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  • Writer's pictureMonica, Your Travel Gal

How to Keep Germs Away While Flying

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

I have been flying a lot this month and both times, I have been sick with a cold. Now, I got the cold before I ever stepped onto the airplane but it is still not fun at all to be stuffed up or coughing. I read that this year is one of the worst flu seasons that we have had in a while so why not use these tips to keep those germs away from you during your flight. If you aren't the one who is sick, chances are you will sit next to someone who is.

Give Others Space


Choose the window seat over an aisle seat. You will have less chance of getting those germs in a window seat because there aren't dozens of people passing by you in an aisle seat. Plus, you can sanitize the whole window area too. Another way to give others space is to not bunch up next to the person in front of you when you queue up to board or while you wait for your fellow passengers to stow their carry on items inside the airplane.

Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated

You may have heard this before to combat other problems like preventing headaches, fatigue, etc. but your nose and throat need hydration to keep those germs away. A great tip is to carry a saline nasal spray with you on board. You can also drink hot water (bring a few slices of lemon) or herbal tea (bring your own tea bag) as the steam can also help keep your nasal passages lubricated. Also, avoid caffeine drinks like coffee and soda as it can be dehydrating.

Sanitize Your Tray Table

Sanitize Your Tray Table

Make sure you bring along some sanitizing wipes or some alcohol based hand sanitizer gel to wipe down your tray table. There is no guarantee that the tray tables get cleaned between flights and who knows what has been on your tray table. Feet? Heads? Hands? Sneezes? Just wipe it all down before you use it.

Another good tip is to sanitize the arm rest and if you have a window seat, all the surfaces around the window. Make sure you use a hand sanitizer before you eat and after you use the bathroom (even if you wash your hands). You never know what germs are being transferred when you are handed a snack/drink or on the bathroom door handle or on the chair seats as you make your way back to your seat. I would even sanitize your hands after using an escalator too! Just think about how many hands touch the handrails...

Open Overhead Vents

Open Overhead Vents

It might seem counter-intuitive but keeping the air around you circulating will keep those germs away. If someone sneezes or coughs next to you, open that vent so it blows away the nasty germs. The air that comes through the vents is passed through a HEPA filter so keep that air vent open! Think about it. The air circulation system was created during a time that smoking was allowed on the airplane. If it can keep smoke away, it can probably handle the germs too.


I hope these tips help and let me know if there is something I missed!

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