‘Tis the season for travel. And whether you have to fly for business or pleasure, you can avoid the germs and illness that sometimes comes from your work or leisure schedule. The shared air and space can lead to the common cold or even the flu, but these tips from BlueOrange, a luxury travel agency based in NYC, can help you avoid common airplane bugs and ensure you arrive feeling your best.

Use Your Overhead Air Vent

By turning on your overhead air vent, you increase the airflow around you and decrease the number of germs in your airspace. You can rely on an airplane’s air filters to catch many of the airborne contaminants, including bacteria and viruses that can make you sick.

Avoid the Blankets and Pillows

Often, the freshly washed blankets and pillow are put out for the first flight of the day. If your itinerary has you scheduled to fly later in the day, then you can’t be sure that your linens are clean and germ free. Pack your own sweater and travel pillow to keep you warm and comfortable for longer flights and avoid recycling someone else’s germs.

Leave Your Tray Table Up

Easily one of the dirtiest parts of an airplane, the tray table is in contact with germs from hands and bodies all day long. In the interest of time, the space isn’t always wiped down between flights, so it is best to avoid your tray table completely. If you need the tabletop, then carry disinfecting wipes in your carry-on to clean the tray first.

Avoid the Seat Back Pocket

Like the tray table, the seat back pocket is often used by passengers as a trash can in-flight, but it’s not always cleaned or disinfected between trips. Additionally, the dark space is ideal for bacteria like e. coli to thrive.

Don’t Drink the Water

A study by the Wall Street Journal revealed that airplane water on international and domestic flights includes contaminants like Salmonella, Staphylococcus and tiny insect eggs, all of which can make you sick. Bacteria were found in tap water served from the beverage cart and from the lavatory sinks. Staying hydrated is important when you travel, but it is best to avoid the airplane tap water all together and bring your own bottle. Also consider carrying hand gel in your carry-on for after you use the restroom instead of relying on the sinks.

Use Your Voice

Remember that you are your best advocate. If the person in the seat next to you is sneezing or obviously sick, then ask the flight attendant to switch your seat. While on a full flight, this isn’t always possible, it never hurts to ask.

Whether or you are traveling for work or for pleasure, taking some simple precautions can ensure you arrive at your destination healthy and feeling your best. Contact BlueOrange, a NYC-based luxury travel agent, to plan your next trip this holiday season.