Young man hols sore throat while laying in bed next to partner

How do you get rid of a sore throat while travelling?

Why do I get a sore throat after flying?

Travelling opens up a host of opportunities for a sore throat to develop. Being confined for an extended length of time in a plane can be a risk factor as everyone is crowded together making it easier for infections to circulate. Planes also have very little humidity and the dry air can irritate the mucous membranes of the throat.

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, nobody wants a sore throat to interfere with their travel plans and there are several measures you can take to help ensure that it doesn’t.

Tips to help prevent a sore throat while travelling

There are things you can do before your trip to help reduce your risk of getting a sore throat.

  1. Support your immune system — Eating well, monitoring your stress and sleeping well can help you stay healthy and help strengthen your immune system, making you less vulnerable to infections while you travel.
  1. Exercise — Keep up your exercise routine before your planned travel. Exercise may strengthen your immune system and helps reduce stress.
  1. Shift your circadian rhythm — If you are going on a long haul flight, begin shifting your circadian rhythm ahead of your planned travel. A few days before your trip gradually shift your eating, sleeping and activity pattern along with your light exposure to help reduce the symptoms of jet lag and support a strong immune system.

3 tips to ease a sore throat while travelling

Should you succumb to a sore throat while travelling, try these tips to help ease the pain and discomfort.

  1. Keep up your fluids While on a plane drink plenty of fluids, especially water and hot tea to help keep the throat moist or soothe an irritated throat. Before you get to the airport, it might be helpful to gargle with warm salt water or use a specialised sore throat gargle.
  1. Wash your hands — Washing your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or touching joint surfaces on the plane is one way to reduce the risk of getting sick. Try also to avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes before you have washed your hands. An alcohol-based sanitiser, kept in your bag, is also a convenient alternative to soap and water.
  1. Suck on a lozenge Keep lozenges on hand while travelling to help increase saliva production and ease a sore throat.
  1. Humidify your hotel room The air-conditioning or heating in your hotel room may aggravate a sore throat. Either carry a travel-sized humidifier or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom for symptomatic relief.
  1. If necessary, use an analgesic — Pain relief may be required, make sure you have travel-friendly pain relief packed in your carry on luggage.

Help keep your travels sore throat free by keeping up your fluids or sucking on a lozenge on the plane. Also remember to wash your hands to help reduce the spread of infection, so you stay healthy and enjoy your trip.


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