Stay hydrated, but take your own water. Low-humidity cabin air dries out your sinuses so drink fluids (preferably non-alcoholic). While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a more active role in monitoring aircraft drinking water, plane tank water may be filled from local sources and repeated storage can cause bacterial growth. Best advice: buy a bottle of water after you go through security to take onboard.
Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Wipe all surfaces, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Don’t dig around in the seat pocket. You don’t know – and you don’t want to know – what’s been in there (everything from used Kleenex to leftover sandwiches). Keep your reading materials and snacks in a handy carry-on bag.
Use caution in the lavatory. Washing your hands with soap and water is great, but the lavatory surfaces are probably contaminated. The whoosh of the flush sprays water and potential germs. Remember to use a paper towel on the door handle when you leave.
Touch your face as little as possible. Many people have had their hands on the seat belt, the tray table, the arm rests and the overhead rack. After you touch them, don’t pick up those germs by immediately rubbing your nose and mouth. It’s also smart to BYOP (bring your own pillow) and blanket.
Don’t spread your own germs. If you have a cold yourself, try to change your travel plans or at least try to contain your own coughing and sneezing!
Build up your immune system. Eat right and get plenty of sleep to naturally fight any nasty germs you might encounter. Some frequent flyers have good luck taking a vitamins and supplements to boost their immunity.