Ever come down with a wicked cold after flying? Stay happy and healthy, particularly during long flights, with these easy tips.

Baby, It’s Dry Up There
The airplane is pressurized and there is less available oxygen than what we have down on the ground. In addition, the air is dry: The humidity in the plane is below 25 percent, which is at least 10 percent lower than at home. Taking slow, easy breaths is essential. Using a saline nasal spray will help keep your nasal tissues moist and comfortable. A tiny amount of cream will keep your hands and face moist. It is important to drink water and avoid drinks that will dehydrate you, such as alcohol or coffee. Gatorade may also be a good choice, especially before you get on the flight.

Keep Your Blood Moving
By staying hydrated, you keep your blood moving. This will help prevent blood clots, which can occur from sitting in one position for a long time.

It’s also important for you to keep moving. You can keep the blood circulating through your legs by flexing your calves frequently. If you are prone to swelling, pantyhose such as Hanes Alive make for good compression stockings. If you are able to take aspirin, taking two baby aspirin prior to the flight would also be a good idea.

Beat the Germs
How do you withstand the bacteria and virus-ridden air? The answer sounds simple but is complex. Bottom line: You need to have a healthy immune system to start. All the general rules for a strong immune system apply:
• Eat healthy and exercise.
• Get plenty of sleep.
• Get a flu shot before you travel.

Make sure that you bring antibacterial wipes and clean the tray table. Also, stay out of that seat pocket, which can contain some really gross stuff.

Carry on a Few Key Items
The trick to flying in comfort is to be very prepared. For your mental health, bring plenty of reading material or spring for the headphones and watch funny movies the whole trip.

Stay calm and get rid of pesky plane smells (such as your seatmate’s bag of food) by bringing a scarf or handkerchief sprinkled with essential oil such as lavender. A few whiffs can help you relax.

There are no guarantees, but these simple steps may help to keep you healthy the next time you fly. Bon voyage!


This article originally appeared on Sharecare.com, the leading online health and wellness social platform