CAUTION ALERT: Getting Ahead of Germs, Bacteria, and Viruses When Traveling
Is it me or does your immune system really take a hit when you travel? Truth be told there are a lot of germs, bacteria, and viruses out there, on surfaces, in our bodies, and in some of the most touched and traveled areas possible. With so much grit, grime, and dirt, how can we protect ourselves when we travel. I mean we just can’t stop using the airport or trains, can we? Even if we could avoid public transportation, there are still all those doors and surfaces. You might be able to be extra careful in airports, but there’s no way you can avoid exposure to grocery stores, offices, and so on, unless you plan on living in a bubble!
While protecting ourselves with essential wipe products like Clorox wipes is a good idea when traveling. One of the main ways to stay protected is to touch as little as possible and what you have to touch, sanitizing it first is always smart. Let’s run down a few of the most common things to avoid that typically come along with an insane amount of germs, bacteria, viruses.
Derail Germs by Avoiding Handrails
If you are walking up/down stairs, riding an escalator, or just walking down a railed walkway, you better believe that thousands of other people before you, both sick and healthy have run their hands along those very rails. This alone can be a leading cause of making your trip awful.
Now, what if you have a health issue that makes you need to use the handrails? This is why it’s a good idea to carry plenty of hand sanitizer with you at all times. Getting sick is as easy as accidentally touching an eye or mouth after you touched an infected surface. So if you want to get healthy and stay healthy, you need to be prepared. Hand sanitizer can fit in any pocket or carried bag and for those times you can’t avoid touching a doorknob or a railing, you can use it to clean your hands afterward.
Plan for your Health
A word of advice: always make sure you have more than one bottle. A backup won’t take up much space and saves you from having an awkward moment when your main bottle turns up empty.
After all, what is the major method of transmission of infectious disease when using public transportation? Germ-covered surfaces and items discarded by sick people. While it’s easier to avoid someone’s wadded tissue they carelessly tossed aside (ew!), avoiding every door, rail, and seat surface is pretty much impossible.
Follow these simple rules. Don’t touch anything you don’t have to. Always sanitize your hands after you do. Don’t touch your clothes where they’ve come in contact with the surfaces and then touch your face without sanitizing your hands somehow.
Finally, the best way to get and stay healthy is to eat healthy. Plenty of vitamin C and immune-boosting foods like dark greens and fruits will help keep you safe this sick season.
It’s Not Rude to Avoid Close Quarter Conversations
Believe it or not, your friendly neighbor with the sniffles can pass their sickness on to you. Better yet, they could be ill and show no signs of it and breathing air in close quarters like that during conversations could leave you with a sore throat, upset stomach or worse. If you’re worried about offending someone, in a pinch you can always say that you’re worried you are coming down with something, and didn’t want to chance it. If that doesn’t get them to keep a respectful distance, nothing will!
Likewise, touches can be innocuous, but not when it’s cold and flu season. Worry about your health first and someone else’s feelings second. Make them understand that they need to respect your space. They’re not paying your medical bills or buying your soups and cold medicines, now are they?
When Available Opt for a Window Seat
While the main reason to snag a window seat is for the scenic view or bird-eye scope on a town, having a window seat could also protect you from extra germs. The logic behind this is that passengers closest to the windows have the least person-to-person interactions, which reduces the likelihood of becoming sick when traveling.
Windows to the Immune System
Windows are surfaces, and if it’s warm enough that people would be opening them (at least on ground transportation!), be wary. Lots of hands will have touched the windowsill and latches. Don’t think that the glass is safe, either. People touch windows all the time, and just because it’s too cold to open the window doesn’t make it any better. In fact, lots of people, especially children, enjoy drawing in the frost that accumulates on windows. Others put their noses on the glass, or (shudder) even their mouths!
Be careful even in a window seat, because that glass might just reflect your sick, sniffling face if you’re aren’t!
Sanitation Station Will Save Your Healthy Nation
It should be obvious (and we’ve even stated it here), but let’s put it out there. Avoid touching things, even your face, mouth, eyes, etc. Wipe down things you touch with disinfectant wipes and stop touching so much. Touching less when traveling will allow you to touch more during vacation. Germs can be found on objects and in the air, which is why it’s important to keep the air in your personal bubble fresh and purified by using essential oil purifying sprays like Puressentiel Spray.
Washing your hands frequently with hot water and soap is important. Even in your own home, others can bring germs in where you think you’re safest. Don’t let the germ invaders catch you with a Trojan horse! Wash your hands, disinfect your surfaces, and that way the one person you can be sure isn’t bringing the sickness with them when you go out is yourself.
Staying healthy is not easy, especially in today’s times with so many bacteria and viruses that are able to spread and infect much quicker than before. And they are everywhere—I mean EVERYWHERE! Be sure to have a healthy diet, take vitamins, and wipe down things you touch. My final tip is for when you’re traveling using any mode of public transportation (bus, train, or plane) to wipe down seats, handles and when you wash your hands, use your paper towel to open the door and turn the faucets off, then toss in the trash as you exit the bathroom.
Failing that, always keep some cleaning supplies on hand. They’re cheap and effective. Hand sanitizer works wonders, as do some gloves if you can carry those with you. When you know you’re going to take the bus or a train, wear gloves, even disposable ones. Wash the more permanent ones when you get home.
Stay alert and have a plan for however you are traveling and you will get through the cold and flu seasons without incident.