Germaphobia, or Mysophobia is often the brunt of jokes in sitcoms, and comedy routines which take it to a ridiculous level. How can we forget Niles Crane wiping down his chair at Cafe Nervosa, or Mr. Monk insisting for a “wipe!”
The sad truth is Mysophobia is not anything like they portray it on comedy shows. It’s a real issue for many people, and traveling can be a nightmare of frustration. Traveling either makes them completely miserable or they miss out on traveling simply because they don’t want to worry about all the hassle. The reality of the battle of germs and traveling are no greater than when a person has to rely on public transportation services to get around.
At Brilliant, we’ve provided luxury transportation to many clients that were concerned about the cleanliness of our vehicles. A lot of our clients are curious of the cleanest ways to get around. There are ways to travel and keep the germs at bay, but it takes preparation and vigilance to stay aware of the dangers of germs at all times.
This article is meant to educate those who may know someone with Mysophobia and for those who struggle with it on a daily basis. These are the things we’ve found you can do to make sure your mode of travel is as sanitary as absolutely possible.
The Problem of Germs in Public
Germs are a part of life, and are especially prevalent in public places. A study conducted by the University of Arizona showed these surfaces as having ATP counts of 300 or greater (i.e. a high risk of getting sick from a transmitted illness):
- 71% of gas pump handles
- 68% of mailbox handles
- 43% of escalator rails
- 41% of ATM buttons
- 40% of parking meters and kiosks
- 35% of crosswalk buttons
- 35% of vending machine buttons
Mysophobia and Air Travel
When it comes to traveling, airports and planes aren’t much better. This Wall Street Journal article provides some easy steps for reducing germ exposure when traveling by air:
- Open your air vent to help keep airborne contagions away
- Air circulation is a must, talk to the crew if it’s shut off throughout the cabin
- Clean your hands with hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes should be used on tray tables
- Seat-back pockets are a breeding ground; avoid them
- Change seats if you’re next to someone who looks sick (if possible)
While these are helpful tips, the fact remains that planes are still enclosed and highly frequented by many different people. Germs will always be an issue on airplanes. While most of our clients fly private or charter jets, the germ issue cannot be overlooked.
Mysophobia and Public Transportation
Ground transportation poses similar issues. Taxis and even black car services rely on a large volume of trips. They are usually too busy to properly disinfect the interior of their vehicles between clients. Everything from seats to car handles to touchscreens can be riddled with germs.
The same goes for buses, trolleys, subways and any other forms of public transportation. If you absolutely must travel with a taxi or black car service, it would be a good idea to take along disinfecting wipes to use on the seats before you get in. Don’t be embarrassed to take this precaution as you are paying for the trip.
With taxi services, you’re probably not going to get a disinfected vehicle interior because they go from one customer to the next as quickly as possible. With a black car service, though, a good rule of thumb, if germs are an issue for you, is to inquire about their cleaning beforehand.
We’ve found most budget black car services operate similarly to taxi services, and while cheaper than luxury transportation, the cleanliness will be an issue. If you prefer a clean vehicle, you’ll want to book ahead of time with a limo service and demand a clean vehicle.
Mysophobia and Limo Services
Limo services are not all created equal, especially in New York and Los Angeles where hundreds of individual companies provide limo service. Some will be cheaper, while others will provide better services at higher prices.
If you can swing the extra expense, going with a premium provider will ensure you a clean vehicle. If you contact Empire CLS or Carey Limousines ahead of time, they may be able to make sure you get a freshly-detailed vehicle for your trip. This is the ideal solution as it almost ensures the germs have been disinfected from previous customers.
At Brilliant, we take cleanliness as a serious matter and each of our vehicles are thoroughly cleaned after every single trip. This is just one of the standards we’ve set for our company to ensure each client experiences a spotless vehicle upon arrival. The detailing process is highly emphasized, leaving an immaculately clean interior.
If cleanliness is an important issue for you, and you’re looking at booking transportation, you may want to give us a call or submit a quote request online. We’re not the best fit for everybody, and some of our best clients still choose Empire or Carey for the quicker point-to-point trips. The main point of any comparison of services is to find the one that fits your needs perfectly.