The weeks you spent avoiding sniffling colleagues around the water cooler can seem all for naught the moment you board a plane during cold and flu season. But as Travel + Leisure points out, having a few of these proactive tricks in your arsenal could help you avoid other passengers’ germs.

As you pack, stash a travel-sized bottle of nasal spray in your carry-on. Mucous membranes in our noses protect us from infectious agents, but airplane air can dry them out, so remember to apply regularly while flying.

Once you're seated, an antibacterial gel or wipes will take care of the microbes chilling on your tray table. When beverages and snacks are served, wipe down the tray table's surface, which has been called one of the dirtiest places on the plane. And skip the possibly unsafe airline coffee or tea.

Air travelers are typically crammed into planes like sardines, but there are still ways to limit your close contact with others. For example, linger toward the back or front, away from dense throngs of people, while waiting in line to board. Once you’re on the plane, opt for a window seat if you have a choice. Aisle seats typically have more leg room, but they also expose passengers to more germ-rich people walking in the aisle.

One last tip for staying healthy while flying the friendly skies: After you're seated, switch on the overhead vent to increase air circulation. You'll breathe easier if you're not sitting in a spot where germs are concentrated.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]