As Covid-19 continues to ripple across the globe, each and every one of us is having to adapt to this new, temporary world that we find ourselves in. Our lives have been uprooted and everything we knew has changed, including our perception of personal hygiene. But one thing’s for sure – we will come out of this and, if we have anything to do with it, we’ll come out of it cleaner than ever!
While travelling is by no means recommended right now – Brits are currently advised against all non-essential travel – we understand that it sometimes can’t be avoided (check out our FAQ page for all Coronavirus-related queries).
However, if you do have an essential trip coming up, here are our top tips for avoiding germs while travelling.
Check in online
Not only is online check-in more convenient and less time consuming (generally speaking) than checking in at the airport kiosk, but it’s one less person that you have to come into contact with – and in today’s climate that couldn’t be more important. Download the airline’s app to benefit from a whole range of features, such as choosing your seat, checking in and printing/downloading your boarding pass. (Most airlines let you check-in up to two hours before your flight departs, but be sure to check beforehand).
Use a mobile boarding pass
Make the most of your foray into travelling digitally and download your boarding pass to your phone. As the QR code only needs to be scanned, you can do this yourself and eliminate the need for anyone to touch or hold your device – unlike a paper boarding pass which staff often have to take hold of at some point. Mobile boarding passes can be used at bag drop desks, security checkpoints and the gate, and you can add it to Apple Wallet (iOS) or Google Pay (Android), too, for extra convenience.
Don’t use cash at the airport
Most of us are guilty of over-indulging at the airport every now and then, but try to avoid paying with cash for the time being. Money, like airports, are prone to transmitting germs (not to scare you, but notes can reportedly transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days). Opt to pay with a contactless card or mobile to reduce your chances of catching Coronavirus.
Choose a window seat on the plane
Although there’s no science behind this, common sense says if you sit by the window then you’re less likely to get up and move around the plane… and therefore less likely to come into contact with anyone who may be ill. You’ll also be away from the hustle and bustle of the aisle, further reducing the number of passengers that you come into contact with. Germs are easily circulated on an airplane, so it’s best to stay seated and keep yourself to yourself.
Wash your hands, and wash them properly
Airports are notoriously dirty places, so it’s vital that you wash your hands as often as possible while there. That’s not to say that you should hibernate in the bathroom until your flight departs, but be sure to give your hands a good scrub after going through security, before you eat and every time you handle money or come into contact with anyone else. You should also wash them before touching your face (try to keep this to a minimum, though) to help prevent the spread of germs.
Give your seat a once over
Take some disinfectant wipes or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you next time you travel and give your seat a good wipe before sitting down. This includes the headrest, tray table, in-flight entertainment screen and window shade. All aircrafts (should) be cleaned by professional cleaners before passengers embark on any flight. That said, delays and short turnaround times can mean that seats aren’t always given the attention they deserve, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Want to know even more about staying safe while travelling? Find out how to practise responsible tourism during COVID-19.