Did you know that suitcases can come into contact with up to 80 million bacteria before they reach the hotel rooms of holidaymakers?
With four baggage handlers, two taxi drivers, a hotel porter and one member of airline staff handling any one piece of luggage, and the average person carrying over 10 million bacteria on their hands (in comparison to just 33,000 found on public surfaces), luggage alone can come into contact with germs that could cause people to become sick instead of enjoying their holiday.
Additionally, research conducted in the USA (2014) found that bacteria causing cold viruses, influenza, MRSA, E-coli and listeria have all been discovered on planes and in airports, meaning that it is imperative that British holidaymakers take precautions to keep themselves and their families healthy whilst travelling. A widely-quoted study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research suggested that passengers may be up to 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a plane than in their normal day-to-day-life, and the USA research also found that trays used to hold shoes, clothes and bags for airport X-Ray machines were veritable bacteria traps, with enough harmful bacteria to make passengers ill found in some of the containers.
A member of Cabin Crew on a large airline recently commented: “Cleaners don’t have time to thoroughly clean planes between journeys, as they are under pressure constantly to provide a quick turn-around. I have seen passengers change their baby’s nappy on the tray table, cut their fingernails on board and even urinate in the seats. The carpets are filthy and the toilet floors are worse. I would always encourage passengers to sanitise their tray tables and other surfaces before take off, use a sanitising spray on their hands after using the loo and never walk barefoot around the cabin.”
Aquaint has put together a handy guide so that you can stay germ-free while travelling!
- Planes can harbour all kinds of hidden bacteria, so before you sit down and make yourself comfortable for your flight, whip out the handbag-sized Aquaint bottle (which is perfect for travelling, as it meets the size criteria set by airports for carrying liquids in hand-luggage). As well as spritzing the drop-down tray table, spray the armrests and seatbelt fastenings. Although the cabins are cleaned by airlines, 2014 findings by the Auburn University in Alabama, USA, revealed that disease-causing bacteria can survive for up to a week inside plane cabins, on surfaces such as tray tables, seat pockets, armrests and window shaders.
- Always make sure that you sanitise your hands before and after visiting the loo, especially if hot running water and soap is unavailable. Public toilets on planes, in airports, on cruise ships and in hotels are shared by many people, and it’s always best to err on the side of caution. A study by Aquaint in 2014 found that faecal matter is present on a staggering 26 per cent of hands in the UK.
- Do not walk around barefoot on planes, as carpets do not get cleaned regularly and can be teaming with bacteria.
- Don’t forget your luggage! A suitcase will be handled by many people when travelling abroad, not to mention carted over many different floors and pavements. Before you place your case on your hotel bed to unpack, give the handles, wheels and base a wipe down with some Aquaint sprayed on a tissue or cloth.
- For long delays in airports, it’s great to keep yourself feeling fresh. Aquaint can be sprayed directly on to skin to freshen it up, and it’s kind to even the most sensitive and delicate skin as it is approved by Allergy UK as an allergy friendly product. What’s more, Aquaint works as a mouthwash. Its ingredients are so natural that it is even safe to swallow, making it ideal for cleansing and freshening the mouth.