If you decide to travel this summer, you’ll need more than the usual sunscreen, sunglasses, and snacks. The ongoing pandemic requires us to tweak and change many of our habits, and packing for a trip is definitely one of them. If you can’t wait to get back on the road, these are the essentials experts are recommending to take with you, in order to stay safe and avoid bringing home some very unwanted souvenirs.
1. Travel Thermometer
One of the most common symptoms of Covid-19 is fever. Having your own thermometer handy wherever you go during these times so that you can easily track your temperature is a good idea. It will make it easier for you to decide whether you need to seek further care and will save you the trouble of looking for one in an unfamiliar area when someone is not feeling well.
2. Disposable Gloves
While traveling there are instances when you can’t avoid touching certain “germ magnets” - surfaces and items that exchange many hands during the day and are rarely cleaned, like gas pumps, for example. Darren Hudema who has more than 40 years of experience with health and safety precautions, strongly advises everyone to keep a box of disposable gloves in their car and not just for road trips. You never know when they could come in handy while you’re running errands.
3. Car Garbage Bags
Fully prepared with all the PPE you’ll need for exploring? Great. It’s important to remember that there is a correct way to dispose of if it, too. Refraining from littering is obviously important, but another issue with improper disposal of gloves and masks is it can spread germs.
Moreover, equipment that is tossed on the ground can potentially end up in local bodies of water (oceans, rivers, lakes, etc) and harm animals. In order to safely dispose of your protective equipment, allocate a bag that’s specifically made for your car. Some bags are waterproof and leak-proof and even have an adhesive strip that lets you stick one on the side of a door or on the back of a seat. When the bag is full, seal it shut and throw it in a garbage can.
4. Disinfectant and Paper Towels
Starting to clean is definitely not most people’s first instinct when they arrive at their vacation destination. However, if you do decide to travel this year, it’s a task you’ll have to tackle. Once you enter a new space where you’re about to spend a night or a considerable amount of time, pull out your disinfectant and paper towels.
Clean and disinfect potentially germy surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, tables, desks, phones, remote controls, toilets, sinks, and faucets. To be thorough, it’s best to also wash any plates, cups, glasses, and silverware before use.
5. Plastic baggies for remote controls
You may not have thought about this efficient germ-fighting tip, but it is one that could prove extremely helpful: place television and AC remotes in plastic baggies once you arrive at your vacation accommodations. “Remotes may not be cleaned well, if at all,” says Hudema. “Clean them with a disinfectant wipe, and then place them in a resealable bag.” This prevents you from directly touching while still allowing you to use them and operate all the functions.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus can live on fabrics for hours, if not days. Experts like Janette Nesheiwat, MD, a family and emergency doctor, recommends bringing your own pillowcases as an additional protective layer from germs. You can even invest in antimicrobial pillowcases to feel more at ease on the road.