Open middle seats and face masks are great ways to make the public feel comfortable while traveling, but is it enough? Realistically, it is near impossible for staff to keep our transportation systems 100% clean with such high traffic. Prior to the pandemic, airplanes, trains, and automobiles were germ central, to begin with. Toss in a highly circulating worldwide virus and it only heightens the fear of germs in these places.
Proceed to find some useful tips for remaining reasonably free of icky situations when traveling. We all want to make it to our destination as safe and clean as possible.
1 Easily Access Small Items
Carry items that need to be easily accessed in an easily accessible place- such as this travel scarf– so you are not continuously touching and reaching for them, re-introducing germs into every pocket and opening.
- Money/credit card
- Boarding pass/ticket
2 Wipe It Down
Disinfecting wipes (Lysol is a great option) are great to wipe high contact areas. Again, if you find yourself short of these, a soapy towel does the trick too.
- Handles/grab bars
- Luggage/bag handles & straps
- Credit cards
3 Properly Fitted Face Mask
Make sure your mask fits appropriately. Mostly so it does its job, but also so you aren’t constantly readjusting it, which reintroduces germs onto your face every time you touch it. (These black disposable masks fit great)
4 Change Clothes
Change your clothes as soon as you reach your destination or mid-journey if you’re traveling far. Preferably shower and change if you have time and access to a bathroom when you reach your destination.
Are you thirsty? If so, you’re already dehydrated. Drink plenty of water. Mostly because it’s good for you, but also because it keeps your immunity strong. Staying well-hydrated allows your body to filter out what it doesn’t need and assists in fighting off any lingering germs. Also, because your frequent restroom trips will be forced, this in turn will force you to wash your hands frequently. (You can purchase a plastic reusable bottle)
6 Get Enough Rest
Stay well-rested. Rest involves your whole body, not just getting enough sleep. Staying rested decreases stress on your body and helps fight illness by allowing your immune system to function properly. Lack of rest increases stress, which decreases an otherwise strong immune system.
7 Clean Your Luggage
Clean your travel gear like suitcases and bags. For those of us who are less than thorough (I’m guilty, too), you can grab a can of disinfectant spray and go to town, ensuring that you reach all the nooks and crannies inside and outside of your luggage, including wheels. If you’re slightly more thorough then a wipe down with a cloth and disinfectant spray or cleaning solution works well. Dump out dirt and crumbs or vacuum them out.
If bed bugs or scabies are possibilities then leave your bag outside in the heat for a few days or place your bags in a trash bag or large enough plastic to secure closed for at least 72hours. If you’re able to wash them then use hot water.
8 Print Your Tickets
While this may be an unpopular suggestion, print travel documents on paper as opposed to using your phone. You can toss them when you’re finished. You could also toss your phone after showing your boarding pass, however I’m sure you might need it indefinitely. Using digital travel documents is convenient and sounds like a great idea with the ease of checking in but think about how many different people have to touch your phone in that process. And even if others don’t, you will, and you have already touched everything else in sight.
9 Hands To Yourself, But Not On Your Face
Don’t touch your face, at least until after you’ve washed your hands.
Be aware of surfaces and items you come in contact with. Use common sense. Follow recommended guidelines. Wash your hands. Most of all, enjoy your travel experience!