I can feel the hope and anticipation in the air. Will the vaccine work? Will Covid numbers begin to decrease? Will it be safe to travel again soon? These are questions we don’t know the answer to quite yet, but what we can be sure of is that travel will look and feel different when it starts back up again. And when that time comes, we should consider what steps we can take to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy.
Personally, I’ve never been afraid of germs. I’ve been an elementary school teacher for twenty years. I’ve been sneezed on, coughed on, and cleaned up other things that I don’t care to mention. I’ve probably been exposed to more germs than the average person and have built up more than my fair share of immunity over the years. I’ve preached the importance of hand washing and covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough; but I've never really thought about ALL the ways viruses can be passed.
When you consider everything we touch on a daily basis that has been, or will be touched by other people, it can be overwhelming. However, we can’t live, or travel, in a bubble. So what can we do to minimize the spread of viruses like Covid, and be a little more aware of keeping our germs to ourselves? I've put together a list of items you should consider packing that will help you do this. Although some of the products listed have links to websites for purchase, I do not have affiliations with them. All products are suggested because I think they are good quality and I have personally used them.
Re-usable Water Bottles and Cups
Environmentally friendly and compact, these are perfect for traveling! You don't have to worry about what germs may or may not be on a glass that someone else gives you. Just clip one of these to your backpack or slide it into a jacket pocket or purse and it's ready for whatever you want to drink! Did I mention that these are also good for the environment? Every time you use it, that's one less plastic bottle being thrown away!
Just say no to plastic utensils! I've
been traveling with a re-usable cutlery set for a while now to be more eco-friendly, but using your own utensils can also help stop the spread of germs! I like bamboo utensils because they are durable and perfect for travel. This one even has its own cute little storage bag! When you do start to travel again, why not pack your own utensils?
Clip-on Hand Sanitizer Case
Don't we all carry around one of these tiny hand sanitizer bottles? Well, it only took one instance of the bottle cap coming loose inside my purse to have me looking for a way to clip it to the outside. I love these pouches because they come with a refillable plastic bottle AND their own tiny carabiner. You can clip it to the outside of your backpack when you travel and easily switch it to a purse, day pack, fanny pack, or even your belt loop if you want the quick draw approach to killing germs!
Yes, there are a TON of different hand sanitizing wipes out there to choose from. There are several reasons I like these the best. First, they are a family owned business. Any time I can support a local or family business, I always go for that over big companies! I really love the fact that they donate hygiene wipes to the homeless through their "Shower Sheets" program. I also really like these wipes because they are biodegradable, alcohol free, and they smell good! As they say on their website, "when you can't wash em, wipe em".
Microfiber Cell Phone Cloths
After doing extensive research on the best way to clean your phone, this is what I've learned. The jury is still out on UV light sanitizers. While the concept is cool, multiple studies agree that using the old school method of cleaning your phone on a regular basis is the best way to keep it germ-free. This is what the experts say. Do NOT use bleach. Do NOT submerge your phone or spray anything directly onto it. DO use a microfiber cloth to wipe excess dirt and dust off of your phone, then gently wipe it down with a disinfecting cloth, such as the TripWipes listed above or a lysol wipe.
Snacks and Food Containers
One way to minimize the spread of any type of germ or sickness is to pack your own snacks. While I absolutely LOVE to indulge in local eating whenever I travel, packing snacks for flights, road trips, or even walking around town, is a good option. I found these containers on Amazon.it, but you can find similar ones all over! Order from IKEA, Target, or Walmart online, or go to a local store and pick out the size that's best for you.