We have a good friend who is an airline pilot.  One night, while chatting, she revealed that airplanes are not as clean as you’d think. They typically look clean because they get vacuumed, but considering they spend very little time on the ground between flights there rarely is time for a deep, thorough cleaning. All day long, people with colds and other illnesses get on and off the plane.  The flight attendants do pick up trash, tidy the cabin and put the seat belts neatly across the seats, but that’s about it.

This lines up with our experience:  I noticed over the years that whenever we flew somewhere, I’d often be sick a few days later. We figured we’d been around new germs and that  it was par for the course. But then our pilot friend gave us a tip that made so much sense:  bring Clorox Wipes on the plane with you.

Now when we board, we quickly grab a wipe and clean the arms of our seats, the seatbelt, the seat belt buckle (being sure to get under that flap), the tray tables and those little things that swing around to hold them in place.  Basically, we give a quick once-over to anything near our seats that we might touch.  People look at us strangely, and we have to work hard to keep our fannies out of the aisle while others board, but I stopped getting sick after flying.

So you know what?  We started bringing wipes to hotels because we’d heard that hotels can also be places for germs.

Photo by Ann Teget for postcardjar.com

Now when we check in to a hotel room, we take about three minutes to grab a wipe and clean things like the remote control (which half the time is sticky, anyway), light switches, and the phone.  Basically, we try to think of the things housekeeping wouldn’t normally clean but probably get a lot of dirty finger traffic.

Speaking of dirty finger (and other parts) traffic — we recently spent five hours at Union Station in Kansas City while waiting to board an Amtrak train late at night. Before resting our heads on a bench in the Great Hall, I took our Clorox wipes to the seats, which had already been cleaned by the night cleaning crew. Here’s what I got.

postcardjar.com

postcardjar.com

Moral of the story, if you don’t have time to have bronchitis (‘aint nobody got time for that!), then bring along a travel pack of Clorox Wipes or some other brand of disinfectant, and be well even after you get home.  Given the fact that Ann is taking medication that suppresses her immune system, this is one tip we follow each and every trip.

How do you stay healthy when you travel? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you.

  • One of our favorite stops on our hosted food tour of @visitkansascityks was the @403club. Sure, they offer a great selection of locally crafted and larger production domestic beers. But they also have pinball machines. In fact, they even have a pinball league.⁣
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We spent about an hour in this fun spot, sipping, playing, and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It will definitely be on our list of places to go again, someday. Beer and pinball are a pretty good mix.
  • On our visit to Italy, we visited the Prosecco region. While we toured a number of wineries, we actually stayed at an inn run by the Roccat winery. ⁣
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Prosecco is a sparkling wine, and people often see it as intergangeable with champagne. This isn't the case at all. Champagne is made from the Chardonnay grape, while Prosecco comes from Glara. Because of this, the two wines are completely different.⁣
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We enjoyed a tasting at Roccat, where they served us glasses of crisp, clear, delicious wine alongside some crunchy breadsticks that were just the right thing to enjoy with the wine.⁣
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If you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, make sure you include time to head to Valdobbiandene and try some Prosecco.
  • Located in @clearlakeiowa, the historic Surf Ballroom has hosted some of the biggest names in music. It was on this stage that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "The Big Bopper" Richardson performed their final show on February 3, 1959. After the concert, they boarded a plane for their next town on their tour. That plane crashed shortly after takeoff, and the date has been remembered ever since as "the day the music died."⁣
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@traveliowa
  • Set in Millennium Park in Chicago is one of the city's most iconic art installations. It's a giant, shiny bean which reflects everything in sight. It's fun to walk around (and under) the bean and see how the shape distorts what it reflects.⁣
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Folks come from all over to see this art installation and take it in. Children love running around it and gazing into it, not realizing they are learning about convex and concave shapes. ⁣
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Standing here you'll hear a multitude of languages and see people from all walks of life there to enjoy the art. And that's why we love public art so much--it brings people together.
  • On our cruise from Italy to Greece, we made a stop in Mykonos. There, we had the chance to take part in a Greek cooking class in a woman's home learning from her.⁣
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We spent an afternoon with lessons about Greek cuisine, and how they waste nothing, not even excess juice from a cucumber. We also saw how to make incredible dishes like this spanakopita, or spinach pie. Sitting in her dining room, enjoying the light, flaky crust and delicious filling is an experience we won't soon forget. ⁣
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While traveling, we try to find opportunities to experience local culture. It's amazing how similar people in the world really are if you just take some time to see what life is like.
  • Do you remember that song from "The Music Man" about trouble? You know the one about the kids in the knickerbockers, shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool hall window after school. ⁣
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Well, we got to peek in a replica of that pool hall on a recent visit to The Music Man Square on our hosted to Mason City, Iowa. It's the town where "The Music Man" creator Meredith Willson was born and raised and his legacy lives on. ⁣
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Before you go see @thehughjackman and @suttonlenore in this Broadway favorite, consider a visit to the real River City.⁣
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Click on the link in our bio to see our latest blog post about why fans of "The Music Man" need to visit Mason City, Iowa. ⁣
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@themusicmanbway
  • When we heard that there was a community garden in Clear Lake, Iowa, we figured we'd stop and check it out. We've seen small town community gardens before, and were expecting a few flower patches, some paving stones, and maybe a bench or two. After all, it was built and is maintained by volunteers in a small Iowa town. ⁣
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What we found, though, was simply astounding! First, the entire garden had been designed beautifully; a small stream even meandered through the gardens, pausing in small lily-filled pools before continuing on its path. But the flowers took the cake. So many varieties, each more beautiful than the last. And the entire space had been planned out to take advantage of the spring, summer, and autumn species. ⁣
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if you enjoy gardens, put the Central Gardens of North Iowa on your list of places to visit.
  • Calmar, Iowa, near Decorah, is home to Pivo Brewery and Blepta Studios. There you'll find high quality craft beers, in a relaxed, fun environment. Upstairs from the taproom are the studios, where you can try your hand at art while sipping your beer.

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