In a grim warning for adventurers, figures provided by Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) show colds and flu are the most common conditions travellers face, followed by gastrointestinal upsets and food poisoning.

One in five travellers can expect to fall ill overseas, with nearly 60 per cent of those needing medical attention. In contrast, only seven percent will end up injured.

Where might people be picking up these sicknesses? It may not be the local food or even substandard hotel rooms-but a bacteria ridden airplane cabin at the start of you adventure.

SCTI CEO Craig Morrison said tight budgets and turnaround times mean that planes are not as clean as they once were.

“The air in the plane is cleaner than in most buildings but where you do get sick, is from the dirty trays, the armrests, the TV screens and the toilets”.

He goes on to explain it’s not about what you breath in, it’s about what you touch.

Obviously, it’s impossible to strap your arms into your jacket and avoid touching anything for the duration of the flight. Mr Morrison advises, however, that carrying hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes could help prevent sickness, as well as avoiding touching your face, especially on long-haul flights.