A new OnePoll study of 2,000 American adults reveals that many travelers lay low before traveling to avoid getting sick, and most are looking for more reassurance than ever that the places they stay are germ-free. A full 44% take extra precautions for at least a week before they travel, and 22% report that they are extra careful to avoid falling ill for two weeks before departing. A full 56% said they feel dirtier and germier when they’re traveling and 40% say they feel the need to wash up immediately upon arrival at their destination.
Travelers also come prepared. The average respondent said that 10% of their luggage is filled with personal hygiene items, such as hand sanitizer (73%), masks (63%), and cleaning wipes (60%). Over half of those surveyed reported that since the pandemic they have higher standards of cleanliness when traveling, and continue to practice good hygiene and sanitation practices at home.
The random survey was commissioned by Ecolab and conducted by OnePoll between October 11 and October 17, says Study Finds. It also found that when people do arrive, they don’t let their guard down and meticulously ensure that their rooms are clean by searching for red flags that include stains on sheets (74%), soap scum in the shower (64%), or fingerprints on cups (57%). They also look for “green” flags that include clean smells (82%), fresh trash bags in containers (77%), cups wrapped in plastic (72%) and a post-clean seal on the door (52%).
“It’s more important than ever to try to be cleaner and safer when traveling,” says Lisa Robinson, VP Global Food Safety and Public Health, in a statement. “Vacations are an important time to relax and recharge.”
But the survey also found that despite the precautions, 40% of respondents said they have gotten sick when traveling. Of those, 45% said they were relegated to their room until their flight back, while 24% said they went home. And 22% said their illness ruined the trip for the rest of their traveling companions, with one in five admitting they spread their germs to others in their party.
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