I'm not a germaphobe, but I do carry hand sanitizer and wipes most places and my whole family takes vitamins and frequently wash our hands. I got these great tips from travel expert Harriet Baskas that might help you too.
- Travel healthy. It sounds obvious, but the healthier you are to begin a trip, the healthier you’ll stay while you’re away. You can help yourself by getting plenty of rest the night before a flight, and by getting to the airport as early as possible. That’s because stress can impact the body’s immune response, making you more prone to getting sick.
- Add cleanliness to your carry-on bag. Research shows that airplane pillows and blankets aren’t washed between flights. So, you can avoid picking up another passenger’s germs by bringing your own clean pillow and blanket to sleep with. Also, bring extra packets of sanitizer wipes. Those will be easier to bring through security than liquid, alcohol-based sanitizers. Plus, you can use them to wash your hands after touching dirty overhead bins, tray tables, door handles, seatbelt buckles, or armrests.
- If you’re seated next to a passenger who’s obviously sick, and you can’t change seats, redirect their air. Experts recommend turning your overhead air duct toward the person, so it’ll blow sickness-causing germ droplets away from you, because you’re more likely to get sick from someone seated next to you, than from someone sitting behind or in front of you.
- If you get sick before your flight, stay home. A growing number of airlines are waiving or reducing their change-of-itinerary fees this year, for passengers who get sick with the flu. For example: Continental, United, AirTran and Virgin Airlines will waive their fees if you can provide a note from your doctor.