Top tips to avoid getting sick on an airplane and keep the germs at bay

It's no secret that plane cabins aren't the cleanest of places.

Hundreds of passengers use them every day, and even though they do get cleaned between journeys, it's still easy for them to become a cesspool of germs.

In fact, research from Skyscanner previously revealed that one in five people can catch a cold or the flu after a flight.

Not surprising when you consider that passengers come into regular contact with some of the plane's dirtiest surfaces .

The good news is that there are easy ways to keep those pesky germs at bay, whether you're on a short-haul flight or preparing for a long-haul journey.

We've picked out some of our favourite tips below…

1. Take anti-bacterial wipes in your hand luggage

Anti-bacterial wipes don't take up much space in your hand luggage, are easy to take through airport security (no pesky 100ml limits), and they are brilliant for wiping down the surfaces likely to have been touched by other passengers before you.

A quick wipe of the tray table and arm rests can do the trick for putting your mind at ease.

They can also be useful for general travel – especially if you're travelling with children who are prone to spills and mess!

2. Avoid the seat pockets

Flight attendants have warned us that plane seat pockets are disgusting . They don't get cleaned, and some passengers use them to store things like sick bags, dirty tissues, half eaten food… it's pretty grim.

Then, if you put your gadgets in there, suddenly you're exposing them to all of those germs. Grim.

3. Try and book a window seat

Everyone has a particular plane seat they prefer, but if you're looking to avoid germs then the window seat can be your friend.

That's because it minimises the risk of contact with passengers walking up and down the aisle – especially if someone who is sick holds on to the armrests on their way to the lavatory. The armrest that you then touch.

4. Avoid seats near the toilets

Unsurprisingly, the toilets can be one of the most disgusting places inside a plane cabin. Sitting near the lavatory can expose you to those airborne germs – not to mention the smell can sometimes make you feel nauseous. Not ideal.

If you can avoid going to the toilet during a short flight, it's better to wait until you reach the airport (unless you're really desperate of course!). If you do find yourself going to the lavatory or your seat is near it, flight attendants have warned you should always make sure to wear shoes .

5. Wash your hands

Travelling through an airport, you're going to come into contact with plenty of surfaces, so it's worth washing your hands regularly to kill off any potential germs. (Especially if you're guilty of often touching your face – washing your hands can help prevent spreading germs that can lead to breakouts).

6. Stay hydrated

Drinking water on a flight has heaps of benefits – it stops your skin from drying out, it can help keep your energy levels up, it can be a way to stop your ears from popping … and it can help flush out any potential toxins too!

Some research has been done into the benefits of air conditioning on a plane, and found that if you point the air downwards on yourself, it can act as a barrier against airborne germs.

However, a word of warning – having cold air blow on you for hours isn't particularly healthy, so if you are going to use this trick, pack some extra layers to keep warm.

8. Pack layers

There's nothing like being too cold (or too hot) on a flight, for creating uncomfortable conditions and leaving your system susceptible to germs. Pack an extra jumper in your bag just in case – if anything, you can use it as a makeshift pillow if you decide you want a quick nap.

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