The last thing you want before a vacation is to get sick. However, airplanes and their airports are some of the germiest places to be. The guy next to you that doesn’t cover his cough, the visibly dirty surfaces, the shared bathrooms, the recycled air, the close quarters, and more scares may make you want to deplane and just drive. But there are some things you should know about where to avoid and how to handle germs during travel, especially because many are about to take off on Spring Break trips.


According to CNN, the six dirtiest places on an airplane or in an airport, in order of germs per square inch, are as follows:

  1. Tray Table
  2. Drinking fountain Buttons
  3. Overhead Air Vents
  4. Lavatory Flush Buttons
  5. Seat Belt Buckles
  6. Bathroom Stall Locks

This may surprise some: bathrooms are cleaner than things near your seat? In reality, due to short turnaround times, tray tables and seats are cleaned much less frequently than bathrooms.


Knowing these facts, avoiding germs can be easy. As with anything, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep before travel. This boosts your immune system and can prevent illness even if you are exposed.

If nothing else, bring wipes or hand sanitizer. Wipe your tray table, wipe your hands after touching vents or buttons, and avoid touching things in the bathroom. All of these things combined, you should avoid illness. But just to be sure, most airports sell Emergen-C or Airborne (Vitamin C booster drinks), so you could down one of those as well.

There’s no need to be paranoid, but be cautious. There are more foreign germs in airplanes and airports than at your house, so expose could mean a ruined trip. We aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions to avoid illness during what should be a relaxing and rejuvenating spring vacation.


Thanks for reading, friends! And safe travels!