Do you always seem to catch a cold every time you travel? I used to but it hasn’t happened to me in a couple of years, not since I read an article pointing out what is most likely to make us sick when we travel.
No, it’s not the cabin air of the plane – it’s your fellow travelers! Not just the ones you can see coughing and sniffling, the ones who just got OFF the plane could be the culprit as well. Horror stories of what people do on airplanes – at their seats – abound. People have changed baby diapers on that tray table you’re about to use for your lunch!
Germs can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours and with the quick turn of aircraft, there is not a lot of sanitizing taking place. The cleanest place on the plane is likely to be the bathroom!
What is a savvy/slightly paranoid SciFi author/traveler to do? We buy boxes of individually pacaged anti-bacterial Wet Ones for about $3. As soon as we board the plane, we tuck out bags away and as we take our seats, we open one of the single size packets and wipe down EVERYTHING!
Start with the seat belt buckle and armrests then continue on to the tray table, including the release or handle. Don’t forget to do the light button and air vent control too.
Use one for your hands and you are ready to sit back and relax for the duration of your flight.
You may get strange looks from fellow travelers but who cares? You don’t want them bending your ear about their knee replacement surgery the whole flight anyway! Typically I get an acknowledgement that it’s a great idea from the flight attendants and other frequent flyers.
Keep extra packets for places you visit along the way, the flight home and of course, your hotel room.
What to use it on in your room? Start at the front door. Do all the doorknobs. How about the remote control? Same with the telephone and the alarm clock on the nightstand. Most hotels do a great job of cleaning, but sanitizing these frequently used items is NOT on the housekeeping checklist!
Having the imagination of a Science Fiction author gives me much more to worry about than the average person. It’s hard enough to relax when traveling given all the turmoil in the world. Other people’s cooties is one thing you can easily do something about!