Viruses, bacteria, germs. Whether you’re preparing for a long haul flight back home, heading into the countryside or simply picking up groceries for your neighbours, we don’t want these nasties in our personal space. If you have to travel, follow these six simple steps to reduce the chance of getting sick on the road.

Way before the new C-word (aka coronavirus) put travel plans on pause and seasons before Virgil Abloh made surgical face masks cool, I’ve been travelling with a pack of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and a hospital face mask in my carry on – something like Mrs Hinch when she goes on holiday. Call me neurotic, but I was fed up of getting sick from flying and battling a bug the moment I landed.

Despite the scaremongering headlines, we shouldn’t start stockpiling loo roll and refusing to leave our houses. Thanks to shared, recirculated air that’s as dry as the desert, getting sick while flying – or commuting, we all know the Central Line is a grim place to be at the best of times – was a risk way before COVID-19 entered our orbit. To reduce the chance of getting ill while travelling, we just need to travel smarter and keep it clean.

Regardless of what’s in the air, here are six ways to kill bacteria on the go.

1. Wash your hands

It sounds obvious and no doubt you’re a bit over being told how to wash your hands, but the best way to get keep bacteria and viruses at bay really is to keep your mitts clean. Use your common sense and increase the number of times you usually wash your hands when you’re on the go. Sing along to your favourite lyrics for 20 seconds – make your own Wash Your Lyrics meme here – while soaping up. Lip-syncing, optional.

2. Pack an alcohol-based hand sanitiser

Thought copping that oversized Bottega Veneta clutch was this season’s hottest accessory? Wrong. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are the must-buy of 2020. That bottle of bougie hand wash may look good in your make-up bag or on display in your bathroom, but anything less than 60 per cent alcohol is pretty ineffective. Ditch it for a medically approved one.

3. Keep hydrated

Limit your caffeine intake the and definitely rethink ordering that G&T en route. Drinking water regularly will stop your throat and nose drying out and will help give your body’s natural fighting mechanisms a boost.

4.  If you’re flying, grab a window seat

Studies have found that window seats are the “safest” seat to sit in to prevent getting sick and that aisle seats are a hotbed for germs. Sorry tall travellers, but scientifically speaking this is because window seats typically receive less exposure than the aisle, which people use to steady themselves as they come back from the loo/ getting food/ stretching their legs.

5. Disinfect your tray, seat and armrests

Before you take your seat or grab that tube pole, clean surfaces you’re going to touch with disinfectant wipes – make sure these too contain 60 per cent alcohol content or more. Wipe down your armrests, seat belts, buckles, tray table, TV in the seat or tube poles, basically anything you’re going to touch. Pay special attention to the seat pocket on the plane. Ask any air hostess and they’ll tell you people use this like a personal bin. Gross.

6. Try not to touch your face or rub your eyes

Viruses and co. are easily transmitted, so by touching your face or rubbing your eyes you’re more likely to catch something. Wearing a surgical mask won’t stop you from catching germ per se, but it will stop you touching your mouth and nose after you’ve used something that could be contaminated. Pack this Off-White version to keep it fashun, darling.

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