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Germs On A Plane

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

When I first wrote that title, it reminded me of that awful movie, “Snakes On a Plane.” Only for me, the germs on a plane is far more frightening.

Tips for staying healthy as you travel by plane:

1. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE! This can be difficult since most of us touch our eyes, nose or mouth more than we realize. Still, make the effort. When you touch the vent, in-flight magazine, light, etc., you are basically sharing germs with everyone that has touched those items before you. Wash the germs off your hands and keep them from entering inside your body.

2. DO NOT TRAVEL WITHOUT YOUR FRIEND, ANTI-BACTERIAL. I always carry anti-bacterial gel and apply it to my hands several times throughout the flight. I also bring anti-bacterial wipes and after locating my seat, I wipe down the armrests, seatbelt, and tray table. If you happen to be sitting next to me on the plane, no offense, I always do this.

3. WASH YOUR HANDS! There is no better way to fight off germs than washing them away. Use hot water and soap and lather up for the duration that it takes to sing the ABC song (or at least 30 seconds). If you use the restroom, use a paper towel to open the door after you have washed your hands. (Something that I always practice on land too.) You never know if the person before you actually washed theirs.

4. BYOB! And I am not suggesting that you load up your liquid carry-on allowance with your favorite liquor. Bring your own blanket, and pillow or scarf. Is there really anything more disgusting than being handed a pillow or blanket with hair on it from the last user? If you really have a problem with germs, you can use your own blanket or coat to cover the seat and arm rests. This is a great tip especially if you are traveling with kids.

5. PROTECT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM! Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated in the dry plane air. Water is the best choice when they ask you if you would like a beverage. When I travel I try to drink more water than usual, double up on my vitamins, and make an effort to get plenty of rest prior to my trip. Try not to trade sleep for packing time.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.