9 ways to avoid swine flu while traveling

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With all the media noise about swine flu, it's not unreasonable to think about trying to avoid unnecessary public outings, including air travel. But the FAA and CDC warn you about flying if you are already experiencing symptoms of the disease or if you have come in contact with someone who is at serious risk of contracting the F1N1 flu virus.

Federal officials have just asked that everyone consider common occupational safety measures when in public and surrounded by other travelers. Because cheap airline tickets often fill up fast, often seeming like piled up planes and airports, you will want to follow these basic health guidelines on your flights.

1. Keep in mind that everything you touch, including your plane tickets, the handles on your bags and your ID, has the potential to be touched and vice versa, so wash your hands more than often with soap and water, washing for at least 30 seconds.

2. Take hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes with you everywhere (in a small enough container to carry carry regulations). You can basically wash your hands anytime, anywhere and wipe the plastic surface you are in contact with ¬ airplane seats and airport seats, ticket counters, etc. – when you are armed with these things.

3. Avoid using pillows and blankets on airline flights. Believe it or not, whether you are flying on cheap flights or premium airlines, planes do not have a washing machine or dryer hooked up behind to sanitize pillows and blankets between flights. Bring your pillow or blanket as a shield against the seats themselves.

4. You will be hard pressed to find cheap flights that are not crowded with passengers; As a normal hygiene practice, be sure to sneeze and cough on your own body, preferably in the fold of your hand. Always wear tissues to avoid spreading any of these germs to other travelers.

5. As much as flight staff, ticket counters and luggage can be helpful, as much as we value what they do, it would not be outrageous to ask them to manage their own affairs if possible at this time. Many discount airlines do not charge checked-in luggage, but you might still want to consider carrying luggage on these cheap flights so that ticket counters and luggage handlers do not pack your bags.

6. Airlines may have already started opening cheap airfares to Mexico and areas of the country where the swine flu epidemic has occurred, but federal officials are warning of traveling to those places and asking travelers to be extra careful about friends and family who may have recently visited those parts of the world.

7. Remember that you are usually contagious a week before you show flu symptoms, so if you think you may have contacted someone who might transmit the flu, this could be one of the few reasons for delaying your plane tickets another time. .

8. You can never be too careful, so wearing masks in public to protect yourself from the germs of other travelers and prevent your spread from spreading can be a good idea.

9. Just remember that once you got off the plane, that doesn't mean it's no harm to you. If you are going to stay in a hotel room and have space in your suitcase, you might want to pack your own blanket and pillow case.

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