Our hygiene habits got a big wake-up call during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the same should be done for travel before you hit the road again. Travelling to new places naturally puts you at a higher risk of running into health hiccups, but many can be avoided by practising good hygiene basics, such as frequent hand washing, and by carrying the right sanitisers. Take your travel hygiene one step further while you’re on the road by using these handy travel gadgets and tools below.
Hand Sanitiser Spray
You’re unlikely to find a public space that isn’t offering hand sanitiser at its door. This is because hand sanitisers are effective at quickly reducing the number of microbes on your hands. The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the Australian Government recommend washing hands with soap and water as the best solution for clean hands, but if soap and water aren’t available (which happens a lot when you travel), hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol is a good enough solution. A spray hand sanitiser can double as a surface spray which can be used to quickly wipe up tray tables, public tables as well as cutlery before you eat.
Having a few wipes handy while travelling is always a good idea. They are perfect for wiping up spills and cleaning any soils on hard surfaces. A simple swap or addition of anti-bacterial wipes will enable you to disinfect surfaces as well as clean off visible mess. Anti-Bacterial wipes are a must for the plane to wipe seat handles, the seatbacks and tray tables. They are also very handy for wiping the TV remote, door handles and hard surfaces of your hotel room. Look for a portable soft pack that can be resealed to ensure that the wipes don’t dry out.
The benefit of a fabric face mask has come into contention during the COVID-19 pandemic, but in general, they are a good safety precaution and are recommended for use in indoor shared spaces in many countries in the world. Victoria has recently updated their recommendations to suggest people wear a face mask in public where social distancing is not possible. At the very least, in public a fabric face mask can do more to keep workers and other members of the public at ease which is helpful in tense times. Fabric face masks are thought to be most effective at stopping the spread of viruses if you are sick, but wearing one in public can also help to protect you.
Your face mask should fit snugly against your face covering your mouth, nose and chin. Be sure to wash your hands before and after you handle your face mask (especially if you touch the front), and if you have a re-usable mask, wash it frequently with hot soapy water and to dry it completely before using it again.
UVSAN Zoomlite UV Phone Sanitiser Wireless Charger Pro
Did you know that mobile phones can be 10-18 times dirtier than the average public toilet? Our phones have been shown to harbour potentially harmful pathogens, including faecal matter that is constantly exchanged between our phones and our hands as we use them. Alcohol wipes, though effective, are often used incorrectly or insufficiently as most people wipe only the screen of their phones instead of the entire device. Constant use and infrequent cleaning make our phones one of the dirtiest items we own. Multiple studies have revealed how dirty our phones are, with one stating that over 68% of mobile phones were contaminated with germs - and that’s just the germs that scientists were looking for.
This is why a portable UV cleanser is so important for travel. The UVSAN Zoomlite UV Phone Sanitiser Wireless Charger Pro bathes your mobile phone in UVC light from every angle. UVC light cleanses your phone by using high-frequency waves to penetrate and disrupt the genetic material of bacteria and viruses, rendering the germs inert and unable to spread. UV cleansers are effectively used in hospitals as a form of sanitisation, and because light can reach most nooks and crannies, a UV phone sanitiser is effective at cleaning your entire phone with ease. The compact design and fast cleaning cycles (one or five minutes) make it the perfect cleanser for when you’re on the go.
Designated Laundry Bag
Soiled clothes can spread germs, so if you’re packing your dirty laundry in amongst your clean clothes, you may want to consider investing in a laundry bag. This will allow you to keep your luggage organised and your clothes separated. Rather than using a designated compartment in your luggage bag, we recommend using a washable laundry bag that can be washed in the washing machine along with your clothes so that your luggage bag isn’t dirtied.
Keeping your shoes in separate bags such as a shoe packing cube ensures that anything you track on your footwear doesn’t get transferred to your clothing. Dirt can house bacteria and soil-borne pathogens that can make you sick. It can also spread unwanted seeds and weeds to the wrong surroundings which can be harmful to the environment. Keeping your shoes clean and stowed separately from clothing will help keep you healthy.
Hanging Toiletry Bag
Shared bathrooms in hostels and aeroplanes are heavy trafficked and can feel like some of the least sanitary places, yet we brush our teeth and touch our faces while using them. The fewer surfaces you touch, the less chance you have of picking up an unwanted germ. A hanging toiletry bag essentially gives you your personal portable vanity. It can be used to carry your items, and to store them while you use them in public bathrooms. This way, you won’t need to place your items on the shared bathroom vanity.
Potable water is a must when travelling. If you are travelling domestically in Australia, you shouldn’t be too far from a healthy water source, but if you’re camping or heading overseas, potable water isn’t as much of a sure thing. Bottled water is a safe option if it is your only option, but single-use plastic bottles are damaging our environment. LifeStraw, GRAYL or water purification tablets can remove bacteria, parasites and even some viruses from water effectively making any tap water or water from a stream potable. These devices use UV light, physical filters or chemical filters to clarify water for drinking. It is very important to follow the instructions closely for optimum results.
Even with all the preparation and sanitation, it is still possible that you’ll feel unwell while on the road. This is because a change in your surrounds, diet and schedule can confuse your body and weaken your immune system. This is why you should always be prepared with a first aid kit. You can purchase basic first aid kits with band-aids, bandages, gastro tablets, pain killers, travel sickness pills and antihistamines.
This is a great start, but we would also recommend purchasing a larger designated first aid bag and loading it up with basics, as well as any personalised medicines so that everything is in one place. You should talk to your doctor before you plan on long or overseas trips to ensure that you are covered for any medicines that are specific to that region and your own needs.