Travel gadgets with health in mind

Planes, trains, terminals and toilets are all hotbeds of horrible bacteria that directly assault your immune system.

You can wash your hands before meals, avoid germ-infested tourist traps and only drink bottled water, but being in a foreign place means your immune system is working overtime to protect you from previously unencountered microbes.

So, if you want to improve your chance of staying healthy on holiday, make sure you pack these five travel gadgets:

1. Hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes
Washing your hands is the best way to stay clean, but what if you’re washing in dodgy water, and what about opening the toilet door after all those people who haven’t washed before you.

Washing hands combined with the use of hand sanitiser will lower your risk of carrying bacteria. It’s also great to use when you don’t have access to clean running water and soap, or if you’ve had to touch ‘untrustworthy’ surfaces.

Speaking of dodgy surfaces, hand sanitiser is no good to you if you wish to clean down your plane seat tray, seatbelt, touch screen or remote control. Ditto your mobile phone (imagine the surfaces it touches – certainly worth wiping it down daily) and any remote controls, surfaces and often-touched equipment in hotel rooms. You’ll need some handy sanitising hand wipes for that.

2. Anti-bacterial protector
If handy wipes don’t cut the mustard on your sanitary standards, you could try an anti-bacterial protector, such as the Air-protector. It’s a disposable cover that you can place over you tray table or your headrest.

3. Water bottle filter
We’re lucky to live in a country with quality drinking water that won’t rot your gut or grow colonies of microbial metropolises in your tummy, but other countries are not so fortunate.

That’s when a water bottle filter will be your best friend. Most brands, such as Life Straw, claim their filters will eliminate up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria and microbes, and if you boil the water prior to pouring into your bottle you can almost rest assured that the water you drink will be safe for drinking.

4. Saline nasal spray
This one is a must for any regular plane traveller. The air inside plane cabins is usually much drier than what you’re used to on the ground, and so your nasal passages tend to dry out making you more susceptible to germs and bacteria. A quick regular snort of saline spray will keep your nose moist and your mucous membranes operating as nature intended.

5. Anti-microbial blanket
It’s a nasty little secret not often publicised, but plane blankets are hardly ever cleaned – they’re just put into new plastic bags and redistributed for the next flight. So, you’re really taking your chances when you put them near your face. Bring your own anti-microbial fleece blanket and you’ll know exactly what you’re sleeping with on the plane.

Do you have any preferred gadgets that keep you healthy on holiday?

Related articles:
How flying affects your body
Five germiest places on planes
The air vent anti-sickness trick

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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