As millions of holiday travelers swarm airports across the nation, they’ll want to avoid picking up stowaways—in the form of germs. These unwanted traveling companions have the power to wreak havoc on your holidays with illness and infections. While you can protect yourself with an athletic gear disinfectant and antibacterial spray, you should strive to avoid contact as much as possible. The germs that cause flu, colds and nasty infections can live for days—sometimes even a week—on surfaces in airports, airplanes and train stations. The colder weather and large numbers of people in small places also contributes to the increased transmission of illness and infectious disease.
Read on to find ways to arm yourself against germ attacks during holiday travel.
One of the best ways to avoid illness during travel is to stay healthy before your trip. Hydrate properly before, during and after a flight or train ride. Eat a healthy diet with lots of antioxidant-rich produce in the days before you travel. Avoid stress and anything that depletes immunity. You may also want to get a flu shot if you haven’t already.
Avoid High-Touch Surfaces in the Airport
Airports are breeding grounds for germs that come from all over the world. Avoid touching escalator handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, faucets and toilet handles. Be especially careful with those plastic bins in the TSA lines—they’ve been found to harbor dangerous bacteria like E. Coli, Acinetobacter and klebsiella.
Avoid Aisle Seats
Aisle seats are typically high-touch areas because people often touch aisle seats with their hands or luggage as they walk to find their own seat. Colds are often spread this way.
Keep Tray Tables in Their Upright Positions
The tray tables on airplanes and other modes of travel are a hotbed for germs that cause infections as serious as E. coli and staph. Passengers eat, sleep, put down inanimate objects and even change diapers on tray tables! These germs have been found to last up to five days—maybe even longer—on tray tables.
Defend Against Your Seat
The other areas surrounding your seat are also heavy contamination grounds. Avoid high-touch surfaces like armrests, headrests, overhead bins and windows. Don’t stash anything in the seat pocket—many passengers put their trash in there.
As soon as you can, wipe down your luggage with an athletic gear disinfectant and antibacterial spray like Clear Gear to kill any germs breeding on its surface.
Wash Your Hands
Thoroughly wash your hands before, during and after all travel, and before and after you eat. A thorough washing means with water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds.
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