6 Things to Disinfect Every Time You Fly

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Want to keep your family healthy when you fly? Better pack some hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes in your carry-on.

The website TravelMath recently tackled the issue of airport and airplane hygiene, sending a microbiologist to take bacterial samples from five airports and four flights. First the good news: All 26 samples were negative for E. coli. 

But the swabs picked up enough other kinds of bacteria to convince you to wipe down these germy surfaces:

Tray table. Amazingly, the tray tables on planes carry nearly ten times as much bacteria as the lavatory flush button, according to the TravelMath study. Get in the habit of wiping down your tray table as soon as you get seated.

Airport drinking fountain button. This was next germiest surface in air travel, with about half as much bacteria as tray tables, according to the study. If you or your kids are going to use the water fountain in the airport, consider covering the button with a facial tissue or using hand sanitizer immediately afterward.

Overhead air vent. After wiping down your tray table, give the overhead air vent some attention. Passengers are constantly reaching up to adjust the air flow and temperature. Those things get filthy.

Lavatory flush button. While it may surprise you that this wasn't the germiest place of all, it still deserves attention. Wipe it down, and use hand sanitizer afterward.

Seatbelt buckle. Everyone touches the seatbelt buckle several times during a flight, so it makes sense that it picks up bacteria.

Bathroom stall lock. Ditto for the lavatory lock. Every time you touch one, you need to wash your hands or use the sanitizer.

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