A Clean Freak’s Guide to Surviving a Road Trip

I have no shame admitting that I am a tad bit obsessive in my quest to stave off illness.  I like things clean and disinfected. I blame my microbiology course in college for making me this way. We had to swab various items around the university and at home. After watching different types of bacteria grow in the petri dishes from things like elevator buttons to garbage disposals, I was officially grossed out.  Being a nurse doesn’t really help with my obsession either. Anyway, my hubby and I went on a road trip on Father’s Day weekend and he dared me to tell my readers the lengths I will go to in order to keep from getting sick. Like I told him…ain’t no shame in my game. So let the weirdness overload begin!

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1. I carry Clorox clean up wipes and Lysol disinfectant spray in my purse at all times when on vacation. You never know when you may come in contact with something (or someone) disgusting. Don’t front like you never met someone who made you want to take a bath in lysol after interacting with them.Might as well be armed and ready for germ annihilation. I usually use them primarily in the hotel rooms to wipe down surfaces before I use them.

2. Hand sanitizer…definitely a no brainer. You’re riding in a car for hours. You may spill something or order something from a fast food restaurant. If you have been touching a lot of different things its good to wash your hands (especially after handling money).  If you are lazy like me and rather not go into the restaurant to  wash your hands, hand sanitizer will suffice. You also never know when you may meet someone who wants to shake your hand. I don’t know about you guys but I hate shaking hands with people! The first thought that always runs through my mind is…I wonder what was the last thing this person touched. I really would love to stop shaking peoples hands but unfortunately I was raised as a Southern girl and I hate to offend people. Bless my little heart. I think I may start telling people hand shaking is forbidden in my culture.    When they ask I may say…the culture de germophobe. Do you think that will work? Let me know down below.

3. After riding along for a few hours, you may need to use the bathroom. What’s a clean freak to do? Looking for a bathroom up to my standards could be hit or miss. Well it used to be…now there’s an app for that! It’s called sit or squat and it is a life saver. You basically allow your GPS on your phone to tell the app your location and it will give you a list of bathrooms in your area. The ones with red toilet paper icon means its dirty so squat and the one with green toilet paper icon means its pretty clean and you can sit. I only go to the green restrooms of course. It’s been pretty spot on so far. Port a potties are a definite NO-NO in my book. I will writhe in pain or my bladder will burst before I step foot in one of those things.  I learned from my grandma that car dealerships usually have a pretty clean bathroom as well. If nothing else is available in the area stop in for a wee while your boo takes a test drive of a new car. Everyone is happy once you get back on the road.

4. I never stop and eat at a farmer’s market or roadside stand. I’m always wondering…where are these people washing their hands? Food trucks are a different story. I will stare through those tiny sliding glass windows until I lay eyes on a sink. If I can’t spot one, I’m not eating there.

5. I carry my own pillow and blanket whenever I travel. Can you imagine how many people have drooled on those same hotel pillows? Just the thought makes me cringe. I forgot my pillow the last time I traveled to Fort Worth and I nearly had a cow. Luckily it was winter and I had a large fluffy scarf that doubled as my pillow for the night. When I return home those items hit the washer straightaway. My family tease me and call me Linus because I carry the blanket around. I will be Linus on every vacation from here to eternity. Doesn’t bother me one bit.

Ok I admit I may be a little overly concerned when it comes to getting sick but I say better safe than sorry. I haven’t gotten ridiculously sick on a trip in a long time…with the exception of allergy flare ups. Other people in my party have gotten sick and wished that they followed in my footsteps when they were hovering over the porcelain throne for hours at a time.  I think my prophylactic measures act as a safeguard. Seriously if I were to tell you guys about all the nasty bacteria found in the community it would freak you out. So I won’t tell you. I will say this…wash your hands frequently people. That small act will save your life.

Do you have any annoying habits that you do when traveling? What has been your favorite road trip destination?

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4 thoughts on “A Clean Freak’s Guide to Surviving a Road Trip

  1. My annoying habits always occur around food. I can never bring healthy snacks, I have this tradition of stopping for fast food and candy bars. At least your obsession results in being healthy! :D

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    • Megan, I love road tripping snacks as well. I am obsessed with the Turtles candy, chips and cherry Icees. Those are necessities when trying to stay awake when driving or riding for hours.

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