Traveling does not always come with the highest level of comfort, however, that’s a price a lot of us are ready to pay in order to explore the untrodden path. Sure, all-inclusive tropical resorts are nice, but nothing will give you such an authentic experience as a multi-day hike through the wilderness. You need to be ready to tolerate a certain level of uncleanliness if you are preparing for such an adventure since you don’t want your experience ruined by worrying about your skincare routine being disrupted. At the same time, you should still do everything you can to maintain your personal hygiene while on the road. Here are a few tips you should note down!
Wash your hands
Getting sick while in a foreign country can be a really frustrating experience. Even if you have travel insurance (which is an absolute must), you might find it difficult to communicate with people effectively, in addition, they might not even speak English at all. Therefore, be mindful of what you touch when you’re on the road. Our hands can transmit germs very easily and touching your face or, God forbid, touching your food with your bare hands is a risky game to play. Make sure you always wash your hands thoroughly and with soap when you have access.
Since clean water and soap will not always be available, especially when you’re out in nature, make sure you always carry hand sanitizer with you. If you use hand sanitizer a lot, you can save some money as well as cut down on your plastic waste by purchasing a larger bottle of sanitizer and transferring it to smaller bottles as needed. If you have the space when packing, you won’t go wrong with taking some sanitizing wipes along, either. You can use these to give yourself peace of mind by wiping down surfaces, be it a train seat or your room’s door handle and nightstand.
No-rinse is the keyword
As just said, water might not always be at your disposal, and this goes beyond the issue of hand-washing. After a long day of hiking, all you want is a shower to get rid of the stickiness. However, it may not always be possible to take one. In these instances, no-rinse body wash or bathing wipes are going to come in handy. While they certainly won’t make you feel as refreshed as a real shower, they will get rid of the odor and you will feel much cleaner without the need to rinse it off. As for your hair, consider taking some dry shampoo in case you don’t get to wash it for a longer period of time. You can even find mouth products that don’t require you to use water. For instance, you can use disposable toothbrushes whenever and wherever to maintain your oral hygiene.
Take your own feminine hygiene products
The reality is that women have to take extra care when it comes to personal hygiene on the road. While few people like packing them since they take up a lot of space in your bag, taking your own feminine hygiene products with you on your trip can save you some headaches. Unless you have visited the place before, you cannot be sure that you will be able to find the products you need in the stores. In addition, the selection may be scarce in developing countries and you may not understand labels if there is a language barrier – not to mention that you might not come across any stores for days depending on the nature of your trip. So, don’t leave this to chance. If you’re really short on baggage space, consider investing in a menstrual cup that is extremely practical and also an eco-friendly feminine hygiene product.
Be prepared for scarce bathroom access
Another critical topic to discuss is the likeliness of scarcity of bathroom access during your trip. A proper toilet may not be available at all times during your travels, and even when it is, chances are it’s not going to be sparkling clean. Needless to say, you shouldn’t gamble your health but be prepared for unorthodox ways of going to the bathroom. While men have no problem relieving themselves in nature, for women, it can be quite a challenge. If you are to be in such a situation, consider wearing loose clothing to make the ordeal more manageable. Additionally, if you travel like this frequently, you might want to try out a female urination device that allows for urinating while standing up. You’ll never have to choose between sitting on a questionable toilet or crouching in an uncomfortable position ever again.
Steer clear of UTIs
We just mentioned the importance of bathroom hygiene, but the story does not end there. Women are more susceptible to urinary tract infections and you don’t want something like this ruining your trip. So, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Always remember the rule of wiping from front to back, and use sanitary wipes when needed. In addition, keep up good habits and don’t skip drinking enough water. Dehydration is a dangerous risk when you’re out and about in nature, but drinking enough water and going to the bathroom when you need to are also things that prevent UTIs. If you want to be extra safe, drink cranberry juice for an additional layer of protection!
Pack a portable bidet
Another handy device that will help you maintain a high standard of personal hygiene while traveling is a portable bidet. If you have a bidet at home, you are already aware of its immense benefits and what a difference it makes in your day-to-day life. Staying clean is incredibly important for the sake of your health, but properly washing yourself after using the toilet also makes you feel incomparably refreshed. Luckily, you can now take a portable bidet with you to places that don’t have this amenity, so you can keep your hygiene levels high wherever you are.
Wear flip-flops in the shower
Whether it’s a remote place or not, you shouldn’t lower your guard even if you have access to decent-looking accommodation during your trip. The number one rule you should always stick to when it comes to using unfamiliar showers is that you should never step in completely barefooted. You can never be sure how thoroughly the place has been cleaned after the previous guest, not to mention if you’re using a shared bathroom. So, make sure that one thing is always packed when you’re traveling, and that’s a solid pair of flip-flops or another kind of slippers that are made from a waterproof material. Sure, it may be uncomfortable, but catching something is even more uncomfortable.
Keep your face clean
While you shouldn’t expect to keep up with your 7-step skincare routine while you’re traveling, you want to keep your skin clean and healthy at least. Luckily, there are a lot of no-rinse products on the market today, from no-rinse makeup removers to face washes. If nothing else, wipe your face with one of these to remove sweat and freshen up a bit. As for skincare, even if you don’t want to take many products, one thing that you should not skip is sunscreen. Getting a sunburn is an uncomfortable experience, so protect yourself well with reliable sunscreen. If you pick up a moisturizing one, then you won’t have to worry about your skin drying out either.
Pack solid products
We all know airport security can be strict and it’s not easy to fit all your hygiene products in a small plastic bag when traveling with only a carry-on: you might find that you simply cannot take everything you need. What you can do to cut down on the amount of liquid you are carrying but still take your trusted products is switching to solid products wherever you can. If you know you will have access to water, then a soap instead of a shower gel and solid shampoo and conditioner instead of mini packs of liquid ones will go a long way. Of course, this is not a great idea if you’re not sure you’ll always have running water at your disposal.
Obviously, staying clean while traveling is not just for the sake of comfort. Unhygienic circumstances are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and you don’t want to take home an infection as a souvenir. Hopefully, with the aforementioned tips, you are now prepared to explore a new place while staying safe. Good luck!