Please feedback: "Safe passage" holiday travel plan(3 posts)
Several people have posted here, just before holidays, that they've just discovered that they have BB, or are in middle of treatment and want to “go home” without spreading BB to the places they visit. Getting out from a BB situation can be a useful lifesaver and IMHO, can be done safely, by planning ahead. I'd like to present for your feedback, my approach to this issue, based on my own practices. I hope that this will provoke a healthy discussion and also provide a useful guide.
Develop a mindset of “clean”, “suspect” and “infested” with regard to your things and environments.
I assume that you have access to a washer/dryer, but maybe not a packtite. You are also short on time and relatively new to the BB game. There are also other guides to traveling BB free, such as this site's FAQ and Richard Cooper's guide.
The scope of this guide is to prevent you from carrying “home” BB that you have in your place or your car. It does not take into account BB you might pick up in transit, from the bus, plane, train, taxi or rental car. I also can't guarantee that it works.
Before you go – Decide how you're going and what you're taking (and what you really need to take). If you have BB at home, your car is suspect. If you're traveling with your car, treat it as an extension of your “suspect” (or infested) home.
Get bags. Get an assortment of bags; small ziplocks, large ziplocks, produce bags, trash bags, deli containers, etc. Key is that they be airtight and that they be stored and transported without tearing or breaking. Non-zip bags should be knotted shut when “in use”. Protect your unused bags by sealing them in a bag, as well.
Decide on luggage. I like a canvas/nylon duffel, that I can throw in the dryer, as needed.
Minimize what you're taking. Avoid taking “infested” items. If your bag breaks (or airport inspectors open your stuff) you have a problem. Take a minimum of “suspect” items, like your phone and keep them bagged when not in use. If you don't need your laptop or your papers or books, leave them behind. If you must take items, have bags for them and keep the items bagged unless you're using them (and then, only if you can observe for activity). Before backing your computer or phone, inspect the device, look ridges and grooves. Don't overlook the cords and adapters. This goes for your wallet (avoid), your cellphone, your makeup, etc. If you're taking small stuff, like keys or cards, you don't need to Vikane them or do anything drastic. Drop your keys (not your electronic car key) in a cup of hot water. Wash your credit card in warm soapy water, and check the grooves for eggs. Rub down any papers (or your license), looking out for bumps that indicate BB or eggs. If you have a passport, pay close attention to the spine and area around staples. Books are a problem, as BB can hide and lay eggs in the spine. Inspect your cash and bills.
If necessary, treat your clothes, shoes, accessories, luggage, etc in the dryer or packtite. Search the boards for tips on working with a dryer. Everything you are taking “home” needs to be "clean", “inspected”, “treated” or “new” (BTW, whenever possible, I heat treat new clothes I bring home and I dump packaging ASAP.)
Work in a well-lit place with a smooth, uncluttered surface. Try to work uninterrupted. You can also use plastic bins to sort and organize your stuff as you work.
Consider clothes that are easily washable/dryable and shoes that are simple and washable (like crocs, flip-flops, etc.)
Make a kit of the things you will wear at or to your destination. Bag it. Wash/dry a towel to use for your pre-exit shower. Bag it.
Bag your luggage, securely.
On departure – If you're not taking your car (or optionally if you are, encouraged, to keep from infesting your "suspect" car or worsening the infestation):
Undress and put away your dirty clothes wherever you usually do: Take your “clean clothes kit” and towel to the bathroom bathroom. Shower. Break open the towel and wipe down. Open your clothes kit and dress. Inspect your luggage bag and exit. You are on your way.
If you're uncertain about your floor, or worse, have BB roaming in broad daylight. leave barefoot, wipe down your feet with wet wipes outside (dump the wipes safely) and put shoes on outside.
If you are taking your car or other “suspect” transport mode (or optionally if you're not):
Keep all “clean” items in your car bagged, coat, etc. If possible, have a pair of shoes for the car. On arrival, bag anything you don't really need and leave in the car. Remove shoes, if possible. Have your host leave a clear path from entrance to shower. Take your “clean clothes kit” with you, as well as empty bag(s) for your current clothes. Make a beeline to the shower and disrobe inside the shower. Securely bag your clothes (you can wash and dry them later, if you wish), shower and change into your clean clothes. You are now on your way to a happy and hopefully BB-free holiday with your friends and family. (Please avoid using your car until you are ready to leave).
THANK YOU!!!! You gave me a lot of these pieces of advice just before Thanksgiving; and while I chose not to visit at that time d/t a very new infestation and just not being prepared, I am going for a day or two at Christmas. This is very thorough, step-by-step. and very helpful. THANKS!!!
Happy Thanksgiving. Still not vetted by experts, but bumping FWIW.
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