Holiday Hygiene Tips from Biomaster

Despite the growing trend of ‘staycations’ in the UK, more and more of us are still opting to take holidays abroad in search of warmer weather, different cultures or new experiences.

Regardless of where you’re travelling to, you don’t want to risk spoiling your summer holiday by coming down with a food poisoning bug or catching an unwanted infection.

Read on for 10 tips from Biomaster for practicing good hygiene whilst on holiday:

1. Plan your medication & vaccinations

Before travelling make sure that you’ve had any required vaccinations well in advance, particularly if you’re visiting a high risk country, and ensure that you have sufficient medication to last the length of your trip.

2. Bugs on the plane

A Journal of Environmental Health Research Study shows that you’re more likely to catch a cold on a plane than any other public transport.  Tray tables, overhead air vents, seatbelt buckles and bathroom fittings are all hotspots for bacteria so use hand sanitiser or antibacterial wipes to make your journey a bit cleaner.

3. Wash your hands

Your hands play a crucial part in reducing bacteria spreading, so wash them thoroughly with soap and water regularly, particularly before and after eating and after going to the bathroom.

4. Skip the hotel buffet

Foodborne illnesses can cause upset stomachs, diarrhoea and vomiting which will not only set you back for a few days over your holiday but can also be potentially serious for the elderly, very young or those with weakened immune systems.  Avoiding buffet food in warm climates is advisable as germs can multiply quicker at higher temperatures.

5. Eating out and about

Furthermore, food from street vendors or restaurants where food is left to sit for a long period should be avoided, unless it has been freshly prepared and served hot.

6. Suitcases packed with bacteria

Your suitcase can be handled by many different people when travelling, as well as being wheeled across all kinds of floors and pavements.  So before you throw your case on your bed to unpack make sure to give the wheels and handles a wipe down.

7. Make sure the pool is safe

For holidays in warmer climates a pool is an added luxury.  Make sure the water isn’t murky before diving in as this could represent poor water hygiene.  It’s good etiquette and hygiene practice to shower before and after swimming too.

8. Drink bottled water

Unless you know that the tap water is sanitary, then it’s best to stick to bottled water for drinking or brushing your teeth.  The best way of purifying water is by boiling it.

9. Don't take ice and a slice

Many hotels, bars and restaurants will use tap water to make ice cubes and wash garnishes for drinks or salad, so avoid these if you think that the water supply is unsanitary.

10. Complete any antibiotics

If you are unfortunate enough to become infected with a bug and are prescribed antibiotics, ensure you follow the dosage instructions and complete the whole course of treatment.  Failure to complete a full course of treatment is one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance.

EU Nationals can apply for an EHIC card which gives you the right to access state healthcare across Europe.  Click here to find out more.


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