Germs have always been a consideration when you go on vacation. After all, you don’t want to end up with a cold or the flu while you’re away from home! However, cleanliness has been taken to a whole new level in the age of COVID-19.
Masks and gloves are the norm, and people are washing their hands more than ever. As the economy starts to open up again, it will be more important than it has ever been before to sanitize common areas, hotel rooms, restaurants, and more on a regular basis.
However, we can only do so much. There are just some places that are germier than others, and knowing these places will be extremely important if you decide to go on vacation when social distancing is over.
Your accommodations become your temporary retreat where you rest and recover from long days exploring. You don’t want to imagine that you’re snuggling up with germs, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening.
There are multiple germy places in a hotel room that you’ll want to wipe down, spray, or hide in the closet before you get comfortable like:
- Television remote
- Light switches
- Bed spread
Cruise lines are especially known for germs, so much so, that some cruise lines are under investigation for downplaying Coronavirus risks. The good news is that this will work in the favor of travelers who are willing to get on a cruise ship when they are welcoming passengers again. The CDC is requiring that cruise lines create a comprehensive plan for preventing outbreaks in the future, which means cruise ships will be cleaner than they have ever been before.
Everyone knows that the airplane is a germy place. There are a lot of people shoved together in a small space breathing circulated air. Even with extra precautions and social distancing on planes, there will still be plenty of germs to go around.
The dirtiest places on an airplane include:
- Bathrooms, especially sink and door handles
- Seat pockets
- Tray tables
- Pillows and blankets
The airplane attendants will be doing their best to make sure these areas, as well as other areas of the plane, are as clean as possible for every flight, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to bring your own sanitizing wipes so you can wipe areas down yourself before you use them.
Ticket kiosks are common at popular vacation destinations. They are the norm in airports, they can be found in amusement parks, and they are commonly used throughout casinos. Unfortunately, they are also extremely germy.
It’s a good idea to come prepared, especially if you’re using an airport kiosk, as they are ten times dirtier than your kitchen sink. Wear gloves, cover your finger with a tissue, or carry a stylus pen just for the purpose of using kiosks while you’re on vacation.
While you’re at it, keep an eye on credit card machines too! Covering your finger or using a stylus pen will keep you from picking up germs as you pay for food or souvenirs.
Buying bottled water can be expensive. Not to mention, it can be bad for the environment. It is generally much better to refill your own water bottle. At least, it used to be.
It is important to be very mindful of where you’re refilling your water bottle. Although water fountains are convenient, they aren’t the most sanitary. Not only does the button carry germs, but germs can linger on the spout. Refill your bottle from an old-fashioned sink instead.
You also have to worry about the quality of the water where you’re staying. There are some places where you absolutely should not drink the tap water. In these cases, bottled water is better.
Your destination is an important consideration too. It’s true that some places are generally cleaner than others, but it’s really more about the attractions at those destinations than the destination itself.
Some attractions are germy and are unlikely to be wiped and cleaned, even after COVID-19. Some of the germiest attractions include:
- The Blarney stone in Blarney, Ireland
- The bronze statue of John Harvard on campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts
- The patron saint Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican, Italy
It’s important for us to get out into the world again, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your health. With these tips, you can successful scratch your itch to travel without returning home with a fever or bad symptoms of an illness.