Five travel must-haves post Covid-19.

Five travel must-haves post Covid-19.

With many people choosing to vaccinate against Covid-19, the possibility of safer and healthier travel is closer to reality.  However, being vaccinated does not ensure that you will not be affected by the virus, and there are certain health precautions, such as wearing masks, that we still need to take.  When it comes to travel, here are five must-haves I think all travelers should have post-covid-19.

Antiseptic wipes

No matter how much the airline tries to clean and sanitize an airplane, the short timing between deplaning and reboarding an airplane does not seem guaranteed to sanitize the aircraft thoroughly.  Therefore, having your sanitizing wipes and sanitizing your seatbelt, tray table, armrest, and general area, would be a more intelligent and healthier choice.

Disposable masks

Post covid, wearing a face mask has become more of a fashion statement in addition to a measure of health safety.  When traveling, it is advisable to use disposable masks to change often rather than the pretty fashionable ones you tend to use at home. Stylish face masks are great for use when at home because you can wash them often.  When traveling, cleaning your masks is not usually an option, and disposable masks can be a safer, healthier, and economical choice when traveling.

Sanitizer spray

In addition to sanitizer gel, sanitizer spray is also another excellent option for travel.  Travelers can use sanitizer spray to disinfect surfaces without coming into direct contact with surfaces.  They are now available in travel sizes, and travelers can make homemade solutions to fit travel-sized containers.

Disposable gloves

Using gloves when disinfecting surfaces is just another precaution to take from coming into contact with infected surfaces.  Travelers can use a disposable glove when wiping down their seatbelt, tray table, or armrests, and even when they go to the restroom to sanitize toilet seats or accessing toilet seat covers.  Gloves are just another way to minimize your contact with items that might be infected.

Travel soap

Consider the ramifications of pressing the button that everyone else pushes for dispensing soap after using the bathroom but before washing their hands.  Having personal travel soap can make for even less avoidable contact.  There are now tiny travel packets of soap flakes available that are small enough to carry in your purse.

Travel realities have changed post covid, and travelers now have a few more precautions to consider when traveling to avoid becoming sick.  Have you changed the health precautions you now take for travel?  Let me know.

Realities of hotel stays.

Realities of hotel stays.

Anticipating your destination is never the same as finally reaching it.  The first stop of your travel is your accommodations, and whether Airbnb or hotel, here are a few ideas to keep in mind when you finally reach your vacation stop.

There’s always that “ahh” feeling when you finally reach your destination where you want to lay on the bed in either exhaustion or relief at finally reaching your goal.  Hold on! Most likely, the hotel did not change the duvet or bed covering since the last guest.  As a former flight attendant who spent most of my life in hotel rooms, I could write a whole blog post just on the realities of hotel bed coverings. Your first notion when reaching your accommodation should be to remove the outer bed cover, especially if you cannot tell if it’s fresh linen. You can always tell this with white sheets and bed coverings.

Another hotel tip is to never drink from hotel glasses, especially those found in the bathroom before you wash them yourself.  I have often walked into hotel rooms in the process of being cleaned and, from my lived experience, often seen the maid wiping rather than washing the glasses.  Since Covid, many hotels have switched to plastic, but if your hotel has not, be mindful and wash those glasses before you use them.

Always check your sheets before you get into bed.  If after you’ve checked in and your bedding appears slept on or wrinkled, you can request to have them changed to be entirely sure they are clean.  In addition, check your towels, and if they appear soiled or used, please request fresh towels. Often only the towels used are replaced, and those not used stay in the room despite a new change of guest.

Along the same lines as hotel bed coverings, hotel carpets are also rarely cleaned.  I would highly suggest that you treat hotel carpet flooring as you would with public showers and never go barefoot.  Carpets are often only vacuumed between guests, but when maids are rushing to have rooms ready and the carpets appear clean, this is usually not done.  In most cases, when the carpet is soiled and needs cleaning, it is often only a spot treatment as this can take a room out of service.  Maids avoid this by heavily vacuuming instead, so be aware and try not to go barefoot.

These hotel realities are often not found at pricier hotels and accommodations, but sometimes the price does not guarantee quality.   Be aware that the standards you expect from your hotel may not be the reality.  Remember that these and other hotel realities can be addressed and do not have to spoil your vacation.

Have you had any unexpected hotel experiences? I’d like to know.

Choosing the right carry-on for you.

Choosing the right carry-on for you.

Choosing the right travel bag is different for every traveler.  Some people are natural over packers and will try to carry everything in their carry-on. Others might be traveling with simply a carry-on, even if they are traveling for a week.  I encourage all travelers to choose the bag they choose based on their needs and circumstances. However, here are five things you might want to consider when making your choice.

One of my primary considerations is how the bag closes.  Does it zip-up, or is it a carry-all with no closure?  If you’ve ever traveled and had your items all scattered either on takeoff or landing, then this will be a priority for you as well.  If things get scattered under your seat, you never know where they will end up, maybe a few rows behind you or maybe in front of you.  If things get scattered in the overhead bin, then chances are you are not tall enough to see into it to make sure you have all your items.

The size of your bag is essential.  From airline to class of travel, what is allowed as carry-on differs on different flights.  Besides, you want to make sure it can carry your essential items but not be too big to make it not fit in the overhead bin or too restrictive to your feet if placed under the seat in front of you.

Just like your choice of luggage, the weight of your carry-on is a critical consideration.  I would suggest a lightweight bag that can fit all your carry-on needs. It would be best to consider that you will carry this bag on your shoulder or attached to your roll-aboard for some distance.  If you have to take a heavy bag, it can undoubtedly lead to more back pain than usual for confined aircraft seating.

While it might look fashionable to carry designer luggage, know that you will be using shared space.  If another passenger spills something in the overhead bin, it will get over your bag.  Should a passenger get violently sick close to you, those bodily fluids can spill to your carry-on stowed on the floor.  Not to mention that you have no idea if someone hasn’t already been sick in the area.  Know that not everyone will treasure your bag as you do and travel accordingly.

An often-overlooked area in choosing carry-on bags is the organization it may offer.  Bucket bags by design hold everything as they are named.  It can be challenging to find items in your bag if you have no idea where in your bag they are.  A bag with different compartments makes it easier to find your passport or boarding pass, or toiletries if you keep them in separate areas.

Do you have a go-to inflight bag?  Having been a flight attendant for many years, I am conditioned to have my bag organized and ready at all times. How about you? I’d like to know.

Why EbonyTravelers?

Why EbonyTravelers?

I’m fifty-six, married, and mom to a son who’s 24 and a daughter 21. I have a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and a Doctorate in Organizational Management. My written work has involved the research and exploration of broken agreements and management in the airline industry.

I spent 23 years as an international flight attendant for a major US airline and have lived as an ex-pat in Asia for over ten years. I love to travel, am fond of people and their cultures, and traveling in general. Traveling is often a topic of conversation for me, and I am genuinely passionate about sharing my travel stories and experiences. Blogging is a way of giving my honest guidance about travel, interacting with my audience, and becoming a source of insight into the travel experience.

Many people interested in travel often see photos and images that appeal to the audience but do not address the realities of travel. My experience as an international flight attendant has allowed me to see the excitement and pleasure of vacationers. However, it has also given me many opportunities to see the grief of loved ones returning home from a picturesque vacation without a loved one.

My goal as a blog writer is not just to show the picturesque travel sights but to share my lived experiences so that when one thinks about travel, they also think about the realities they may encounter. I hope to share serious posts about traveling while being respectful, matter-of-fact, and enthusiastic.

I hope you have enjoyed my posts to date and that you have found value in my tips and advice. I invite you to like, follow, share and stay connected with me on social media and subscribing to my email list. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Traveling with younger children.

Traveling with younger children.

I was an international flight attendant before I had children, so I thought I had all the knowledge I needed to travel with children.  Knowing and doing are two different things. I made many mistakes along the way, and it has been a long time since I’ve traveled with children.  Here are my five tips to help young mothers on the journey.

1. Traveling with pre-made infant formula or breast milk is allowed through TSA.  Inform them in advance that you have liquids for your baby so that you will be processed accordingly.  Not every TSA station, even at the same airport, treats everyone the same or seems to have the same policies at times. Using clear containers for your baby’s feeding is recommended, and having just enough feedings for travel time plush a small extra is usually enough.

2. Airplanes are always equipped with babies and children in mind. Some even have special-size life jackets or supplies and activities designed for children in mind.  What is common, however, is a bathroom equipped with a drop-down changing table for babies.  Use it and not the seat. It’s unhygienic and inconsiderate to your fellow passengers.  Also, don’t hand the dirty diaper to your flight attendant. Use those airsick bags provided and dispose of them in the restroom.

3. Children have different preferences for their feedings.  If your child prefers warm bottles, make it hot before you leave, wrap it in aluminum foil and towels, and place it between diapers.  It will not stay warm forever, but it should last a shorter, distanced flight.  Towels can serve as double duty for cleanup, and you can never run out of diapers.

4. Try to arrive at the airport with time to get through security without the stress of possibly missing your flight.  Give yourself time for the realities of traveling with children and the extra security you may encounter.

5. Traveling with infants allows you a few privileges such as early boarding and gate-checking your stroller.  Use the stroller to get through the airport and to your gate.  Once there, you should check your stroller, so it is not another piece of luggage you need to worry about.  You will not need it in flight, and in most cases, it can be delivered to you when you get off the plane.

Traveling with children is indeed a stressful experience.  However, there are so many ways to make it less so and a pleasant experience.  Have you traveled with children? Do you have any suggestions? I’d like to hear.

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