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Here’s The One Thing You Should Never Board a Plane Without

Southern Living logo Southern Living 2017-12-12 Melissa Locker

© Image Source/Getty Images When Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off,” she was talking about accessories. However, the advice works for packing for airplanes, too. Do you really need two books, three magazines, and a knitting project for a two-hour flight to Memphis? Probably not. In fact, aside from your wallet, ticket, and phone, there’s only thing that absolutely needs to be in your bag—antibacterial wipes.

GALLERY: The 15 Dirtiest Places on an Airplane (The Daily Meal)

The 15 Dirtiest Places on an Airplane: With all the stress of packing, long lines, unpacking, and other traveling tedium, you're probably not prioritizing sanitation when you board an airplane. You're just trying to make it to your seat intact before you're run over by the boisterous family of five waiting in line behind you.But an airplane is one of the places you're most likely to get sick while traveling. Hundreds of people are piled into a compact cabin just minutes after hundreds of other people walked out - it's a setup for germ disaster.Passengers' hands touch the windows, the seats, the overhead bins, and so much more. When germs hit a surface, they can remain alive there for hours, and in some cases days. That's days of germy pileup waiting for you as you board.Then, once you've touched everything, you sit down and touch your face, touch your eyes, and dig in to the complimentary snacks without thinking twice. This is where people go wrong and often get sick. But if you know where germs are lurking, you can take the appropriate steps to be cautious and keep infectious germs at bay. Here are the 15 dirtiest places on every airplane. Click here for the germiest spots in your hotel room. The 15 Dirtiest Places on an Airplane

The truth is that flying is a dirty business with hundreds of people moving in and out of planes, spreading germs. While airplanes get a cursory clean-up between flights, deep cleans only happen occasionally. In a Wall Street Journal article, American Airlines reported that they deep clean their planes every 30 days or so, while United planes got a wash-down every 35 to 55 days. Deep cleaning was the only time that the ceiling, walls, and overhead bins were sanitized, the carpet thoroughly cleaned, cloth seats shampooed, and synthetic ones sanitized. That deep cleaning only happens at most, once a month and the rest of the time, the seats and trays get wiped down about once a day. Unless you’re flying right after the cleaning crew gets done, you’re probably sitting in someone else’s germs. Luckily, that’s easy to fix with sanitary wipes like Clorox, Lysol, or Wet Wipes.

In that same, Wall Street Journal article, Delta and United reported that they gave the seats and tray tables in first and business class a good scrub with sanitary wipes between flights, if you’re riding coach (or just want to be extra sure), it pays to bring your own antibacterial wipes. Simply throw the wipes in your carry-on bag—or pick them up at the airport as most airport stands sell travel sized packs. Once you’re on the plane, wipe down your seat, armrest, tray table, seat belt, and air vent, as soon as you take your seat. Then sit back, relax, and read the four magazines you brought with you.

RELATED: 7 Crazy Airplane Facts That Will Blow You Away (Reader's Digest)

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