Jetset Genius Podcast

20: The Secret Weapon Every Traveler Should Be Using to Fight Off Germs

 by Brad Kammlah

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In this Episode, You'll Learn:

  • My secret weapon for staying well on the road
  • How to use it effectively
  • Which versions of the product work better than others
  • How to use it consistently for the best results

Germs Are Everywhere When We Travel

If you stop and listen during your flight, you can often hear a symphony of germs flying around from coughing to sneezing and whatever else.  And if it's going on around you it can be more than a little annoying. Just ask Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm where he was stuck in between two people blowing their nose on a plane.

It seems like germs are absolutely everywhere when we travel in airports, cabs, trains, hotels and just about everywhere. And if you do get sick on the road it can be a miserable experience. You may not have any good medications with you. And you have to go through the rigors and stress of travel when you don't feel very good.

So I take avoid germs very seriously! Kind of like Sheldon does on The Big Bang Theory.  And while we don't want to become germaphobes, we do want to do everything we can to stay healthy when we travel.

And that's where my secret weapon comes in that I use every time I travel.

So here's the cheesy sales pitch for this great stuff. What if I told you that it costs less than $2 a bottle, there are no side effects, you don't even have to take it, and it kills practically all germs?

The Secret Weapon… HAND SANITIZER!

This is my favorite tool to stay well on the road and here's why. When I first started traveling for work I was getting sick all the time. It seemed like no matter what I tried I kept catching whatever the latest cold or flu that was going around. And it was miserable!

So I started experimenting will all sorts of different vitamins and strategies and nothing seemed to make a big enough difference. And that's when I decided to start using hand sanitizer regularly and it changed everything! I would even say it reduced how often I got sick by 82%! (I completely made up that number, I have no idea how much it helped.) But it did make a dramatic difference.

Why Hand Sanitizer is Great

The Center for Disease Control recommends washing your hands as the most effective way to stay healthy and avoid germs, but that's now always an option. If you're stuck in a middle seat on a plane and want to dig into your lunch you may not want to go through the hassle of asking everyone to get up so you can wash your hands in the bathroom.

Or if you just introduced yourself to a conference room full of people before a meeting, it could be awkward to excuse yourself to go wash your hands.

So the next option they recommend is using hand sanitizer.

Not only is it endorsed by the CDC, it's also not a pill so you don't have to take anything and it kills like 99.7% of germs. Now even the CDC questions that number of exactly how many germs it does kill but regardless of the number it's still a lot and it's much better than using nothing.

5 Ways to Use Hand Sanitizer Effectively

The key here to actually have this stuff work is using correctly and unfortunately that's where most of us fall short. And while hand sanitizer is just about everywhere, the problem is that most people don't use it correctly or nearly often enough. So if you really want this stuff to work for you then here are some strategies to get the most out of this tool to stay healthy.

1 Use Hand Sanitizer that contains at least 60% Alcohol

Make sure that the hand sanitizer that you're using contains alcohol. That's the ingredient that actually kills the germs.

There are quite a few “all natural” brands of hand sanitizer on the market that don't contain any alcohol. The problem with these is that they don't actually kill the germs. So there's really no point in using it.

And while I usually like to opt for more natural products, in this case I'd rather use something that actually works.

2 Use a Large enough volume to completely cover your hands

Another mistake a lot of us make is not using enough to completely cover your hands front and back. Without covering everything, you may not be killing all the bad guys. So make sure you use enough of it where it almost feels like you're washing your hands in it.

3 Let it Air Dry for 15 Seconds

It's actually the drying action that kills the germs so be sure to wait for 15 to 30 seconds for the alcohol to dry before you dig into that sandwich you're about to eat.

4 Keep it in your pocket or purse

Another key is using hand sanitizer frequently and the best way to do that is have some with you all the time.

I like using the small 1oz bottles of Purell with aloe and keeping one in my pocket. And when they run out I simply fill them back up with a larger 1 liter refill size.

And I recommend making this part of your daily carry, just something that you always have with you. Otherwise you have to hope there's some around when you need it, but if you have your own then you always set!

5 Use it Often

The last tip is to use it frequently and consistently, especially in these situations:

  • After shaking hands
  • After touching the seat belt or air vent on a plane
  • After leaving the airplane bathroom
  • After using public transportation
  • Before you eat anything

Start Using it Today!

So go out and pick up a bottle of hand sanitizer, out it in your pocket and start using it regularly, especially when you travel. And you'll be amazed at how effective this can be so that you can stay well and be energized and effective!

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