Cue the Ewww… What’s the Most Contaminated Destination You’re Likely to Visit this Summer?

Cue the Ewww… What’s the Most Contaminated Destination  You’re Likely to Visit this Summer?

Summer is synonymous with vacation. And no one is more deserving of downtime than small business owners. So, you’ve got everything covered in preparation for your mass exodus. Your out-of-office email is set, files are tucked away, and your desk is looking mighty tidy.

But, there’s one giant mess you surely won’t avoid on your getaway – germs at the airport.

According to Travel Math, airports harbor more germs than some of the dirtiest places in your home. With 243 million passengers predicted to fly between Memorial Day and Labor Day, vacationers should be aware that just dodging airport restrooms isn’t the only way to avoid germs. Colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria are high on all of these surfaces (with some bathroom surfaces even on the low end):

  • Check-in monitors/touchscreens = 1 million CFU
  • Public kiosks = 250,000 CFU
  • Airline gate bench armrest = 21,630 CFU
  • Water fountain button = 19,181 CFU
  • Toilet seat = only 172 CFU
  • Bathroom stall locks = only 70 CFU

So, what’s an adventure-seeking traveler to do?

The best way to avoid harmful germs at airports is to mind your hygiene. Wash your hands, use sanitizing cloths, and avoid touching your mouth. As this list illustrates, the transference of pathogens is most prevalent in areas where fingerprints and touchpoints come into play.

Michael Zimring, MD, director of the Center for Wilderness and Travel Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore also urges passengers to wear socks – as a line of defense at security checkpoints.

“If your feet are sweaty, you can get a bacterial or fungal infection,” Zimring says. “The floor is dirty, and people are walking all over it. Who knows what is on there.”

Precautions like these pack a healthy punch. And our team knows a thing or two about using grit to beat grime.

So how about a few more of our traveling secrets?

Stay “Jidan Clean” with these 12 highly effective germ fighters:

  • Hold a tissue when pushing buttons and door handles
  • Take an alcohol wipe to your seat
  • Be sure your food is tightly wrapped and contained
  • Drink bottled water rather than the drinking fountain
  • Use bathrooms after attendants have sanitized (most often done in rotational shifts)
  • Avoid touching or leaning on rails, doorways, walls, and pillars
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow to avoid spreading your own germs (we all have them)
  • Consider carrying Vitamin C and other immune boosting supplements
  • Bring your own pillows and blankets
  • Don’t sit where air vents blast directly on you
    And, last but not least…
  • Book an early morning flight – the cleanest airplanes take off first thing in the morning (early risers rejoice)

What tips do you have for traveling like a pro? Head on over to our Facebook Page to join the conversation.

No time for an exotic getaway? Check out our tips for rocking a staycation instead.

Bon voyage!

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