Keeping germs at bay when you travel

Keeping germs at bay when you travel

The holiday season is here, and you’re traveling to see your family. Or perhaps you just want to get away from nasty weather and visit someplace warm. Whatever is fueling your wanderlust, here are some tips that can keep you healthy on your journey.

Did you know the biggest risk of germ exposure isn’t from the person a few rows away on the plane who is coughing? It happens before you even get on board. The germiest things at the airport are not the toilet handles or even the bathroom doors. Studies have shown the plastic trays at security checkpoints are crawling with germs.

Those are tough to avoid as everyone uses the trays, and good luck getting on a plane without going through the checkpoints. But experts say you should avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth after using the trays until you can wash or sanitize your hands.

The germiest places are the ones that get the most hand traffic. You don’t think twice about touching restaurant menus, airplane tray tables or hotel room surfaces. Perhaps you should.

Researchers at the American Society for Microbiology studied hotel rooms and found 81% had fecal bacteria. The worst spots were the TV remote, the toilet and bathroom sink but also the light switch, carpet and telephone. Shouldn’t the cleaning crews have this under control? The study found the housekeeping carts themselves were crawling with germs.

Experts say don’t throw clothes on the floor that you intend to reuse, don’t set your toothbrush on the counter and remove the bed comforter when you get to your room. Basically, be aware of anything that might touch your face. Stay safe and happy travels!

Related Episodes