3 Ways Holiday and Timeshare Travel Makes You Sick (and how to avoid it)

Most of what we all know about how air travel can make you sick began with a highly publicized 1979 study. The research looked at a plane with 54 passengers (imagine a plane today with only 54 passengers), and found that 72 percent of them became ill within two days of the plane sitting on the tarmac with its engines off and no circulating air.

And holiday travel drives the risk of exposure to travel-related illness even higher because a greater percentage of the passengers traveling are children. Children, as we all know, not only carry all sorts of schoolhouse bugs but are less likely to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze and more likely to touch anything within reach with hands that are poorly or rarely washed.

But don’t stay home. Use this holiday season to visit Grandma or to enjoy time at your favorite timeshare resort. Just take a few extra precautions so your holiday travels don’t turn into the prelude to a winter bug.

Here are 3 ways to reduce your chances of travel related illness during your holiday trip to the timeshare or other destination:

  • Most of us avoid touching the bottoms of our shoes, yet we don’t hesitate to handle our personal belongings after they have been inside those airport security checkpoint bins where our shoes, and millions of other shoes, have  been. Use a hand sanitizer as soon as possible after passing through security and don’t forget to take a disinfectant wipe to your purse, carryon bag, and briefcase on a regular basis.
  • Don’t blame the air circulation system in a plane for exposure to illness; today’s planes have HEPA filters that are similar to those used in hospital operating rooms. But do blame the dry air inside the plane for drying out your nose and throat. Drink plenty of water and consider using a saline spray to keep your nose hydrated.
  • When you get to your destination, take a few more simple precautions. Your timeshare unit is likely to be fresh and clean awaiting your arrival, but even in the nicest destinations, the remote controls for electronics are rarely disinfected. Instead of trying to clean the TV remote, simply turn a zip top plastic bag, such as a sandwich bag, inside out, pick up the remote and then reverse the bag. You can enclose the remote in clear plastic, seal it, and never even have to touch it. And you’ll find it functions just fine through the plastic.

The holidays are a great time to travel. Many people have extra vacation days and we all look forward to some special time with loved ones or the chance to enjoy a resort getaway. Taking a few simple precautions can greatly increase the odds that the only mementoes you bring home from your travels are great memories and few souvenirs.