Travel Hygiene Tips to Keep You Clean and Fresh

By Ashley Ess in Healthy Feeling

If you've ever camped in a remote area or visited a foreign country, you've likely faced a lack of supply resources or found yourself in the tough position of navigating store shelves filled with unfamiliar products. Add to that the fact that you may use several modes of transportation or encounter situations with no sink or toilet, and the challenge is clear. Although traveling can be exciting, staying on top of your travel hygiene while on the road can be complicated, especially when you're living out of a backpack or suitcase.

But keeping up with your personal hygiene doesn't have to be difficult. With the right preparation, you can maintain your self-care rituals and stay feeling fresh throughout your trip.

Travel Hygiene Tips for the Whole Body

Having a plan is the best way to avoid getting stuck in a situation where you can't brush your teeth, take a shower, or get some rest. With the best hygiene travel products and some basic strategies in your back pocket, you can stay comfortable and focus on enjoying your travels.

close up of woman holding sudsy bar of soap in hands

For the Hands

Maintaining hygiene while traveling is next to impossible without prioritizing hand washing. Frequent hand washing not only removes dirt and debris but prevents the spread of germs. Carry a small bar of soap and washcloth with you at all times in case there isn't a sink handy. You can use your soap with water from your travel bottle when in a bind between bathroom stops. When you can't rinse your hands with water, biodegradable cleansing wipes are a great substitute. Keep your nails clean by using a soft-bristle nail brush to remove dirt from under them.

For the Body

Shower regularly, if possible, to keep germs and dirt at bay. When only a sink is available, use a washcloth and soap to wash your body, or use biodegradable body wipes. You can even wash your hair in a sink and keep a small hand towel in your luggage to ring out excess water. Brushing your hair often can help prevent matting and combat buildup from being on the road. When all else fails, use a dry shampoo to prevent an oily scalp.

Deodorant is another must-have for travel hygiene. In cases where you don't have access to a shower, using deodorant can help you feel fresh until you can clean up more thoroughly. Natural deodorant options abound and include formulas that absorb wetness and neutralize odor-causing bacteria.

For the Mouth

Along with the obligatory travel-size toothpaste and toothbrush that every globetrotter carries in their toiletry bag, pack a small bottle of mouthwash and dental floss to stay on top of oral hygiene. Use drinking water to rinse, especially while camping or visiting a location where the tap water isn't drinkable.

If you're not able to brush as soon as you'd like, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free mints that contain xylitol are also good alternatives. Xylitol has been shown to prevent and even reverse early tooth decay. And chewing gum triggers saliva production, which can help rinse the mouth naturally.

Finally, staying away from sugary foods and replacing them with crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery can help scrape away bacteria. Small amounts of lemons or limes can help freshen breath, but beware that too much citrus can strip enamel.

For the Face

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Heavy traveling can leave the skin feeling dehydrated, especially when extreme weather changes are a factor. Cold climates tend to dry out the skin, so a quality moisturizer and a hydrating lip balm can help restore moisture and keep you comfortable. And no matter what the climate is where you're traveling, make sunscreen the travel companion that never leaves your side.

man kneeling down in forest spalshing his face with water

Other Healthy Habits While Traveling

Travel hygiene doesn't just depend on your daily rituals. Implementing these important habits can help you stay energized and ready for the next leg of your trip.

Stay Hydrated

Water sources may be few and far between while jaunting from one tourist spot to another, but you can stay hydrated with portable water bottles. When in a particularly remote location, consider bringing along a water filter straw that purifies water from almost any source.

Keep Your Clothes Clean

To keep your clothes fresh and clean, pack odor-resistant clothing like moisture-wicking and quick-drying threads. A portable washing bag and clothesline are also handy for camping or when washing machines are hard to come by while traveling.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy, whole foods as much as possible will keep you energized and feeling good while away. Bring protein bars, trail mix, and freeze-dried fruits and veggies for variety.


Simple workouts are imperative when confined to a plane, train, or car for long periods. Any movement that gets your heart pumping, moves your joints, and stretches muscles will pay off when you arrive at your destination.

Prioritize Sleep

Plan on scheduling plenty of sleep during your trip to keep the immune system strong. Use an eye mask to block out distracting light while napping on the go.

Feeling Fresh throughout Your Trip

Self-care while traveling might not be exactly the same as your full personal care routine at home. But being prepared with a solid plan can make all the difference in feeling refreshed and comfortable throughout your travels.

Going on a camping trip? Check out why you may want to choose an unscented deodorant when enjoying the outdoors.

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Why It's Good

With a few tweaks to your personal care routine, your travel hygiene plan will keep you feeling confident, healthy, and comfortable while traveling.