country.

However, even with vaccinations, there is still a risk of contracting infectious diseases while traveling abroad. By boosting your immune system, you can help reduce your risk of getting sick from these diseases, as your body will be better equipped to fight off any potential infections.

The Takeaway

The bad news is that you are in the lap of the gods when flying. You might be unlucky and pick up something on the way, which might put a bit of a dampener on your vacation.

The good news is that you can increase your chances of arriving at your destination with a clean bill of health if you follow the simple instructions above.

Bon Voyage.


About the Creator

Richard Hearne

Hi there

I have been living in Thailand for the last five years and love writing about this beautiful country and its people.I am also a sports nut so don't be surprised to see a few soccer articles popping up from time to time.

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