As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world, we’ve all been more conscious than ever of our hygiene practices – especially when travelling. While you can’t avoid every germ when you travel, you can definitely minimise your contact by packing a personal hygiene kit. From hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes, to mouthwash and a thermometer, here’s what to pack in your travel hygiene kit.
The best way to protect yourself from germs is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water. But for the times when you don’t have soap and water nearby, the next best thing is to clean your hands with a sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol. Keep a few travel-sized bottles in your travel hygiene kit and you’ll always have peace of mind that you can clean your hands.
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All that hand washing is sure to dry out your skin. Pack some moisturising hand cream in your personal hygiene kit to keep them soft and silky. You don’t want to deal with irritated or cracked skin while you’re travelling!
You can catch infectious diseases by droplets in the air and by touching contaminated surfaces, so you should always carry a pack of antibacterial wipes to disinfect the surfaces around you.
The dirtiest areas on an airplane include seatbelts, armrests, tray tables, seatback pockets, buttons, window shades, air vents and bathrooms, while the most high-risk surfaces in hotels are door handles, light switches, remotes, desks, toilets, taps and sinks.
Be sure to use the wipes the correct way, including keeping the surface visibly wet for the required amount of time, and only wiping one way to reduce the spread of the germs.
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If you need to cough, sneeze or even sniffle when travelling, you should always have tissues on hand to cover your mouth and nose. The used tissue should be quickly disposed of in a bin. Never put them back into your pocket or bag to use again and avoid using handkerchiefs.
You should also always wash your hands after you’ve disposed of the tissues. It’s also a great idea to bring spares, just in case you’re sitting next to someone who is coughing or sneezing without covering their mouth.
Most health experts do not recommend the use of face masks to protect against diseases. However, the masks are crucial for preventing the spread of disease to others. You should always wear a face mask if you are unwell, or suspect you are unwell, or if you are taking care of someone who is sick while travelling.
If you’re sitting next to a stranger on a flight, you can wear a cloth mask or surgical mask as an extra precaution, or offer one of your spare face masks if they are coughing and sneezing without protection. When wearing a mask, make sure it covers your nose and your mouth.
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If you don’t have access to antibacterial wipes, or you can’t get to them before touching a surface such as a hotel room doorknob, you can always wear disposable gloves as an extra precaution. Make sure you always throw the gloves in the bin after touching any surfaces, and never reuse them.
Pack a thermometer in your travel hygiene kit to help you keep tabs on your temperature. A fever is one of the most common symptoms of coronavirus and many other illnesses, so a thermometer will give you peace of mind if you’re worried about your temperature. If you do have a fever, the thermometer will be useful for monitoring the situation and giving doctors critical information.
Nasal spray and eye drops
Airplane cabins are extremely dry places, and this causes the mucous membranes in your mouth, nose and throat to dry out. This stops them from trapping germs and bacteria which leave you much more vulnerable to catching viruses and other diseases. You can give your mucous membranes some extra love and keep them moisturised by using nasal spray and eye drops.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water as your body can be depleted of up to 1.5 litres of water on a three-hour flight alone! You should also avoid drinking alcohol, soft drinks, coffee and tea, as these are known to dehydrate you, but you can always jazz up your water with some electrolyte powder for an extra hydration boost.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that food hygiene practices are crucial to stopping the spread of the coronavirus. When travelling, it’s best to avoid drinking from glasses in bars and restaurants and to use a straw instead. To be on the safe side, pack a few reusable straws in your travel hygiene kit and make sure you disinfect them after each use.
Add an extra layer of protection against germs while travelling and keep your mouth clean! You should always brush your teeth regularly, even when on a flight, and use a travel-sized germ-killing mouthwash. It will help to get rid of any bacteria lurking around your mouth, plus it helps to keep your throat moist and your breath fresh.
After a long day of travelling, there’s nothing better than jumping into a warm shower and washing away all the grime. Pack some antibacterial body soap in your personal hygiene kit and give yourself a good scrub to remove any germs you may have picked up. Make sure you also place your worn clothes in a separate bag to be washed as soon as possible, to avoid bringing any germs into your room.
The best way to ward off illness is to take care of your immune system by getting plenty of sleep. It’s extra important to get enough sleep while you’re travelling, as being on the move can be quite draining on your body. Pack an eye mask, some comfy clothes, or your favourite travel pillow, to help you get some quality shut-eye and give your immune system a boost.
Warm clothes or a blanket
While it’s important to have the air-conditioner or an air vent going to help circulate the air and remove any airborne germs, it’s also important not to get too cold. Staying warm will help your immune system stop you from getting sick, so pack a sweater, thick socks or even your own travel blanket to avoid the air-conditioned chill.