I might feel like I could run a marathon while heading to the airport, happy and healthy to be getting out of town. And then, I enter the airport’s doors. There is something about the air, the crowds and the mingling of germs in these high trafficked spaces that instantly brings on a sore throat and a runny, Rudolph red nose. As fall approaches, so do the colds travelers pick up more often than not while traveling through the airport. If you would prefer to arrive to your destination without a cold, here are a few travel tips you can take at the airport.
Wash your hands often: Traveling through the airport, you might forget just all of the surfaces you are touching, from elevator buttons to escalator handles. Wash your hands as often as you can at the airport. This will help kill germs you might have picked up while traveling from one terminal to the next.
Wear socks and use hand sanitizer at security: Often the only threat at airport security is the threat of picking up a cold. One of the worst places in the airport to pick up a cold comes at the security checkpoint. Those security agents are wearing gloves for a reason. When you touch those plastic bins and walk through the body scanners without socks, you could be asking for a nice fall cold. Travelers can avoid diseases by wearing socks as they go through security. Also once you have finished touching all of those bins thousands touch a day, pull out your hand sanitizer for a nice lather.
Be cautious at soda and drinking fountains: Many airports have restaurants where you can go fill up your soda at a fountain. When you press that button for Pepsi, you know many have come before you doing the same. You don’t know the state of their health. The same goes for drinking fountains. If you sit near a drinking fountain at an airport, you will quickly discover a person stops every few seconds for a sip. They might slurp up the water and then run their hand over their month, a hand that was just pressing a communal button for water. Be careful at these places and again immediately reach for hand sanitizer or go wash your hands after using them.
Be a loner in waiting areas: You might not be able to avoid people on the airplane, but you can certainly avoid them at the airport. While waiting at your gate, try to find an area away from the masses. One sneeze near you can mean a cold later on in the week. I often look for areas in airports where there aren’t people around, especially during cold season. At the same time, consider what you touch where you decide to wait for your flight. Gripping an armrest could result in a cold later.
Resist picking up store products until purchasing: Those news stands and airport snack shacks might look like a great way to kill some time. Pick up a few magazines. Put them back on the shelf. Pick up some snacks you are considering purchasing before deciding on just pretzels. All of these decisions might seem innocent, but you will notice many others doing the same. These products are also common surfaces. Travelers should try to only pick up the items they will be purchasing. After you do, it might be time to wash your hands again or squirt a glob of hand sanitizer on your palms.
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