Traveling makes us susceptible to all kinds of germs, whether it’s at the airport, on the plane, in our taxi and especially in our hotel rooms. A survey done several years ago found that 81% of hotel room surfaces tested held at least some fecal matter. DISGUSTING; but when you think about it, hard surfaces are what people touch the most, whether it’s the handles of doors, the drink tray on a plane or the remote in a hotel room. If you want to know which surfaces in a hotel room are the most bacteria-laden, you can read this article.
I am already somewhat of a germaphobe while traveling, so with the continued spread of the coronavirus, I am taking extra precautions. Here are some tips on how you can disinfect your hotel room while traveling:
1. Pack travel-size cleaning products.
Before you even leave for your trip, make sure you pack some alcohol or bleach wipes, Lysol disinfectant spray and peppermint spray. I’ll tell you why below.
2. Inspect the room.
Do a quick inspection of the room before you get completely comfortable. Check the bathroom for overall cleanliness. Pull the shower curtain back and inspect it for mold or other people’s hair. Make sure the free toiletries are sealed and unused. Pull back the comforter and inspect the bed for spot and flip the pillows and check them for spots or stains. If you don’t feel comfortable in the room, don’t be afraid to request a new room.
3. Protect your sheets and your skin.
Since you’ve already peeled back the comforter, spray your sheets with peppermint spray to keep away the bed bugs. Recently, I’ve learned that hotels rarely wash the comforters in rooms. Some hotels are said to only wash the comforters FOUR times a year. So in between random, unique guests, the comforter is NOT changed #iCant. As soon as I learned this, I instantly started searching on bae aka Amazon for bed liners. This bed liner is a little pricey, but it’s 100% bamboo and comes highly recommended. Sleep liners can be inserted right over top your hotel sheets and are machine washable, so once your hotel stay is over, you can pack it up, bring it home and wash for the next use. Check out these great options here and here.
4. Sanitize the room.
The TV remote is the most touched item in hotel rooms, so imagine all the germs left on it. Use those bleach wipes you packed and wipe down the remote. I also like to use wipes on the bathroom counter and toilet. Spray the doorknobs down with Lysol travel disinfectant.
5. Avoid using the glassware and coffee machine.
I always avoid using the coffee maker in hotel rooms because I am not sure how often it is cleaned. Use it at your own risk. Avoid using the glassware in the room because it is rarely cleaned. Your safest bet is to use plastic cups that are sealed when you receive them. If you like having a cup with you whenever you travel, consider this collapsible travel cup.
6. Don’t go barefoot in the room.
Carpets in hotel rooms are rarely vacuumed and cleaned, so you should never walk around in the hotel with bare feet. Wear socks while you’re lounging in the room or bring slippers that you can walk around in. I personally love these slippers because they are super soft and comfortable. If you’re like me and also wary of going barefoot in the shower, shower slippers are great. These non-slip shoes are lightweight and keep your feet dry even when you’re not in the shower.
7. Wash Your Hands Regularly
Eighty percent of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. Just think about the number of things you touch from the moment you check into a hotel. Once you’re done inspecting and sanitizing the room, wash your hands. And continue to wash your hands regularly during your travels.
Clear the air
If you’ve done all the above steps and still feel like that’s not enough, you can clear the air of dust mites, bacteria and also sanitize it with a portable air purifier. This negative ion generator is also a great air purifier to eliminate pollutants and germs.
Bonus tip: When it comes to the box of tissue in the hotel room, I never use the first sheet that is sticking out because I don’t know who touched it last. I will usually pull 1-2 sheets out the box, toss them and then use the third or fourth tissue in. For toilet paper, I will only use the top sheets if it’s a new roll. If the roll has already been used before me, then I pull a couple of sheets off the roll and toss those, before using the toilet paper.
I hope these tips help and keep you healthy whenever you’re traveling. If you liked these tips, check out my Travel Essentials board on Amazon where I’m sharing all my favorite travel products.