Air travel is adjudged the safest means of travel but there are a number of things that you may do while in the air that may not make your trip as safe as it should be.
Don’t Eat Food After It’s Fallen on the Tray Table
The tray table on airplanes doesn’t get sterilized between flights, so unless you’ve brought your own disinfectant or place mat, you may want to let that piece of food go into the thrash once it hits your tray.
Tray tables are usually only wiped down once a day, when the plane goes into an overnight station. Those tray tables are used for all kinds of things. During flights, some parents even change their babies diapers on top of tray tables. Some people put their bare feet on top of tray tables.
One study found that trays harbour an average of 2,155 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch. Compare that with the 265 units on the lavatory flush button. And while all samples tested negative for potentially infectious bacteria such as E. coli, you’ll still want to steer clear of that tray.
Avoid using The Blankets
Another airplane item that doesn’t get a thorough cleaning between flights are the blankets. Those blankets and pillows offered in the seatback are recycled flight to flight and usually don’t get properly washed until the day is over. Items like pillows and blankets are ideal places for germs and lice to hide in.
Remember To Stay Hydrated
Parched throat mid-flight? Don’t just blame the salty snacks. According to the World Health Organization, Airplane cabins are known for their low humidity because the manufactured air in the cabin is made to mimic the highest altitude humans can breathe at, usually between 6,000 and 8,000 feet.
For every leg of flight, each flight attendant will try to drink a full 16 oz. of water, which is why it is important for you too to stay hydrated.
Don’t Take Coffee or Tea
You don’t want to drink anything that could possibly be made with the tap water from the plane. Even though the water for tea and coffee is usually boiled, if you can opt for bottled water or another beverage from a sealed container you should.
One other reason to avoid coffee and tea; caffeinated beverages aren’t your best bet while flying. Caffeine slightly dehydrates you, and that creates a big problem.
Don’t Take Too much Alcohol
While a nice glass of wine can take some of the edge off of travelling, alcohol is extremely dehydrating. If you add that to the low humidity of the plane and your body’s in for a drying experience.
More so, the thin-air of a plane makes the effects of alcohol hit you faster, and harder. Not to mention that excessive drinking lowers your immune system in general. One drink in the air is like drinking two on the ground—it can affect you faster.