If your smartphone is one of the most-handled items you own, it's also probably one of the dirtiest. Sanitizing your phone regularly is important no matter what, and it's especially crucial while traveling. Before planning a COVID-conscious getaway this summer, consider these ways to keep your devices clean and keep yourself and others healthy.

When speaking with Condé Nast Traveler, Dr. Amy Edwards of University Hospitals’s pediatric infectious diseases department reminded travelers to be wary of where they place their phone or tablet outside their home. Spots that other people have touched—like airport security trays, airplane tray tables, and seat-back pockets—may contain bacteria that can transfer to your device. When flying or taking other public transportation, the safest place to store your phone when you're not using it is in a personal bag.

Another way to keep your phone or tablet clean is to practice good personal hygiene. Phones get dirty easily because you're constantly touching them, so if your hands are clean, your phone will be cleaner, too. Frequent hand-washing is a good thing to practice while traveling, and there's one place in particular where you should never skimp on the scrubbing. Public restrooms are filled with touch-points such as faucets, door knobs, and flush buttons, which could harbor dangerous pathogens. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any of these points, and resist the urge to check your phone until you do.

At the end of a day of traveling, you can take one final safety precaution by giving your device a deep clean. Dampen a cloth or paper towel with soap and water or a cleaning spray. Once the phone or tablet is turned off and unplugged, wipe it gently all over, taking care to avoid the ports. If you have disinfectant wipes handy, Apple confirmed in March that they're safe to use on its devices.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]