While you are traveling, it seems like all hygiene goes out the window. Normally, you brush your teeth after every meal, but when you are on the road, you are constantly snacking and letting your oral hygiene slip through your fingers. Most days, you change your clothes and wash them regularly, but while traveling, you wear the same outfit over and over and over again. You rarely wash your hands, because there just aren’t hand-washing facilities. If you are flying, hygiene becomes even more complicated, due to the restrictions on liquids. To avoid feeling nasty while on an extended vacation, use these tips below.
Your oral health is essential. Not only does it keep your breath smelling fresh (your car-mates will thank you), but it keeps you from getting cavities. Some airlines ban toothpaste tubes, so purchase toothpaste dots, or make them yourself by drying them on aluminum foil for a few days. These toothpaste dots don’t even count towards your liquid limit. Brush your teeth every time you use the bathroom, as the constant snacking will allow plaque to build up on your teeth. If you are going on a road trip, pack healthy snacks like apples, carrots and pretzels rather than chocolate and other candy to limit the buildup of plaque.
It always seems that you never pack enough clothes. While your suitcase can be stuffed to the brim, when you arrive to your destination, you realize that you forgot everything. You can easily re-wear a pair of pants, and since they take up more space, pack only a few pairs. Make sure you bring enough shirts, though, as a clean shirt will help you feel fresh. Bring a scarf to spice up an outfit that you wore a few days before. If you are going on an extended vacation, most hotels offer laundry services for their guests, so you can pack light and wash your clothes. You will have to use your own laundry soap, so either pack some powder in a bag, or purchase small travel packets from your favorite laundry detergent brand. Invest in a sink plug so that you can wash your clothes in a sink if you’re in a pinch. You can also get a travel clothesline to hang your clothes on so that they can dry.
Never Travel Without
There are two items that you should never travel without: baby wipes and a sleep sheet. Baby wipes are essential because they are a multi-purpose freshener. You can clean your face and body with the same product. If you don’t have time to take a shower, you can take a baby wipe bath (wipe down your body with baby wipes) and freshen up quickly. If you are meeting someone important right after you jump off a plane, you will thank the baby wipe bath profusely. If you can’t wash your hands, a baby wipe will be better than nothing. The other thing you should never leave home without is a sleep sheet. If you are staying in 5 star hotels, you won’t need to worry about this, but for the budget traveler, it is an essential item. Hotel and hostel beds may or may not be sanitary, and the sleep sheet adds a protective layer between you and the germs. You can purchase a sleep sheet online (search for Silksak), or you can make a DIY version out of an old sheet. You can even wear it on sleeper trains or on airplanes (although you might look a little silly, it is worth the extra sanitation).
Things Hotels Will Have
Unless you are sleeping out under the stars every night, you can skip packing a lot of toiletries because most hotels will give them to you complimentary. Every hotel will have soap and shampoo in the shower, and although they will not be the highest quality, they will do (especially if you fly to your destination with only a carry-on). However, you can get many other toiletries just by calling the front desk. They typically will offer toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, mouthwash, a hair dryer, etc. Hotels tend to encourage guests to take their pens, notepads, and shampoos, and will stamp their brand on it to remind you of them next time you use them. Sometimes, if you forget your charger, you can borrow one from the hotel’s lost and found.
However, things like towels, sheets, robes, iPod docking stations, coffee makers, and irons are not up for grabs and taking them is theft. If they are found missing from a room, you will probably find them charged to your bill. Many hotels offer a way to buy the robes and sheets online anyway if you would like to keep them. Then you get a new set!
Don’t forget to take care of yourself while traveling. With the tips above, you should have no problem being clean and refreshed even on a germ-infested vacation. What is your must-have item while traveling? Share with us below!
For more dental hygiene hacks, check out this blog.