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The 18 Germiest Places You Encounter While Traveling

Do you ever get sick when you travel? Chances are you’ve contracted something from one of the dirty offenders on this list of the germiest places. Fortunately, with a little knowledge and a lot of hand sanitizer, you can stay healthy on the road and in the air.

A study from Lysol Pro Solutions measured contamination levels on surfaces in 10 planes, one airport, and 15 hotels across the U.S. to determine the germiest hotspots for travel.

The Germiest Places in Hotel Rooms

Close up of woman disinfecting a tv remote with a sanitizing wipe
Pattarisara | Adobe Stock

Unsurprisingly, toilet handles hosted the most germs in hotel rooms. Fortunately, this is an easy hotspot to deal with, as you should always be washing your hands after you touch the toilet handle.

  1. Toilet handles
  2. TV remotes & doorknobs (tied)
  3. Desktops, refrigerator handles, nightstands (tied)

Use the provided shower cap or ice bucket bag to cover the remote before using. Wipe down all doorknobs, refrigerator handles, and nightstands upon arrival with a sanitizing wipe to kill any germs housekeeping may have missed. 

The Germiest Places in Hotel Common Areas

Close up of hand pressing the ascending elevator button
jaboo_foto | Adobe Stock

Hotel common areas see a ton of foot traffic throughout the day. Always wash your hands when returning to your hotel room, or use hand sanitizer after touching any of these germy spots. 

  1. Elevator buttons
  2. Luggage cart handrails
  3. Bathroom doors, front desks, elevator handrails (tied)

The Germiest Places in Airport Check-In Areas

Check in kiosks at the airport
leeyiutung | Adobe Stock

Airport check-in kiosks don’t get cleaned as often as they should. If you can, go contactless by checking in for your flight online and downloading your ticket to your phone. Minimize your chances of getting sick by using hand sanitizer or washing your hands once you’ve checked in and passed through airport security. 

  1. Pin pad at check-in kiosks
  2. Check-in countertops
  3. Baggage office countertops

The Germiest Places on a Plane

Close up of hand pulling down shade on window in airplane
Chalabala | Adobe Stock

According to the study, airplane bathroom toilet flush buttons actually had fewer germs on them than passenger seat headrests, overhead air vent dials, tray table latches, seat belt buckles, and window shade handles. 

When you fly, always pack a sanitizing wipe and follow SmarterTravel’s step-by-step guide for disinfecting your airplane seat. 

  1. Seatbelt buckles & window shade handles (tied)
  2. Tray table latch
  3. Overhead air vent dials

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