Avoiding Travel Germs on Planes

Avoiding Travel Germs on Planes

Avoiding Travel Germs on Planes

You are a Music Director and you have spent night and day getting prepared for your big performance trip. For all the endless hours of rehearsing, fund raisers, coordinating, delegating, etc., the last thing you want to hear is that you just lost 10% of your performers to the flu. Getting sick on the road or in the sky before a performance is just the worst. And it can happen to anyone. Here are some quick tips about how to fight-off and prevent getting sick in the sky from friend of Music Travel, flight attendant Candace Harvey.

As a flight attendant with a major airline for 19 years, my job has taken me all over the world. Traveling comes with bumps in the road, but one of the biggest is the risk that one might get sick. Follow these quick steps to reduce your exposure to germs while traveling:

  • When in doubt, wash your hands. The in-seat touchscreen monitors, tray tables and armrests are breeding grounds for germs (and I know for a fact that they are not cleaned between every flight). Use disinfectant wipes on surfaces that you will be using during the flight.
  • If you plan to sleep during the flight, bring your own blanket and pillow and ignore the complimentary ones from the airline. A jacket makes a nice pillow or blanket in a pinch. Airline pillows and blankets are re-used on every flight and only replaced with clean ones at the end of the day.
  • If you can, avoid using the onboard bathrooms. If you must visit them, use a paper towel to turn faucets on and off, to close the toilet lid before flushing, and to open the door. PS: If you take your shoes off during the flight, put them on before walking to the bathroom!
  • Do not rub your eyes or touch your nose or mouth. People tend to do that multiple times an hour, and that’s how many diseases spread.
  • Be sure to be hydrated before you board the plane, and continue to drink plenty of fluids (water and juice are the best!) throughout the flight. The dry air on the plane makes one more susceptible to common colds and flu. Buy a big bottle of water once you pass through security check, and start drinking before you fly. Or, bring an empty water bottle, and fill it after security check. You may always ask a flight attendant to refill your bottle, especially on longer flights.
  • If you board with a cold, be courteous and cough/sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of your dirty tissues and napkins in a bathroom or trash bag. The seat-back pocket is not the place to put trash!
  • Before leaving the United States, I always visit www.cdc.gov to read about possible health and safety threats at my destinations. Threats vary from country to country.

Have you washed your hands yet?!

Happy and safe travels,

Do you have some travel tips to tell us about? Please comment and share with the community. Every little tip can help!

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