6 Flying Tips for Holiday Vacation Trips

This is one of the biggest travel times of the year and with millions of people headed out on vacation all over the world, I want to offer up some of my best flying tips, courtesy of my friend Susan Sly, along with some info what it's like for Americans to fly.


Some interesting info from a poll on what matters most when Americans fly.via Morning Consult

Flying Tips:


A survey sampling of 327 airplanes found that there was a high amount of E. coli in the on-board drinking water. You have to bring your own water because even coffee and tea has shown traces of E. coli. For safety reasons, the water on a plane won’t be heated enough to kill off the bacteria. So, buy a bottle of water after you go through security. When you’re on board, only drink bottled water- one for every hour that you fly. This will help you be less hungry(see below) and will help you avoid feeling dehydrated when you get off the plane.


We’ve all done it- tuck our iPads in the seat-back pocket before we read the Sunday NY Times, or watch a movie. Or, we stick that crossword puzzle in there when we decide to take a nap.


That place is a haven for cold and influenza viruses. The reason: not everyone washes their hands, which is one of the top disease contributors in the entire world.


Always bring a pack of anti-bacterial wipes. A staphylococcus lives on these things and kills 20,000 Americans every year. Don’t think, “Hey, Susan- it’s not that manly to be carrying around a pack of wipes.” Trust me; I would be more worried about having a clean place to work over anything else.


FDA inspectors went into the kitchens of planes from major airlines and found the Listeria virus as well as swarms of cockroaches. But, forgetting that, even from a general nutrition perspective, airplane food is not good for you. These types of meals are packed with sodium and loaded with preservatives. When I travel I bring a natural protein bar, raw almonds, raw walnuts and even a piece of food. Avoid fast food when waiting at an airport terminal. What’s good is that a lot of larger airports these days offer a variety of food options.


Many airlines won’t even provide blankets anymore, but if they do, use your own! There’s an Aspergillus niger virus that can cause pneumonia and lives in these blankets. The Wall Street Journal did a study in 2007 that revealed that blankets were only washed once every five to 30 days. How disgusting is that? If you forget a blanket, use your own jacket.


Avoid airplane bathrooms at all costs. The CDC found that H1N1 and SARS epidemics may have been perpetuated throughout the United States by airplane bathrooms. Here’s why: when you flush the toilet air sprays up particles from urine, to airplane matter, and germs and other viruses. When someone doesn’t wash their hands, all of that material gets spread throughout the plane. If you’re on a longer flight and you can’t avoid the bathroom, close the toilet lid with a paper towel before flushing and then use hand sanitizer to “wash.” That dirty sink water will do you no good either.

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  • I would add – turn off the vents above the seat. The air in a plane is constantly recirculated. So the germs from everyone else onboard is just being blown directly into your face, eyes, mouth, and nose. Once the air settles on the mucous areas, you can become infected.

    Patty B. on

  • No offense, but one of these comments contradicts another. It says to drink a bottle of water bought once past security; one per hour of flying. With an average flight of 2-hours; You’re almost guaranteeing that you will need to go to the bathroom. Which brings us to “Avoid Airplane bathrooms at all costs.”.
    My ex-wife used to be a gate agent at US Air. She followed all of these rules, however don’t drink the second bottle of water until you get OFF the place. Then you can drink it a bit more quickly to rehydrate and use the airport bathroom if needed (and don’t forget to wash your hands and open the doors with a napkin). :)

    James M. on

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