Travel and Germaphobes

Traveling’s tough for germaphobes. In addition to protecting themselves from bacteria found in airport bathrooms, the airplane’s tray tables and seat pockets, they have to contend with dirty luggage. Fortunately, studies show that checked bags that are exposed to grease, mud, and a host of other foreign slime won’t likely make you sick. Of course, there is always the possibility that E.coli might take up residence on the bottom of your bag, so it’s always a good idea to formulate a post-trip cleaning plan sooner rather than later, especially if you are a germaphobe. Health experts suggest that upon landing … Continue reading

An Airplane’s Germ Zones

The title of this blog probably seems redundant if you’ve read my previous posts about the health of commercial aircrafts. For all intents and purposes airplanes are pretty much flying petri dishes and if you complete a flight without catching a single bug, then consider yourself blessed. At least that’s what researchers and investigators would have us think. Their years-long findings regarding dangerous germs found on major airliners is enough to make anyone re-consider jetting off on a romantic rendezvous in Paris or even a short flight to meet up with Mickey and Minnie. In my previous post I mentioned … Continue reading

Dirty Planes: Your Ticket to Illness

I’m sick and tired… actually, I am mainly tired. Too bad I can’t blame that on dirty airplanes. However, if I come down with pneumonia soon, I know where to point my finger. Forget about blaming filthy bathrooms on commercial aircrafts for illnesses, according to The Wall Street Journal, germs like Aspergillus niger, which cause pneumonia and a host of other infections, can be found just as easily on the pillow and blanket you use to catch some shut-eye on the red-eye. The paper’s investigation found that unless a pillow or blanket is visibly soiled it often gets reissued. The … Continue reading

Other Ways Flying Can Make You Sick

So far so good. I didn’t lose my lunch… or my dinner, or my breakfast. Maybe the airplane water wasn’t tainted with bacteria after all. This time. Still, if you don’t hurl from the water or the food, then there are plenty of other ways you can fall ill from flying the friendly skies. In fact, bacteria is as close as the seat pocket in front of you. At least that’s what a new report claims. Health experts say that you are basically fishing around for cold and flu germs each time you stick your hand in an airplane’s seat … Continue reading

Why Flying Can Make You Sick

I just got off of a 12-hour flight from Hawaii and I am just waiting for my temperature to spike and my lunch to make a return appearance in the toilet bowl. According to a news report, I am a prime target for contracting a travel-related illness thanks in large part to the amount of time I spent at 35,000 feet. For starters, I should have brought my own water on board the flight to avoid having to drink the airline’s version. Bad, bad move. Health experts maintain that airplane water is laced with E. coli. Okay, maybe “laced” is … Continue reading

The Dirt on Dirty Airplanes

If you thought that the restrooms on your last flight departing from Los Angeles or San Francisco international airports were filthy wait until you see them now. Passengers complaining about unclean facilities say they were “repulsed” and “disgusted” at the sight of the bathrooms. But get this–the people in charge of cleaning the onboard restrooms are not disputing the claims. Union workers who clean airplanes at both the L.A. and San Francisco airports blame the dirty bathrooms on serious understaffing and lack of equipment. The maintenance workers claim they aren’t being given the time or resources to properly do their … Continue reading

The One Thing You DON’T Want To See On An Airplane

“Mommy, these microphones don’t work!” my 3-year-old daughter exclaimed as she ripped off a pair of oversized airline-supplied headphones in disgust during our most recent flight to Hawaii. Note to self: Pack kid-sized headphones for next airplane ride. “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was the in-flight movie selection for this particular leg of our journey and my daughter couldn’t have been more thrilled. “Hurry Mommy hurry!” she cried as I hastily tried to make adjustments to the plane’s complimentary (see: cheap) headphones. “I’m missing Theodore eat his waffles.” “You can see Theodore eat his waffles right on the screen,” I replied. … Continue reading

The Ultimate Travel Tipster

Everyone who travels has accumulated a few horror stories that they recycle among friends and family. You know the ones that start with “You’ll never believe what happened when…” and end with “… and that’s the last time I ever do that again.” Often it’s through our own (and others’) misfortunes that we gain the most valuable travel tips. So where does that leave Peter Greenberg? Most of us know Greenberg as the intrepid travel editor on NBC’s “Today” show, CNBC, and the Travel Channel. The 57-year-old “travel expert” says he logs about 400,000 miles a year and has compiled … Continue reading

Keeping Germs Away At 35,000-Feet

For some travelers the mere thought of having to be cooped up with hundreds of strangers in an airtight environment is enough to make them sick. But are you really more susceptible to cold viruses at 35,000-feet? I have friends who have told me that they have boarded a flight feeling great, but shortly after they landed a horrendous cold set in and their vacation was ruined. Is this possible? According to doctors, there is little evidence that indicates riding on a plane increases the likelihood of contracting an illness. In fact, the notion that the air in planes is … Continue reading

Traveling With Children—Learn From My Mistakes

I used to be one of those travelers who would see a mother and her screaming child in the boarding area of an airport and secretly hope they wouldn’t be seated near me on a crowded flight. Well, that’s not entirely true. What I was really hoping for was that they wouldn’t be on my flight at all. Fast-forward a few years–now I’m the one with the baby. I might be older and wiser than I was when I was single, but giving birth didn’t gift me with the power to read minds. Then again, I don’t have to be … Continue reading