If orange juice and multivitamins are your go-to staples for staying healthy while traveling, you may want to rethink your defense strategy.
Research shows that disease-causing bacteria can linger on airplane surfaces for up to a week, according to the American Society of Microbiology in Boston.
The study tested if two types of bacteria that can lead to scary health problems – E. coli and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – could survive in various places on a place like window shades, leather seats and plastic tray tables. Researchers exposed the pathogens to airplane-like conditions and found that MRSA survived a whole seven days on the seat-back pocket, and E. coli lasted four days on the armrest.
But, even though porous materials like the seat-back pocket harbor germs for longer, you’re more likely to transmit bacteria to your hands when you come in contact with flatter, less porous surfaces like the plastic tray tables window shades, the study’s author, Kiril Vaglenov, said. The cloth tends to trap bacteria in the small fibers and makes it difficult for the bacteria to transfer to skin.
Another germy place on an airplane is the bathroom, which is typically shared with 50 to 75 people on each flight, said University of Arizona Professor of Microbiology Charles Gerba, Ph.D. The sink and door handle can get pretty gross over the course of a long flight, and a lack of proper cleaning in between flights can contribute to the overall nastiness.
“They turn planes over so fast, and there are no rules or requirements for disinfecting or cleaning airplanes,” Gerba told Women’s Health. “They pick up the litter, but they don’t really disinfect [planes].
Protect yourself on your next flight using Gerba’s tips:
Use Hand Sanitizer
It’s your best line of defense since most germs are picked up through direct contact. Make sure to bring hand sanitizer in your carry on and use it before eating and after using the restroom.
One of the most dreaded sounds on a flight is someone in proximity to your seat coughing profusely, but most viruses are transmitted through hand-to-face contact. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible, which adults do at an average of 16 times per hour.
Wipe Down Your Tray
“Everyone uses the trays to eat, drink and play cards,” Gerba said. In another study, he found norovirus and flu bacteria on tray tables. Pack disposable disinfectant wipes and wipe down your tray before using it.
There is no doubt that all of the Hawaiian Islands are beautiful and amazing to explore and that is what makes it so hard to choose. From the lush landscape of Kauai to the populated island of Oahu, there are so many amazing activities to do. Whether you are down to relax on the beautiful beaches or go zip lining through the forest, there is an island for you.
Oahu is a history rich and largely populated island. It is home to Pearl Harbor and the legendary north shore where surfing began. Waikiki has plenty of activities for all ages. For the whole family there is the Honolulu Zoo, Pearl Harbor, and the Waikiki Aquarium. For the more adventurous there is dive tours, zip lining, and surfing. For the laid back individuals there are sailing tours, beachside dining, and world class shopping.
Maui is a picturesque island known for its stunning sunsets and lush landscape. The island has amazing hiking and biking tours through its national parks. In the winter see majestic whales migrating in the ocean waters. For active individuals kayak or canoe in the crystal clear waters. This island is great for family trips too, being that there are plenty of family activities to do.
Kauai is the definition of a tropical paradise. Take a helicopter tour and soar over the lavish waterfalls and green landscape. Whether it is the whole family or a romantic couples trip, relax on the beautiful beaches. Horseback ride or take a four-wheeler threw the scenic locations of you favorite movies such as Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Wind down from these activities with a Luau in the evening.
Hawaii or the Big Island is the largest of all the islands. Tour the Kilauea volcano and view the amazing flowing lava. Learn the Hawaiian culture on the island where it all began. If you love the outdoors visit the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park and explore the grounds including the Great Wall and the scared temple Hale o Keawe Heiau that is guarded by wooden images of gods called fierce kii. Whether you visit the amazing black sand beaches, swim with manta rays, or explore natural wonders and the history of the island, there will definitely be something for everyone to do.
Lanai & Molokai are extremely enticing islands. These island is great for couples looking for an easygoing romantic getaway. No itinerary is needed here. The island is all about peaceful paradise. Both of these islands have yet to been taken over by the crazy amounts of tourists.
Planning a vacation with your significant other can be an amazing experience. Go somewhere that you both will love and find things to do for each other. The best way to get along is to allow each other to do the activities you want to do. Maybe one day you go snorkeling and the other you go to the spa, the point is to make each other happy.
If you cannot decide on a place to go just come to a compromise and try to go to the place the other wants to in the next coming year. While on your trip make sure to allow each other personal time. Fighting on a trip is no fun and can really dampen the mood. Remember its normal to fight when you are with each other 24 hours a day. When the argument comes on don’t take it far and look at the situation and if its worth fighting for. No one is going to get their way on vacation and lets face it, the same goes for real life too.
Focus on the joy of being together and all the fun things you will experience together. Vacation time is bonding time and if you support each other you will make it through anything!
Traveling can be stressful even when going on short trips. When packing a large suitcase it only adds to your stress. Have you ever considered packing just a carry on? Well here is how!
The typical airline will allow you a bag that is up to 45 inches total after adding all of the dimensions. Carry your electronics in a messenger bag or backpack and leave your other carry on for all of your essentials. For women, wear the jewelry that you must have so you do not have to pack it.
For clothing, try to wear what is heaviest while traveling. Shoes tend to take up the most space so bring pairs that are versatile. Jeans can be worn three times easily and shirts twice. Take the basics and add a scarf or statement necklace to make an outfit look different. Rolling all of your items is the most efficient way to pack all of your belongings into a confined space. Use the provided hotel toiletries so you do not have to take your own.
Try it out! Who knows maybe you will continue to pack this way. Have fun.
Cancun and Riviera Maya are amazing in the “shoulder” season! The last week of October brought gorgeous weather but not the tourists! We seemed to have most beaches almost to ourselves. There are several ways to enjoy this beautiful part of Mexico: the ALL-Inclusive resorts, LUXURY VILLAS on the beach, Mayan ruins in Coba and Tulum, beach day clubs, catamaran sailings, cenotes, snorkeling, zip lining, fishing and more. Our favorite find was La Buena Vida in the town of Akumal, which was a fabulous restaurant with tables in the sand, hammocks, a swimming pool, and even a couple of tree houses to climb and have cocktails delivered via a bucket and a rope while you enjoy a sunset. You can even snorkel in front of the beach. Cancun and the Riviera Maya offer relaxing vacations for just about any budget and a fabulous array of food options from Mexican to Italian to fresh barracuda we caught fishing and was made into tacos for us at La Cueva del Pescador. Best of all, copious amounts of delicious margaritas made from fresh limes and local tequilas to wash it all down....
NEW MOBILE Pass APP for your phone for International Travel! It’s FREE too...
Even if you don’t have Global Pass, you can shorten your experience coming back into the US via airports AND cruise ports by simply adding the Mobile Pass APP on your phone. You simply add your personal information, scan your passport and add your picture to the app. Once you return from a trip via cruise or airplane, simply type in your arriving flight information once you “land” and then you get to go through the line marked “mobile passport”. When we arrived at SFO from Cancun we were able to bypass all travelers to the quicker line and didn’t have to even wait 5 minutes. This service is currently valid in select airports and cruise terminals. For more information and a list of eligible airports and cruise terminals, go to https://mobilepassport.us/
~ Suzette Page, Agent