Healthy Traveling 101

Tips for healthy travel

This blog post is kinda scary. A quick Google search will tell you way more than you ever wanted to know about the surfaces you touch while traveling: airport security bins, the handle in a cab, the poles on a subway—the list goes on and on. Traveling doesn't just refer to work trips or vacations; it can also mean your daily commute or ride into the city for a fun night out.

The results 

A few years ago, the TODAY Show did a segment on germs in subways, taxis, and buses of major cities like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The host swabbed several different surfaces and  had a bacteria meter to give him instant results. Check out the video below to find out which surfaces were the dirtiest.

There was one popular method of transportation that he forgot: ride-shares. Luckily, someone else tested those. Companies like Lyft or Uber see thousands of riders every day, all across the world. Unsurprisingly, those vehicles are equally as horrifying. One study showed that there were 38 times more bacteria in a ride-share car than there was in a taxi.

We've mentioned in a previous blog post the germiness that is airport security bins, but it seems fitting to mention it again here. Out of all the surfaces tested in an airport, those proved to be by far the worst culprit for harboring bacteria. The most common virus found in the study was rhinovirus, which is the common cold.

What about hotels? This one is pretty gross too. In a 2012 study, 81 percent of surfaces swabbed tested positive for fecal matter, with light switches and TV remotes took first place for dirtiest items. It doesn't end there though. Although hotels will wash sheets and pillowcases between guests, they don't wash the bedspreads that frequently. Your best bet is to avoid contact altogether and either fold it down or lay it on a chair for the duration of your stay.

In another study, scientists set out to prove that there was a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. They purposely planted a sample virus in a hotel room and then observed as hotel staff spread it to three other rooms during their routine cleaning. These scientists recommend traveling with your own disinfectant wipes to disinfect hard surfaces like remotes, countertops, and tables.

Another great option is the SurfaceSoap UV sanitizing wand. It's a portable, powerful disinfection tool for home, work, and everywhere between that kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in seconds.*

We are typically pretty conscious of keeping our hands clean by washing them or using hand sanitizer, but we don't always think of doing the same for our smartphones. Luckily, there's PhoneSoap. The PhoneSoap Go is a portable, travel-friendly disinfection tool made specifically for those on the go. PhoneSoap Go features a rechargeable battery so you can charge and disinfect while out and about. 

How to avoid getting sick

It's simple. Try to minimize what you touch, especially if you happen to have any cuts or scrapes. Until you are able to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, too. But remember that it isn't just about your hands. Your smartphone needs attention, too. Check out the PhoneSoap Go here.

*SurfaceSoap UV was tested by BIOSCIENCE LABORATORIES, LLC against Salmonella enterica (ATCC # 10708), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC # 6538), and HCoV-OC43 (Zeptometrix #0810024CF). SurfaceSoap UV was tested by scanning glass slides containing these microbes and shown to kill up to 99.99% of the previously specified bacteria, and 99.9% of the specified virus strain. Tests were performed with the SurfaceSoap UV moving at 3 inches per second and held 1 inch from the exposed surface.

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