I’m a Germaphobe—These Are the 7 Things I’d Never Wear to the Airport

I don’t know about you, but I’ve probably watched a few too many of those news segments about the most bacteria-laden places on a plane and looked a little too closely at those stains on the seats of chairs in airport waiting areas. When it comes to air travel, ignorance truly is bliss, but since it’s kind of too late for me as far as that’s concerned, I’ve resigned myself to being a bit of an airport germaphobe. 

Since I can’t (and wouldn’t want to) avoid traveling, my solution is to pack plenty of Purell and wear items that help me to avoid the dreaded skin-on-germ contact. Below are seven items that I’ve come to learn are best avoided when spending a day at the airport and on planes. So just in case you too have read a few too many airport-germ-exposure stories, read on and keep in mind for your own future travel outfit planning. (Plus, shop the seven types of items I wear instead.)

When I’m sitting on a plane for hours, the last thing I want is for my legs to touch airport seats of any material. If I must wear something on the shorter side, I always wear a trench or long cardigan or the like that shields my skin.

I learned the hard way that wearing something with wide or puffy sleeves makes it nearly impossible to avoid them sweeping across gross airport bathroom sinks when washing your hands (and basically everything else you encounter). Now, I stick to short sleeves and shirts that are fitted at the wrists.

If I’m trying to be as comfortable as possible on a long-haul flight that I intend to sleep on, nine times out of 10, I’m going to wear a sweatshirt. And instead of having my hair touch the seatback, I opt for a hoodie.

It drives me crazy when I’m wearing something so long that it sweeps across the floor, picking everything up with it along the way (which is not ideal, especially in an airport). Luckily, there’s an easy fix: Wear something shorter.

I’m glad that wearing socks with anything and everything is a trend now because if you’ve ever gone to the airport in flats that you’re forced to take off at security and only have your bare feet to carry you through the scanners, you’ll never want to make that mistake again.

If I’m wearing a top that’s on the cropped side to the airport, I’m always sure to either wear jeans high enough to cover any exposed skin that could come in contact with the seatback. Even better? A shirt that I can tuck in.

Next up, a flight attendant on what not to wear through airport security.

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