While travel is exciting, it can also produce some anxiety for germaphobes. Germs are something we all must live with, and this pesky reality shouldn’t make anyone miss out on a great travel experience. Here are a few tips to combat germ anxiety…and germs themselves…when traveling. This week we bring to you the wonder, and germs, of airplanes.
Airplanes are a modern wonder. Germ infested modern wonders. As always, have your handwipes and sanitizer ready when boarding the plane.
Once you get to your seat, wipe down high touch areas, like your tray table, your seat belt buckle, window shade (if you have a window seat), seat remote, TV screen, arm rests, the overhead vent and light switch. Remember not to place loose food items (like a pretzel) directly on a tray, even if you wiped it down. Thousands of people have touched it before you…even if most germs die, it’s best to have any food you may need to put on the tray placed on a napkin first.
It's important to battle the common cold, flu, and other illnesses during air travel. A mask can reduce your risk of various illnesses and may be required (always check with the airline for any safety requirements). You also may want to consider applying ointment, very lightly, with a cotton topped swab, just inside your nostrils (not too far up) to keep your nose passageway moist. This may help fight off germs from taking hold. Be sure you do not place the ointment too far up and do not inhale it. If this doesn’t work for you, use a nasal mist spray.
Airplane bathrooms are not a favorite place for most germaphobes (or really anyone, for that matter). The tight quarters make it virtually impossible to keep from touching most surfaces. Bring handwipes with you for the doors and faucet handles. Discard your wipe in the trash and use sanitizer (even after washing your hands) upon returning to your seat.
While beverages (and snacks!) are a fun part of plane travel, I recommend - hold the ice. Since there is no way of knowing how often the holding tanks for the water used to make ice, and the ice machines themselves, are cleaned and sanitized. Those conscious of germs should also decline tap water and coffee for the same reasons.
Once you safely land, don’t forget to wipe down handles of any bags that were checked.
By The Traveling Germaphobe ~ Series No. 2
I hope these tips help you travel as germ-free as possible and stay tuned for our next installment, hotels. Stay healthy and sanitize often!