Hygiene and body care
Personal hygiene is important to health and social custom. It's also important for reducing the risk of diseases on the trip, including but not limited to travellers' diarrhea and infected wounds. While business hotels and other high-end accommodations usually have good bathrooms, outdoor life, budget travel and travel in developing countries can pose a challenge. Clean water is not always available.
Airport security is harsh on liquids, but most sanitary products are also sold in air travel size packs. Be prepared to unpack your equipment for the security crew. Because of security hassle, consider to leave liquids, scissors and similar equipment at home, and buy it on arrival. Traveling by means other than air will ensure a more liberal luggage policy but if you are crossing borders or taking a public bus, boat or train do check with the appropriate regulations.
- Contraception: If there is any likelihood of sexual encounters, also condoms.
- Dental equipment: The toothbrush is an archetypal piece of travel equipment. Mouthwash, dental floss and chewing gum can also be useful.
- Menstrual equipment: See tips for female travellers
- Tissues: Wet tissues, dry tissues, or toilet paper.
- Hand Sanitizer: In case there's no sink around.
Similar options (sometimes economical, sometimes not) include beaches, hot springs, spas, sport facilities, swimming halls and public saunas. If you think of visiting them anyway, you can seize the chance to use them also for these needs.
Hairdressing is usually cheaper in a low-income country. It can also be a good way to get your hair thoroughly washed if you've been traveling off the beaten path without a much water/soap for a while, like in a desert.
- See also: Toilets
Toilets are very different from place to place.
- Flush toilet seats are standard in most high-income countries, at least in cities.
- Squat toilets are a simpler kind of flush toilet.
- Portable toilets are common at festivals and other outdoor events.
- Outhouses are common in low-income countries. Even in high-income countries, some countryside settlements and islands have no public water supply, and therefore no flush toilets.
In some cultures, the left hand is considered dirty as it is used to wipe your behind when on the toilet. In this case always use your right hand when e.g. eating or shaking hands.
Different cultures have different standards for nudity.