Don’t Get Sick During Your Holiday Travels

Lots of us are getting ready for holiday travels. But planes and hotels are rife with germs that can make you sick and undermine your holiday joy. Here are some tips to keep you healthy during your travels this season.

On the Plane
You’re crammed into a tiny seat in a big tube of poorly recirculated air and a couple hundred strangers with who-knows-what on their hands. They cough and sneeze with abandon a foot from your face. It’s not a healthy environment, but here are a couple suggestions to help avoid feeling like crap after you fly.

  • Stay hydrated. The air is so dry on an airplane. Start hydrating a day or two before your flight, and bring an empty water bottle through security so you can fill it up at a water fountain before you board. Drinking water will keep your system in good working order so you can fight off any potential illnesses.
  • Move around every hour to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue.
  • Wipe down your armrest, window shade, and tray table with antibacterial wipes.

At the Hotel
There have been plenty of gross and scary exposés about how unclean hotel rooms are. My policy: avoid what I can and choose to ignore the rest, because you can’t avoid all the germs in a place where someone new sleeps every night.

  • Rewash or don’t use glass cups in the bathroom. There’s a chance that housekeeping has minimally wiped these down with an already dirty cleaning rag rather than replacing them with clean ones. Rewash with soap before using. While not environmentally friendly, plastic cups in sealed bags are the most sanitary.
  • Wipe down the remote control, alarm clock, and thermostat buttons with antibacterial wipes. These things definitely don’t get cleaned.
  • Most people know to get that bedspread/duvet cover off the bed or at least fold it down to the edge of the bed. These don’t get washed, and it’s likely that the blanket doesn’t get washed either. Make sure the top sheet stays folded over the blanket so it doesn’t touch your face or body while you sleep.
  • If you’re concerned about dirty sheets, bring a pillowcase from home and swap it out for the one on your hotel bed. Or call housekeeping and ask them to bring you a fresh pillowcase, just to make sure you’re sleeping on a clean one. You could even bring a silk sleeping bag liner and sleep inside that.