If you have decided to travel this summer, fall, or literally whenever again after the coronavirus pandemic, you want to be fully prepared. Many hotels and Airbnb’s – the rental and hotel industry in general – are already thinking about how the future of travel will look and are working on developing new cleanliness measures to address travelers’ concerns and fears after COVID-19.
Until then, many guests don’t want to rely on disinfecting measures currently employed by the rental and hotel industry. Many decide to take matters into their own (triple washed) hands to prevent infection – including cleaning their hotel or Airbnb rooms.
Here are some easy tips for how to sanitize your hotel room and bedding when traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Head Straight to the Sink
You have heard this a thousand times, and we’ll say it again – wash your hands!
Before entering your room, you have touched doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, money, and probably used public transit or a cab to reach your hotel room or Airbnb. All of these places and objects, as you undoubtedly know by now, are tiny paradise spots for germs, and we don’t mean only COVID19.
Since the coronavirus is also transmitted through direct or indirect human contact, handwashing is your safest bet and best defense for infection prevention. Make sure you also always carry a mini hand sanitizer with you and your own disinfecting wipes. Use them often.
Get out the Wipes
Your room may seem tidy upon arrival, but there is no way to ensure that the housekeepers did an excellent job of cleaning and disinfecting all the surfaces. So, it’s time to take matters into your freshly washed and disinfected hands!
Get out your disinfecting wipes, and disinfect the surfaces that are considered to retain the most germs. Such surfaces are the remote control, light switches, the alarm clock, the phone, the bathroom sink. Basically, any surface that is frequently touched.
Bring Your Own Bedding
Don’t sit or place any belongings on the bed until you are sure it’s spotless.
Although bedding is disinfected in hotel rooms, you don’t know how clean it actually is. And when it comes to an Airbnb, they probably just wash the bedding in a washing machine, and that’s it. It’s best to bring your own bedding, or at least sheets and a pillowcase, to prevent infection.
If you have enough space in your suitcase, bring your own pillow too. Hotel and Airbnb pillows may be full of residual saliva and allergens.
Ditch the Comforter
You may have thought that you are safe if you bring your own linens, but not quite yet! Comforters are typically washed on occasion, but rarely between guests, and when you think about all the things people may have put or done on their bed, you really start to question the cleanliness.
Another thing is that many comforters are not designed for routine washing or the use of disinfectants in the wash. To make sure you are safe, it’s best to ditch the comforter that is potentially full of lingering germs.
If you often get chilly during the night, make sure you bring cozy pajamas or consider bringing your own travel-friendly blanket.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Apart from the mentioned, there are other things you should keep in mind when traveling during the pandemic and disinfecting your room:
- Disinfect your suitcase. Your suitcase can pick up a lot of germs because it’s being dragged through airports, taxi trunks, bumpy roads, and the like.
- Open the windows. Upon arrival, make sure you open the windows to let some fresh air inside the room. Frequently airing out your room reduces your chances of getting the coronavirus.
- Disinfect the kitchen utensils and dishes. If you are staying somewhere where you have a kitchen, make sure you disinfect all the kitchen utensils you’ll be using, as well as the dishes, especially glasses, plates, and cutlery.
- Disinfect the bathroom. It’s very important to clean the entire sink area, the toilet seat and handle, as well as the tub before using it. The bathroom area, especially the toilet and the sink, are one of the most bacterial areas in a hotel room.
How to Book a Clean Room?
You definitely don’t want to book a room full of germs, but how can you know for sure?
The best way to trust the hotel or rental owner you choose to stay at is to read online reviews. Look for specific feedback and photos of the offered accommodation. If someone complained about dirty sheets, dirty tubs, or unpleasant smells, simply skip that offer.
Housekeeping staffers may try to cut corners, but they will get blasted online sooner or later.
How to Tell if You’re Staying in a Dirty Room?
As we mentioned before, something may look clean, but it’s impossible to know for sure how well something is cleaned by looking at it with our naked eyes.
Since we are not as equipped as the forensic team from CSI, we have to play Sherlock and rely on clues that will give us an idea of how much time and effort went into getting your room ready.
- Is the air in the room fresh, is the room free of dust and hair?
- Are the bathroom amenities new and adequately arranged?
- Is the room organized and tidy?
- Is the bed well made?
If your housekeeper didn’t take the time to do these simple things properly, they probably didn’t bother with cleaning and disinfecting your room.
The Bottom Line
Having a sanitary hotel room is important under normal circumstances, but with COVID19 cases mounting in the US every day, it’s also vital to protect travelers from picking up the coronavirus.
If you can’t avoid traveling during the pandemic, don’t trust the housekeeping staff. Sanitize your hotel room and bedding on your own to lower your anxiety levels and improve your odds of staying healthy.