Planes are dirty. Typically a complete germ pool, an airplane ride could be your next ticket to the pharmacy for flu medication and/or cough syrup. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how when they travel they always catch a cold. It probably wasn’t your vacation in Mexico with bottom shelf liquor, or your choice to stay in a dodgy hostel in the middle of Thailand that gave you your current virus (though those two situations certainly don’t lessen your odds.) It was more likely your 15 hours on plane, strapped in a hurling piece of metal, whilst breathing in the same air as 240 other passengers.

Mastering the odds (ironically enough) of not getting a cold has become a science and just for typing those words I will probably get a cold the next flight, BUT there are definitely a few things I avoid while on a plane.

5 Things I Never Do On An Airplane

1. Wash my hands
Yup, you heard it first, I never wash my hands on an airplane. Studies have shown that the water stored in the tanks of the aircraft have high counts of bacteria alike to pond scum, not due to the water, but rather the uncleanliness of the tank itself. Try hand sanitizer for a change.

2. Take ice cubes
A secret a flight stewardess once told me. She said, “you don’t want to know about where that ice comes from, the water, the containers that carry it, always pass on ice in your drink.”

3. Touch the seat-back pockets
I feel like this is a given, don’t put your phone it, don’t touch it, just pretend that the convenient pocket in front of you designed for every thing you brought doesn’t even exist.

4. Say yes to tea and coffee
Ever wonder why you always see the staff with their own coffees? It’s because the water they use to make the coffee/tea on board have been tested and the results are revolting. In this recent article from Forbes, it breaks down the report on why you won’t ever ask again for tea/coffee.

5. Use the pillow
Sorry, no, your pillow probably wasn’t cleaned before you used it. It’s a great back support, but certainly not for my face. (pack your own, like this one)

Don’t let the germs of a plane deter you from travel, I sure don’t, just remember a few tips for the next time you get on one.

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