Travel Tip – Don’t forget to wipe.

Travel Tip – Don’t forget to wipe.

We have a good friend who is an airline pilot.  One night, while chatting, she revealed that airplanes are not as clean as you’d think. They typically look clean because they get vacuumed, but considering they spend very little time on the ground between flights there rarely is time for a deep, thorough cleaning. All day long, people with colds and other illnesses get on and off the plane.  The flight attendants do pick up trash, tidy the cabin and put the seat belts neatly across the seats, but that’s about it.

This lines up with our experience:  I noticed over the years that whenever we flew somewhere, I’d often be sick a few days later. We figured we’d been around new germs and that  it was par for the course. But then our pilot friend gave us a tip that made so much sense:  bring Clorox Wipes on the plane with you.

Now when we board, we quickly grab a wipe and clean the arms of our seats, the seatbelt, the seat belt buckle (being sure to get under that flap), the tray tables and those little things that swing around to hold them in place.  Basically, we give a quick once-over to anything near our seats that we might touch.  People look at us strangely, and we have to work hard to keep our fannies out of the aisle while others board, but I stopped getting sick after flying.

So you know what?  We started bringing wipes to hotels because we’d heard that hotels can also be places for germs.

Photo by Ann Teget for postcardjar.com

Now when we check in to a hotel room, we take about three minutes to grab a wipe and clean things like the remote control (which half the time is sticky, anyway), light switches, and the phone.  Basically, we try to think of the things housekeeping wouldn’t normally clean but probably get a lot of dirty finger traffic.

Speaking of dirty finger (and other parts) traffic — we recently spent five hours at Union Station in Kansas City while waiting to board an Amtrak train late at night. Before resting our heads on a bench in the Great Hall, I took our Clorox wipes to the seats, which had already been cleaned by the night cleaning crew. Here’s what I got.

postcardjar.com

postcardjar.com

Moral of the story, if you don’t have time to have bronchitis (‘aint nobody got time for that!), then bring along a travel pack of Clorox Wipes or some other brand of disinfectant, and be well even after you get home.  Given the fact that Ann is taking medication that suppresses her immune system, this is one tip we follow each and every trip.

How do you stay healthy when you travel? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you.

Travel Tip #2 – Put all of your cords in one see-through bag.

Travel Tip #2 – Put all of your cords in one see-through bag.

I nearly did not make it to our honeymoon. Seriously. Just minutes before (or maybe even several after) we were supposed to leave for the airport for a week-long honeymoon in paradise, I couldn’t find my camera’s charging cord. Not only was the camera cord lost, but I was losing my mind.  I raced through the house like a crazy woman, searching every nook and cranny for that darn cord. I darted from room to room with tears welling up in my eyes at the thought of seeing Costa Rica for the first time without my camera. I emptied nearly every drawer in the house and searched every bag as my husband stood helpless in the living room, wondering if he was ever going to get his new bride in the car and on the plane.

Eventually, I found the cord,  threw it in my backpack, calmed down, and we enjoyed an amazing week in the land of pura vida. And I have the pictures to prove it. See how relaxed I look?

Calm and relaxed at Tabacon Hot Springs in Costa Rica. (Photo by Steve Teget for postcard jar.com)

Calm and relaxed at Tabacon Hot Springs in Costa Rica. (Photo by Steve Teget for postcard jar.com)

So happy I had a charged camera to capture the beautiful flowers in Costa Rica. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

So happy I had a charged camera to capture the beautiful flowers in Costa Rica. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

Steve had a glorious day of relaxation at Manuel Antonio Beach in Costa Rica. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

Steve had a glorious day of relaxation at Manuel Antonio Beach in Costa Rica. (Photo by Ann Teget for postcard jar.com)

When we got home, I realized I had issues. With cords. I never put them in the same place. They were typically tangled. And, I was always scrambling at the last minute before a trip to find every connection I’d need. It drove my husband nuts and I had to find a solution.

So I did. To best organize all of the cords I need for a trip, I keep them all in one place — an inexpensive, clear, plastic bag I found at our local Wal-Mart for a couple bucks. I neatly fold each cord and secure it with a hair band that is soft and easy to remove. In addition, I’ve purchased duplicates of almost all of my cords, so that I have one set that I use around the house, and one set that is ready to go in my carry-on bag whenever we leave for a trip.

I make sure I have extra batteries, ear buds, phone chargers, camera cords, and USB adapters and can I just say that preparing to get out the door is SO MUCH EASIER. Just ask my husband.  (Note from Steve:  It is so much better now.  So much.)

How do you manage all of the electronics and cords you need for a trip? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.