Safe and Healthy Travel – Keeping COVID out of your travel plans

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a self confessed germophobe so, now that we are currently in a pandemic and have cold and flu season approaching us I thought that I would give some tips other than wearing a mask and washing your hands that all travellers can benefit from to protect yourself from germs and viruses.

Well we all know when travelling or just running around the city it is virtually impossible to stay away from germs and crowded spaces, especially if you must travel by bus, subway or your travel requires you to get on a on a plane.

Whatever your travel plans whether it is a staycation or business travel, there are some simple tips to help prevent the passing of viruses, colds and flus:

  • Masking up when social distancing is not possible or even when it is.
  • Washing your hands (for more than 20 seconds) often.
  • Keep your hands away from you face.
  • Cough or sneeze into a handkerchief, tissue or sleeve, but especially in public places and even if you are wearing a mask.

All of these will help to limit the possible spread of germs to you and others.

If travelling by air, you want to be aware of some of the areas and items that tend to have the highest presence of viruses:

  • Seating area armrests.
  • Escalator and stair handrails.
  • Luggage trolley handles.
  • Personal item trays at the security checkpoint.

These are in addition to, of course: toilet lids, locks and flushing buttons in the washrooms both in the airport and the plane itself so keep that hand sanitizer handy and use often.

Once you make it through the airport and get on your plane, arrive at your destination, take the taxi to your hotel and make it up to your room and get your mask off, your job is still not finished, it is actually just beginning.

Most hotels do a decent job with housekeeping, especially under the current pandemic restrictions. However, certain spots in a room collect more germs than others just from frequent use. Housekeepers get busy and sometimes things can get overlooked, so better to be safe than sorry.

So, keep these things in mind when you get to your hotel room and it might even be a good idea to pack some disinfectant wipes in your suitcase.  I know that I do not travel anywhere without them.

Did you know that although the sheets are changed daily, that bedspreads are not usually changed between guests, now this may have changed with COVID-19 protocol, but some industry experts claim the bedspreads may only get washed and changed about four times a year.  So, take that bed spread off the bed immediately.

Once that is done, get out the disinfectant wipes in your suitcase or purse and give the TV remote control a good going over.  Everyone touches this thing, so it’s no wonder it’s full of germs. In fact, many studies have shown that the remote control is the dirtiest thing in a hotel room so, wipe that thing down before picking it up and using it!

This is also the same for the hotel phone in the room, and the hotel information and menu folder as many guests use these so, make sure that you give it a wipe down also.

Looking to have a glass of water or a drink of wine, well reach for the plastic sealed drinking cups.  They may look cheap, but they offer more germ protection than the fancy glasses.  So, if you see fancy glasses when you get to your room, go to the front desk and swap those fancy glasses for some cups wrapped in plastic.

I know that most are not traveling much right now, but if you are I hope that these tips help you stay safe and healthy when you hit the road for business or pleasure.

by Calli Gregg