There are no two ways about it: airplanes are gross! From unclean tray tables and seats to lavatories that rarely get a good scrubbing, a lot is left to be desired. In addition to being untidy, airplanes can also make you sick, according to a recent article from Forbes.
"Flying can make you sick — literally.
An airplane's full of germy hot spots. The stress of travel can wear down your immune system. And simply being stuck near a coughing, sneezing fellow passenger can leave you ill, too. Catching a winter cold is one of the worst parts of traveling."
While the article addresses Thanksgiving and Christmas travel, the truth is, cold and flu season lasts anywhere from September to April depending on the area of the country you're traveling. That means, for seven months out of the year, you're at greater risk of getting sick when flying on an airplane.
According to Forbes, the air on airplanes isn't as bad as most of us think. It's the surfaces that hold the most danger. Here's what to avoid if at all possible.
- Airplane Bathrooms – These are the most disgusting areas of the plane. "One researcher said that he's never used a dirtier bathroom than an airplane restroom; his tests consistently find MRSA, flu virus, and "large amounts" of fecal bacteria, which is why he tries to avoid using a plane's bathroom at all — even when nature calls.
"If you can hold it, hold it," microbiologist Chuck Gerba told us. "You're more likely to pick up something from going to the bathroom than just sitting in your seat."
- Tray Tables – "Researchers have found influenza, norovirus and MRSA on airplane trays they've examined." Using these trays to place your food, your computer, your magazine or anything else you'll later touch can be very risky. In addition, flight attendants tell tales of women changing babies on these trays that are rarely, if ever, cleaned. Nasty!
- Seatback Pockets – "Seatback pockets are particularly risky — passengers shove half-eaten food, used napkins, and all manner of other personal items into the pouches — and they're difficult for airplane staff to easily clean. The magazines in the seatback pockets are a virtual 'biohazard,' one writer concludes."
In addition, just walking through the aisle can be a risk if you touch the tops of the seats. Overhead compartments are also an area that is constantly touched by grimy, germy hands. Then, you have the alarming experience of sitting down right beside (or very close to) a passenger who is stuffy, sneezing and coughing.
Are you doomed?
No. Actually, there are some saving tools and tips
you can use when you fly to significantly
improve your chances of staying healthy.
Use a Sanitizing Wand – Small, handy and 99.9% effective, these little wonders can literally save the day. Viruses, germs, bacteria and other surface contaminants are dead in 10 seconds. In addition to being wonderful for airplanes, sanitizing wands are also perfect for nasty airport terminals, public bathrooms and more. A wand is just 10.39" long.
It's Not Just Airplanes: Hotel Rooms Cause Illness, Too
Once you get to where you're going, the hotel room is your next challenge. Even with clean towels and sheets, most hotel rooms contain billions of germs, bacteria and viruses left by countless guests who have used your room before you checked in.
The remote control for the TV, the light switches on the lamps, the pull cords for the curtains, doorknobs, bathroom faucets, bathroom vanities, toilet handles … you name it! If it has been touched, chances are it's covered in germs.
And what about the bed itself? While sheets and comforters are washed, pillows and mattresses are never cleaned. That means dust mites can quickly accumulate, which may trigger allergies and other symptoms. Sanitizing wands also kill dust mites as well as eliminating 99.9% of all viruses, including the H1N1 flu virus and MRSA germs. They also destroy bacteria, mold, flea eggs and other allergens that are common causes of colds, the flu, asthma and allergic reactions.
How Do Sanitizing Wands Work?
It's actually very simple. Sanitizing wands are battery powered using a rechargeable battery pack and/or an AC adapter (that is included). Just turn the wand on and point the UV light toward the surface you want to rid of germs and bacteria. Wave the wand over the surface for 10 seconds and voila! You have killed 99.9% of the nasties that threaten to make you sick.
The wand has an automatic shutoff feature so that when the light is facing upward it will not harm your eyes. The sanitizing wand folds neatly to a size of just over 10 inches and fits nicely into a purse, backpack, suitcase or briefcase. Larger sizes are also available for home and office use.
Sick and tired of coming home from your travels sick and tired? Travel healthier with this is quick, easy and affordable way to wipe out germs and bacteria before they can get to you. Happy trails!