Tips & Tricks for a Germ Free Disney Vacation
Sometimes it’s inevitable. You work hard to be fully prepared for vacation, you’ve planned meticulously because you really need the downtime. And then it happens. You’ve just arrived to your paradise, and you realize you’re getting sick. It’s like the moment you let your guard down, your immune system does too, and you spend your holiday with a runny nose and headache. But these are unprecedented times; with COVID-19 lurking in unsuspecting hosts, everyone and everything is suspect. Its stressful, and as soon as the major threat is over, we are all going to really, REALLY need a vacation. Pronto. But before we take off, we need to find ways to enjoy a germ free Disney vacation!
If you’re anything like me, though, the sheer thought of this pandemic will keep me paranoid for years to come. The days of me shrugging off my toddlers licking windows is over. So… fellow germaphobic moms (and dads, and nanas, etc)… if your headed to Disney in the future, there are some things you can do to minimize your risk of getting sick (from any transmittable illness, not just COVID-19).
First, let me just say that we’ve had nothing but great experiences with Mousekeeping. And it really is nice to return to your room with freshly made beds and neatly stacked towels. However, consider the risks of allowing someone in your room who has been touching dirty surfaces all day. Of course, they do take precautions, but its still possible your Mousekeeper could be unknowingly spreading germs through many, many guest rooms. Its simply not worth the risk – decline the Mousekeeping at checking (Bonus: They usually offer you a Disney gift card for declining the Mousekeeping service).
Utilize the Skyliner, Minnie Vans, or Uber when possible
Free transportation between parks and resorts is one of the benefits of staying on Disney property. But not all transportation is equal. Let’s be honest, the bus transportation pales in comparison to the other options. There are often long queue lines, especially early in the morning and at park closing time. They are often crowded with standing room only (which is especially depressing after you’ve walked many miles around the parks all day). They are full of germ-laden surfaces, which you MUST latch on to in order to stay standing during the bus ride.
Avoid the Buses
Use the Skyliner whenever possible. Its free, and usually private for your family. Its very easy to quickly wipe down surfaces with a single disinfectant wipe as soon as you enter the gondola. A second option is to use Minnie Vans (which has two carseats for young children) or Uber. These can get expensive if you’re traveling back and forth to the parks multiple times a day, so if you want to limit these, try to use them during the busiest times, like first thing in the morning and at the park closing time.
If you want to avoid shared transportation all together, think about bringing your own vehicle, or renting a vehicle during your stay. There is an additional parking fee, but the convenience and health factors may be worth the added cost.
Avoid Touching Handrails
This is easier said than done, but its best to avoid touching handrails if you have a dream of a germ free Disney vacation. Sometimes you grab on without even thinking about it, and sometimes you just cant avoid it. So carry hand sanitizer with you and use it after you’ve touched them.
Sanitize on a Schedule
Before you go, have a plan. Creating a hand sanitization schedule will help you stay healthy. For example, sanitize before entering any attraction queue and after leaving any attraction. Use sanitizer before entering and after leaving any transportation vehicles (buses, gondolas, Minnie vans, etc.). Sanitize hourly by set an alarm on your phone.
Wash Before Meals
Always properly wash your hands before putting food in your mouth. Hand sanitizer is helpful, but handwashing is better, especially right before your putting your hands near your mouth. Commit to using the restroom to washing your hands before all meals and snacks. Don’t forget to clean your table before eating too! Those salt & pepper shakers have been touched by many people. Wipe them down before use.
Avoid Paying in Cash
Cash is gross. It may have passed through thousands of hands before landing in your pocket. Just don’t carry cash while you’re on vacation (except for maybe singles you use for tips, and never ask for change). Only use a card to make purchases… and include this in your sanitization schedule – clean your hands and your card after every use!
Use Wipes to Clean Germy Surfaces
Be aware of germy surfaces, such as in-queue entertainment, bathroom doors thumb print scanners, etc. As soon as you touch one of these surfaces, clean your hands.
Put Your Hair Up & Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
If you only take one piece of advice, make it this one. If you keep your hands away from your face, you’ll reduce your risk of getting sick dramatically. Kids take a lot of reminding, but its important that they keep their hands away from their face too! Pay attention to the reasons you and your kids touch your face. Do you keep pushing your hair back? Are you wiping sweat from your forehead? Are you blowing your nose? Address the issues by keeping your hair in a ponytail, wear a sun hat, or take a decongestant.
Politely Ask for Space
Have you ever been in line with someone behind you so close you could feel their breath? Don’t be afraid to ask for more space, especially when standing in line. A polite “Can we create a little space between our groups?” will usually suffice. You can also blame yourself with something like “Excuse me, my allergies are bothering me today and I’ve been sneezing a lot. Do you mind keeping a couple paces back, just in case? I don’t want to share my germs with anyone!” Bonus: If you say it loudly, other groups will likely give you space too. You can politely and tactfully ask for room without offending anyone! Besides, I think everyone’s goal is to have a germ free Disney vacation, so they’ll appreciate the reminder to keep their distance.
Stay Hydrated & Take Immune Boosting Supplements
The best medicine is prevention. In addition to avoiding germs, you can keep your body in tip-top shape, ready to fight off any bugs you may catch. Keep hydrated during your trip, and take immune-boosting vitamins and supplements throughout your vacation. We especially love this pair of collapsable travel water bottles.
Do you have any great tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy on vacation? Share your ideas in the comments below!