7 Unintentionally Gross Things You May Be Doing During Travel

When you are traveling, you are exposed to many different things that may be a medium of transmitting diseases.

We all have the urge to remain clean and sanitized during our travels. We keep hand sanitizers and wet tissues accessible in our bags. We purposely do not touch objects with questionable sanitation. But there are just things that we can’t seem to avoid but keep doing everytime we travel.

1. Walking barefoot at security checks.
Some airports require passengers to take their shoes or slippers off while passing through security check. Without socks left on, you are exposed not only to germs and bacteria left off by other people’s shoes, you could also get cut by tacks, broken glass or tiny bits of sharp object. Imagine where your fellow passengers’ shoes were stepping on before they got to the airport.

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2. Failure to sanitize after using security bins.
We pack our bags, belts, shoes and electronic devices into these containers before subjecting them to x-ray scanners. But as we retrieve them, proper sanitation tells us to wipe our hands clean with wet tissues or spray with hand sanitizers. Who knows our next destination could be the airport cafeteria and grab a bite.

3. Drinking from water fountains.
Because water is restricted at the security check areas of the airport, we are forced to get rid of them and empty our water bottles. When thirst strikes before your departure, drinking fountains may just be around the corner. This is more accessible and that many airport shops sell overpriced commodities. But while water flowing out of the fountain is potable, how people may be using it can be a concern.

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4. Using your phone while eating.
Admit it, we all have been addicted to our powerful smartphone. This is especially true for solo travelers who consider their phones a worthy companion: in the toilet, in bed and during transits. So when you grab a meal and hold your phone watching videos or reading the news, imagine where you brought your phone. If you can’t remember, wipe clean your smartphone to decontaminate it before bringing into the table.

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5. Using the glass at hotel bathroom.
There are horror tales about how an immaculate hotel room appears when we enter actually has fleas, dust and other unwanted elements. One of the most often cited hotel items are the glasses found in your bathroom. Although the sign says it is sterilized, implying it can be used for drinking, it’s better to stay away from them. We don’t necessarily blame the hotel housekeeping not doing their jobs properly, but the high turnover of hotel guests add up the amount of work they are tasked to do at a short period of time.

6. Using the hotel TV remote.
We don’t know who were the previous guests who occupied our room. Do they matter, you ask. Their traces cannot be completely erased if the room were thoroughly (given the average time to clean a room is between 20-30 minutes). They may be business travelers who barely spend time fiddling on the television or retired baby boomers who spend lots of time watching the news. The bottomline is that surface of remotes have more bacteria than average public toilet surface based on studies. So sanitize it before using.

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7. Not wearing shoes inside aircraft toilet.
It’s a relief to remove your shoes while in the middle of a long-haul flight. But this practice gets brought to the cabin toilet which becomes the epicenter of germs during the long journey. Assuming you wear your socks or even disposable hotel slippers into the toilet, there is a striking chance germs and bacteria sticking at the toilet floor gets to your skin.

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Travels are supposed to be enjoyed, so being aware of surroundings and maintaining cleanliness helps us avoid the unwanted consequences and unplanned detours.