We have some essential information for travelers. It’s a list of the germiest places you’ll find on land, sea, and air:
If you’re flying: The trouble starts at self-serve ticket kiosks. The touch screens are constantly being used, and can contain 37 times more bacteria than the average germ-infested airline counter.
Once you board: Give your tray table a once-over with disinfecting wipes. University of Arizona researchers found that 60% of the tables tested positive for the superbug MRSA.
Never wash your hands in a plane’s bathroom. They’re so small that bacteria sprays onto every surface whenever the toilet’s flushed. So, even touching the sink is a bad idea. Instead, use a disinfecting wipe when you get back to your seat.
So, what about once you get to your hotel? The biggest risk is: The light switch in your room. University of Houston researchers found it’s the dirtiest surface because it’s the first thing people touch after traveling all day. And, microbiologist Dr. Philip Tierno says that he makes a point of avoiding TV remotes and bedspreads when he’s on the road.
Finally: No matter where you go or how you get there, watch out for water fountains. A study by The National Sanitation Foundation found that they’re cleaned much less frequently than bathrooms. Which means, you’re better off not refilling your water bottle at an airport drinking fountain once you get past security. Just buy a new bottle of water, instead.