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How to Keep from Getting Sick on a Plane: 7 Tips for Staying Healthy | travelhappier tips

How to Keep from Getting Sick on a Plane: 7 Tips for Staying Healthy | travelhappier tips

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I might receive a few pennies on the dollar via cookie tracking links.

1. Do not touch your face.

Repeat after me. Do not touch your face. Do not touch your face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth — so keep them hands off that pretty face of yours!

2. Sit in business or first class.

It's simple math. The fewer people who are in your airspace, the fewer pathogens you can be exposed to.

3. If you can't get a seat in business or first, try to get a window seat.

This may sound a little cuckoo but preventative measures really should start at the time of booking. Passengers seated in window seats are less likely to leave their seats, and thus have fewer interactions with the rest of the (potentially germy) plane population. Book yourself in a window seat and the physical barrier of having to step over a stranger (and also tap them on the shoulder and speak to them) will save you from other people’s germs.

If you're traveling as a pair, put the most vulnerable person near the window. You’re less likely to be coughed on, but don’t forget to disinfect the window shade or anything else you’ll be touching.

4. Do a thorough scrub down of your seating area.

Before you even sit down, get out those Lysol wipes (affiliate link) and swipe down all of the surfaces that you'll be touching. The surface has to stay wet for a certain amount of time for it to fully work, so make sure to read the directions. I know some parents board as late as possible with their kid, but we always take full advantage of early boarding and will use that time to get settled and sanitized.

Wipe down the tray table, seat buckle, the window shades, the seat pocket in front of you, and the entertainment device (remote control and touch screen). These areas are rarely cleaned and are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.

5. Sanitize your hands after using the lavatory.

I know, I know, our country's obsession with sanitizing is leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But it pays to be a little bit of a germophobe when flying. The water that flows through the pipes in airplanes isn’t super clean (that’s why many of them say “non-potable water”), so it’s good to wash your hands in the restroom and then sanitize them when you get back to your seat.

6. Also—- don't touch ANYTHING with your bare skin in the lavatory.

Use a tissue or napkin to touch anything, and take it as a compliment if someone gives you a look like you’re being over the top or weird when you use your elbow to open the lavatory door. Once inside, grab a tissue and use it to lock the door once you’re inside. Same thing for flushing (using a new tissue!) — and make sure you put that lid down before flushing!

7. Avoid the seatback pocket like the plague.

Try not to touch anything in your seatback pocket or put anything in there either — the seatback pocket is one of the grossest places on a plane. People stuff old food, sick bags, used tissues, garbage, even dirty diapers in those pockets. For the record I have never stuffed a dirty diaper in there although I have tried to get a flight attendant picking up trash my infant daughter’s pee-only diaper to which she loudly exclaimed “I’M NOT TAKING THAT.” Airplane Seat-Back Pockets Germier Than Toilet Handles (Live Science).

This includes the in-flight magazine— it’s best to just stick to your own reading material (bring a kindle - just don’t store it in your seatback, lol!). Avoiding the in-flight magazine is only hard for me when I fly Hawaiian Airlines — Hana Hou! is just so well done that I can’t resist.

Stay healthy and travel happy, friends!

I know, I know, our country's obsession with sanitizing is leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But it pays to be a little bit of a germophobe when flying. The water that flows through the pipes in airplanes isn’t super clean (that’s why many of them say “non-potable water”), so it’s good to wash your hands in the restroom and then sanitize them when you get back to your seat.

7. Avoid the seatback pocket like the plague.

Try not to touch anything in your seatback pocket or put anything in there either — the seatback pocket is one of the grossest places on a plane. People stuff old food, sick bags, used tissues, garbage, even dirty diapers in those pockets. For the record I have never stuffed a dirty diaper in there although I have tried to get a flight attendant picking up trash my infant daughter’s pee-only diaper to which she loudly exclaimed “I’M NOT TAKING THAT.” Airplane Seat-Back Pockets Germier Than Toilet Handles (Live Science).

This includes the in-flight magazine— it’s best to just stick to your own reading material (bring a kindle - just don’t store it in your seatback, lol!). Avoiding the in-flight magazine is only hard for me when I fly Hawaiian Airlines — Hana Hou! is just so well done that I can’t resist.

Stay healthy and travel happy, friends!


9 Board Book Recommendations | travelhappier at home

9 Board Book Recommendations | travelhappier at home