Holiday travel is in full swing and business people who travel regularly need to be aware of what is lurking for them on the airplane, on the hotel comforter, or in the hotel ice bucket, just to name a few.Let’s start at the beginning; packing for the trip -Tip #1: Since your bag might be searched by TSA personnel, prevent the spread of germs by packing your personal items in plastic bags.Before & during the flight -Tip #2: Be sure to get a full eight hours of rest the night before your flight, drink lots of water before and during the flight to avoid dehydration, and consider taking an extra boost of vitamin C to ward off any pesky germs.Tip #3: Use sanitary wipes to wipe down the armrest and tray table, and use them to open the restroom door, flush the toilet, and turn on the faucet.Tip #4: Do not put items in the seat pockets (anything from dirty diapers to used tissues have been in there) and avoid using the airline pillows and blankets, which are rarely washed or sanitized.The hotel room; let’s concentrate on the remote control, telephone, comforter, drinking glasses, and ice bucket since they are the dirtiest, most unsanitary items in a hotel room -Tip #5: Put your luggage on the luggage rack provided, not on the bed or the floor. When the luggage is not in use, be sure to keep it zipped up so bedbugs cannot become stowaways.Tip #6: Clean the remote control with a hot, wet washcloth or sanitary wipe. The remote is rarely sanitized by the cleaning staff, but often harbors the most germs.Tip #7: After cleaning the remote, make your way to the telephone, which is also rarely sanitized.Tip #8: Pull the comforter off the bed, fold it up, and put it in the closet. It’s been confirmed by actual hotel cleaning staff that the comforters are only washed when there are visible stains.Tip #9: Do not use the drinking glasses; only use the plastic cups sealed in plastic. To find out why, watch this disturbing video from Fox 5 in Atlanta, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6uQC9MM5cQ.Tip #10: If you need to chill some drinks, be sure to use the plastic bag included with the ice bucket. If there isn’t one provided, call the front desk and request one. Like the remote and telephone, the ice buckets are rarely cleaned.If necessary, make the room kid-friendly -Tip #11: Wipe all the hard surfaces down with sanitary wipes (doorknobs, dresser knobs, fridge, microwave, etc.), check under the bed and all the dresser drawers for potentially harmful objects, and if toys fall on the floor, be sure to sanitize them immediately.As a general rule, remember to wash your hands as often as possible while at the airport, on the airplane, and at the hotel. Germs are lurking everywhere, but with a little preparation and by following the Top 11 Essential Traveler Tips listed above, you and your family can remain germ-free.Do you have any other tips to add? Do you have a related story to share? We would love to hear from you!