How to stay healthy when you travel

Tips for healthy travel

Tips for healthy travel begin with knowing where the most germs are. Sanitize the tray table in the plane, and put the plastic bag in the ice bucket around the remote in your hotel room or condo. Research shows that the remote has more germs than the bathroom.

Getting sick while traveling can put a damper on all your plans. Here’s how to minimize the germs you are exposed to and avoid getting sick.

1. Don’t put your bread or snack

directly on the food tray in an airplane.

2. Use hand sanitizers often.

Carry disinfectant wipes and use them to cleanse the tray table, arm rest, rim of the seat pocket and the door handle to the bathroom in the airplane. Use them to cleanse your hands often, especially when you return from the airplane toilet.

sneeze_thumbFlu viruses capable of being transferred and causing an infection can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours, according to the National Health Service.  *** More statistics below.

3. Don’t put your head down

on the food tray in an airplane to sleep.

4. Don’t put your bread or snack

directly on the food tray in an airplane.

5. Wipe down the remote control

in your hotel room. Or use the plastic bag in the ice bucket to cover the entire remote control

6. Avoid going barefoot

in the airplane or a hotel room.

7. Get a good night’s sleep

the two days before you travel. If you are run down, you are more vulnerable to germs.

8. Stay hydrated

Drink a bottle of water in the airport before you get on the flight, or in the car before you begin your road trip. The idea is to start your journey well hydrated. Personally I resent paying a huge price for bottled water (imported  from Fiji or elsewhere) in the airport after I go through security. So I always carry an empty water bottle, pass through security, and then fill it at a drinking fountain. Thus, I begin the flight with water and don’t have to ask or wait for the small amounts of water you are served aboard.

9. The humidity in the plane

when you fly, is so low the mucus membranes of your throat and nose get dried out. To keep my nasal passage moist and flush out germs, I use a nasal mist (nasal saline solution).

10. Food-borne sicknesses

from airplane food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an inspection of your airline catering facilities and issued warning letters in 2011 and 2014. What can you do? The best solution is to avoid the food on the plane. Bring your snacks and food from home. If you do buy food, eat what is packaged in a plastic wrapper. If the hot meal is not served very hot (touch it) return it.

11. What if another passenger is coughing or sneezing?

Ask to change seats. Always carry a face mask in case you get into a situation where you can’t avoid the sick passenger next to you or in a row ahead or behind.

***  “Four out of six tray tables tested positive for the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and norovirus, the highly contagious group of viruses that can cause a miserable one- or two-day bout of vomiting, diarrhea and cramping, was found on one tray. Many bathrooms have E. coli bacteria. Thirty percent of sinks, flush handles and faucet handles had E. coli, as did 20 percent of toilet seats, according to his research,” according to Charles P. Gerba, a germ expert and professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, who swabbed airplane bathrooms and tray tables on eight flights to see what bugs might be lurking onboard.

For more go to:

In case you missed this article in the New York Times Travel Section, here is more information:






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Category: Featured, Health, Safety Tips, Surviving Overnight Flights, Travel, Travel

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, National Geographic author, writer. Twelve books, explored overed 100 countries on 7 continents. Featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to National Geographic, Yahoo Travel, Travelgirl Magazine, CNN, CNN Airport Network. Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked 3,200 miles, two months across the USA, traveler to over 100 countries. Media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

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