Stay safe, and clean, when traveling

United ExpressA United Express jet backs out of a gate at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., in April 2013. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

While air travel may get us where we need to go at a faster pace, it can also wreak havoc on our bodies, with healthy travelers picking up germs that make them sick in the days that follow their flight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 1 billion people who travel by commercial aircraft in the world each year. That number is expected to double within the next 20 years.

“As we make our way through the airport and sit on the plane, we just don’t usually think about all of the germs that are there,” said Tina Aldatz, chief executive officer of travel wellness company Savvy Travelers. “The problem is that they are all over the place and some of them will ruin your travel plans if you come in contact with them.”

Here are some tips for avoiding airport germs while traveling:

  • Dining. If you will be dining in the airport prior to your flight, be sure to use a sanitizing sheet, like KLEAN UPZ from Savvy Travelers travel wellness company, to clean the table and your hands before eating. Oftentimes, people are in a hurry at the tables and several people use them in a row without a cleaning in between.
  • Kiosks. Those using the kiosk to get their boarding pass will want to use a tissue to push the buttons, which mostly likely many people have used without any cleaning in between.
  • Cushions. Once you are on the plane, sanitize your hands after touching the seat cushion. Many people sit on them, and with your hands coming in contact with it there’s no telling the amount of germs you can come in contact with. Be sure to also wipe the seat belt buckle off with a sanitizing sheet.
  • Tray tables. This is considered one of the most bacteria-ridden areas on the plane. Be sure to clean it with a sanitizing sheet when you first board the plane. While you are at it, use the sanitizing wipe to also do the buttons and knobs that you may come in contact with for entertainment, lights, and airflow.
  • Bathrooms. When using the airplane bathroom, do your best to avoid touching any surfaces. Use a seat protector on the toilet, and a paper towel to touch the sink knobs and door handle.
  • Arrive healthy. It’s a good idea to also make sure you are feeling good when you head out to travel. Get proper sleep and stay hydrated. These things will help keep your immune system up to guard against the germs you do come in contact with.

“You take the time to pack your things for your trip, so take the time to pack sanitizing products that will help you enjoy it once you get there,” said Margie Floris, co-founder of Savvy Travelers, a marketing expert who also helped Foot Petals to become globally successful. “Doing these things to protect yourself against airport germs takes seconds, but it can save you days of being sick. It’s worth the small effort to keep yourself feeling good and able to enjoy ‘savvy’ traveling.”

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