7 Hygiene Tips for Traveling During COVID-19
COVID-19 has turned everyone’s lives upside down for the last two years. Although many states have restricted unnecessary travel, there are still times in which people need to board a plane or make a trek across the country for either work or family reasons. Following are seven hygiene tips you can use in order to stay safe and decrease your chances of contracting COVID-19 while traveling.
Make Sure You’re Vaccinated Before Traveling
The single most important step you should take in order to increase your chances of staying healthy is to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated can decrease your chances of contracting the virus. If you happen to get sick from COVID-19 and you’ve been vaccinated, your chances of falling seriously ill also substantially decrease. If you’ve already been vaccinated, be sure to receive your booster shot before you travel.
Get Tested Before Boarding the Plane
If you’re traveling internationally, be aware that most countries require a COVID-19 test before entry. These tests are highly reliable and are a convenient way to ensure that you do not have an asymptomatic case of COVID-19. Consider getting a PCR test a day before you’re set to fly. Try taking a PCR test with same day results are available and will let you know whether you are fit to fly.
Wash Your Hands with Soap and Hot Water
While this may seem like common sense, the truth is that most people do not wash their hands often enough, and those that do may be doing it incorrectly. Make sure you’re washing your hands with hot water and soap for at least thirty seconds. Scrub the soap between your fingers and under your fingernails in order to eliminate as many germs as possible.
Carry Hand Sanitizer
In some cases, you may not be able to get to a bathroom to wash your hands. This is especially true when you’re traveling by plane or by car. Make it a habit to carry around a bottle or two of hand sanitizer and use it whenever you’ve touched a shared surface, such as handrails or doorknobs. Hand sanitizer can kill up to 90% of germs that make you sick. While not as effective as soap and water, hand sanitizer is a great alternative to use if a sink is unavailable.
Wear a Face Mask
While face coverings can be somewhat uncomfortable, they can substantially decrease your chances of catching COVID-19. The best masks to use while traveling are N95 masks. Make sure your mask is well fitted and that there are no gaps or holes on it, especially around the bridge of your nose and jawline. This will keep you as safe as possible while you navigate a busy airplane terminal or a crowded gas station.
Try to Distance from Others as Much as Possible
While social distancing may not always be possible (especially in an airplane), try to keep six feet of distance between you and the people around you. COVID-19 is easily spread through the air, which makes it extremely contagious. By maintaining distance between yourself and other people, you are decreasing your chances of coming into contact with those airborne particles. If six feet of space is not possible, try to maintain at least a couple of feet between yourself and those around you.
Stay Hydrated and Take Your Vitamins
While staying hydrated may not seem like an obvious way to protect yourself from getting sick, there is a correlation between drinking water and your immune system. The immune system is supported by your lymphatic system, which means that if you’re dehydrated your immune system will not work nearly as efficiently. When a person gets sick, they often run a fever. Running a fever can be severely dehydrating for your body, which prolongs the amount of time you stay sick. By staying hydrated and taking a daily multivitamin, you are putting yourself in the best position possible if you do happen to become ill.
Traveling can be stressful. Traveling during the pandemic is even more difficult. Fortunately, these aforementioned tips can help you breathe a little easier and decrease your travel-related stress, so you can focus on reaching your destination safe and sound.