How to keep from getting sick while traveling

There are lots of germs on airplanes

If you're flying anywhere this summer, you're probably already worried about delays and cancellations.

But there's something else to think about: getting sick while traveling.

Most illnesses contracted on a plane are picked up from surfaces, not through the air, according to Dr. Mark Gendreau, a researcher who studies infection risk during air travel.

So what can you do to avoid getting sick after you fly?

First off, use a hand sanitizer, with at least 60 percent alcohol, before and after touching seat-back trays and seat buckles, where the germs are plentiful.

If you sit near a passenger who is coughing or sneezing, adjust the air vent above your seat so the air flows away from your face.

Additionally, stay hydrated. Dry cabin air can dehydrate protective membranes in your nose and mouth, leaving you more susceptible to infection.