Hygiene on vacation: 5 ways to outsmart bacteria

Are you ready for your vacation? Read our tips before you start traveling!

Hygiëne op vakantie

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9 July 2024 Hygiene

Hygiene on vacation, what do you pay attention to? When entering a washroom, most people pay particular attention to the presence or absence of visible dirt and whether it smells good. Don't be fooled if it looks clean and smells fresh. This does not mean that you are actually in a hygienically clean toilet.

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On a bacteria expedition in Guadeloupe

If you go on vacation to the Caribbean, you could be in for a big surprise. Scientists have found a bacterium in the mangrove forest that is visible to the naked eye. The Thiomargarita magnifica can grow up to 2 centimeters long, making it the largest bacterium ever discovered. Source: CNN

5 tips for good hygiene while traveling


In this article we give 5 tips for good hygiene on vacation. They will help you outsmart bacteria. Wherever you go. 

Click below and jump straight to the relevant tip!

  1. Make sure the toilet seat is clean
  2. Remove germs from your hands
  3. Avoid unnecessary contact
  4. Pay attention to the toilet roll
  5. Don't just use your nose

Tip 1: Make sure the toilet seat is clean

Did you know that vacationers are most afraid of the toilet seat in a public toilet? Not surprising, since 1 in 3 toilet seats contain pathogens.

Lowering the toilet seat with your foot

Many people avoid touching the seat with their hands and use their foot to lower it. This kind of crazy move is really not necessary for optimal hygiene on vacation. There are many ways to ensure a hygienically clean toilet seat when traveling.

Toiletbril met voet omlaag laten zakken
Hygiëne op reis

Toilet hygiene on the go

When you enter the toilet cubicle, look around you to see if there is a toilet seat cleaner available. Especially in Slovakia and Germany you can often see dispensers with toilet seat cleaner. With a small amount of this liquid on a piece of toilet paper, you can clean the toilet seat yourself in no time. Much more environmentally friendly than covering the whole seat with paper. And don't forget to bring some antibacterial wipes, just in case there is no dispenser.

Tip 2: Remove germs from your hands

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Always carry a mini bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you when traveling. Wet wipes or disposable washcloths are also handy. In addition to washing your hands with soap, drying your hands it is just as important for good hygiene on vacation.

Use a cotton towel dispenser

We prefer to dry our hands by using a cotton towel dispenser. And there's a good reason for that: with a cotton roller towel (or paper towel), you can remove almost 3 times as many bacteria from your hands as you can with air. And well dried hands prevent the further spread of bacteria.

In Italy, you can still find many old air dryers to dry your hands. Fortunately, in restaurants you can see more and more dispensers and vending machines with sensors for contactless use. Especially in Poland and Slovenia, where they love innovation.

Dry hand with cotton, travel

Tip 3: Avoid unnecessary contact

Clean flush button with surface cleaner

We learned from Corona to avoid unnecessary physical contact. This will improve hygiene while on vacation and reduce the risk of spreading germs from one person to another.

Do you see someone in front of you awkwardly maneuvering with a piece of paper in hand to avoid any contact with door handles, sink knobs, and faucets?

Don't laugh, because after reading the next paragraph, you'll probably be doing it yourself!

1 in 4 faucets have unhealthy levels of bacteria

One in 4 faucets and flush handles have unhealthy levels of bacteria. As for door handles, 1 in 20 are too dirty to touch. In fact, not everyone washes their hands properly with soap and water. Did you know that some people even pretend to? They open and close the faucet without touching a drop of water or soap. So avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces. And if you have a choice, choose a toilet with sensor taps.

Het belang van handen wassen met behulp van een sensorkraan

Tip 4: Pay attention to the toilet roll

Lege toiletrol op het toilet

Not only on the road, but also in hotels and restaurants, look at the paper and toilet paper holder: does it look clean? Where is the spare roll? This will give you a good idea of what happened to the toilet roll you're about to use.

Is there a spare roll nearby?

If the spare roll is left unpacked near the toilet, it is likely to have a lot of bacteria on it. A separate roll is less hygienic than a roll (and spare roll) in a closed dispenser anyway. So check and make sure you always have paper tissues on hand to ensure hygiene on your travels.

Tip 5: Don't just use your nose

Smell influences your opinion about the hygienic condition of a toilet. If it smells like flowers, the general perception is that we are in a fresh and clean toilet. But a fresh smell says nothing about the number of bacteria on the toilet seat, door handle, or faucet. So limit surface contact and wash and dry your hands thoroughly.

With these tips for good hygiene on vacation, you'll be better prepared for foreign toilet adventures. Have a great vacation!

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