It’s vacation season, and you’re probably looking forward to some relaxing downtime. But nothing puts a damper on summer travel like a sickness—and airports and hotels are hotspots for germs. Luckily, a little preparation and awareness can help keep you healthy during your much-needed getaway. Check out the tips below:
Your trip can be less stressful if you’re prepared with a few germ fighters. We recommend packing these items:
Airports are a hotbed for germs since thousands of people are touching so many surfaces and objects all day, every day. However, there are several ways to dodge these bugs so you’re not infected before you even start your trip.
Best Life implicates self-serve kiosks and security bins as some of the highest touch spaces in the world of travel and the riskiest for spreading bacteria. Always sanitize your hands after using these items. Some other simple ways to avoid germs at the airport are arriving early to avoid crowds, washing your hands, maintaining distance from other travelers, using sanitizing cloths on surfaces, and avoiding touching your mouth and nose.
Here’s another pro-tip: book an early morning flight—since many airlines do their deepest clean during slow night hours, the cleanest airplanes take off first thing in the morning.
Gas pump handles are among the dirtiest commonly touched areas in public. A recent study found that 71% of the handles tested were highly contaminated with upwards of 2 million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.
Of course, it’s impossible to avoid touching these surfaces. But again, the key is to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you can wash and sanitize your hands. Keeping sanitizer within arm’s reach of the driver’s seat may help as a reminder.
Where you lay your head at night (and your toothbrush) matters. If you have space, bring your pillow from home. Dust mites and other contaminants remain in the fibers of pillows since hotels only wash the cases.
Where are the most germs lurking in hotels? A study by Forbes reported that areas to watch out for include elevator buttons, door handles, chairs, desks, curtains, and the ice bucket.
In addition, if you’re staying in an area where bathrooms and other amenities are communally shared, remember to wash and sanitize your hands after using it. And try and keep your children from playing on the floor, as the carpets can be full of germs since they are not deep-cleaned between guests.
Wherever your travels take you this summer, take good care to pack essentials, be aware of germ-likely surfaces, and be ready to wash your hands…a lot.