Staying healthy while traveling – and the difficulty in doing so – was a big news topic this week. Researchers seem to think that just about the worst way in the world to stay healthy is to get on an airplane. J. Peder Zane of The New York Times reports that there are “zillions” of germs on your standard airliner. The article cites a Yale researcher who determined that a single person can add 37 million bacteria to a room in one hour. Zane reports on ways to keep yourself healthy while traveling, but the best defense is to wash your hands a lot, or at least use hand sanitizer like it’s your job.

It’s enough to make your head hurt. Speaking of which…

Italian neurologists published an article this week in the journal Cephalalgia about the phenomenon of “airplane headache.” Airplane headache happens mostly to men on airplanes as the plane is coming in for a landing, and only lasts a few minutes. As MSNBC’s Cari Nierenberg reports, the scientists believe the “stabbing pain on one side of the head” is caused by imbalance between the air cabin pressure and in the frontal sinuses. Stress, lack of sleep, and susceptibility to migraines could exacerbate the condition. There isn’t a whole lot to be done to prevent the headaches beyond taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or a nasal decongestant spray 30 to 60 minutes before landing.

And speaking of headaches, flying into London for the Summer Olympics is shaping up to be a gargantuan pain. The Wall Street Journal’s Ainsley Thomson and Vladimir Gueverra report that skimping on spending has stretched staff at Heathrow Airport very thin, and it looks like the lines of travelers into London for the Games will be excruciatingly long. And then once you’re through the airport, good luck getting a cab.

Oy. Tell me again why we love traveling?

Domestically, Spirit Airlines is raising its “a la carte fees” for carry-on baggage.

At Health Insurance magazine, Tessa Norman reports on a survey by a UK-based insurance firm that shows that two-thirds of expatriates don’t have either life insurance or income protection.

And finally, here’s some good news (sort of). Israel has lowered its threat warning for Israelis travelling to Turkey. The lowering came after Turkey cracked down on terrorist groups targeting Israelis traveling there. Israel is still warning against non-essential trips to Turkey.

Be careful out there.

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About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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