Spring cleaning for travelers means something different in the age of the Coronavirus! Cleaning your luggage and travel accessories becomes mandatory! This year, even the idea of traveling has many generally calm people feeling anxious, worried and downright scared.
FYI: The virus can live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This varies under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). So, if you come into contact with any surface, wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap or use hand sanitizer. On fabric, it can survive for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent will kill it. Using warm water is best, but cold water washing will kill it, too.
Even in a year not characterized by a Cornonavirus pandemic, spring cleaning is a necessary evil. As we clean out our closets and homes, let’s not forget to do the same with all of our travel tools and gear, too.
Why Do We Need To Clean Our Suitcases?
Think about it. We pack our clothes, personal care items, shoes, dirty clothes, and so much more in our suitcase and packing bags within our suitcases. We then place our suitcases, carry-on bags, and everything else on planes where so many people touch them. They are also rolled on floors and other surfaces where germs, dirt, and yes, even viruses, abound! YUCK!
If you’re like most people, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak you probably never really thought about wiping down your suitcase or cleaning out your personal effects bag when you got home. So, take the time right now to not only really clean your travel supplies, but make sure they’re all in working and proper order. And from now on, make this a part of your regular routine.
Spring Cleaning for Travelers: 8 Tips To Use Right Now
Clean your luggage inside and out.
Follow the care instructions for your suitcase and clean it up. Be sure to clean the inside and outside of the suitcase, wiping down all handles, locks, and pulls, too. You can use disinfectant wipes or spray. Open up the suitcase completely and wipe the inside and leave open to dry. If you use a disinfectant spray, do not wipe away. Let it air dry. You can also spray with an air dry natural clothing spray. Inspect all your luggage and make sure the locks and zippers are all in working order and there are no tears. Get anything repaired that needs to be.
Wipe down your luggage tags.
Take time to check all your luggage tags and yes, wipe them down, too. While you’re looking at them make sure your name and phone number are clear, easy to find, and up-to-date.
Machine wash backpacks if possible.
Now is a good time to tackle the backpacks, both for adults and the kids. My husband and I both carry one and fill them with dirty gym clothes. Just think of what has gone in these bags and where they have been left – floors, toilets, etc. UGH! If you can, it’s a good idea to machine wash them. Be sure to check with the manufacturer’s instructions first though. You can also use a sanitizing spray to refresh your bags as you travel.
Wash packing bags inside out.
Wash your packing cubes and personal needs bags as directed. If they can be machine washed, do it. Otherwise, make sure you let them air dry completely. I like to turn these inside out when washing, just to make sure I clean the area where the dirty clothes have been. You can clean these bags typically with a mild soap and hot water, but if they have had contact with external surfaces, use disinfectant.
Completely wipe out and rinse these bags. I also like to use an alcohol-soaked wipe to make sure they are clean (and to get any leftover smells out). These bags are often where the most germs can grow. If you use plastic bags, throw them away and start with new ones each trip.
Empty personal care bottles and tubes.
Empty and clean them! Throw away all the product that is in them. If you can’t get rid of the product in a bottle after a good soaking, discard it. Any that you have had all year that have been opened, like toothpaste, make-up, and creams should be thrown out. Start new.
Focus on cleaning your carry-on bags.
If you are anything like me, I use the same carry-on bag and keep everything in it. Spring is the time I empty it out completely. With the Coronavirus outbreak this year, I have found this to be a great time to clean my carry-on bags. I throw away all mints, gum, and what not and wipe down all the pockets. I clean my earphones and all my cords with a damp cloth and lay them out to dry. Then, I take the time to put it all back…neatly. Truth is, I usually find all kinds of goodies in there, most of which are trashed.
Create a travel Emergency Kit.
If you don’t travel with an emergency kit, you should. But if you do, check all the expiration dates and restock. When I did mine this year, my bandaids were so old the wrapping was a little yellow. If I know I used it on vacation, I replace it right when I get home so I don’t forget. With Coronavirus in our world, it is smart to keep handy small bottles of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and extra tissues.
Update all personal information.
Make sure you keep all phone numbers handy and add an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact in your phone for easy access. You may need them in a hurry during your travels. Check all your lists and copies of frequent flyer numbers, passports, photo IDs, hotel loyalty programs, club memberships, and anything else. Make sure all numbers, points, expiration dates, and contact information are up-to-date and not about to expire, especially that passport. Also, check all your loyalty and frequent flyer points to make sure you don’t have any about to expire, if you do not use them.
Bottom Line: Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
No matter if your travels take you across the world or just through your own hometown, being prepared can help take some of the anxiety out of these trying times. I vow to not let Coronavirus win and am doing my best to live my life while keeping myself as safe as possible. Make time to take care of your spring cleaning needs, so you are ready for anything the world throws at you! This year, spring cleaning for travelers is of utmost importance.
For more great spring cleaning content, be sure to check out these awesome posts written by my fellow Chosen Chix bloggers:
- Spring Cleaning Checklists – Free Printables by November Sunflower
- 5 Ways to Make Spring Cleaning Fun by The Mommy-Files
- How to Declutter Your iPhone by philZENdia
- 15 ways to be more eco friendly when you clean by Confessions of an Overworked Mom
- 7 Simple Spring Cleaning Hacks by Family Review Guide
- Declutter Your Makeup Bag in Five Steps by The Afropolitan Mom
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.