Fall has arrived and soon enough the holidays will be here! In our family, we have a rotating Thanksgiving, meaning that we only host it at our house every 2 years, thank goodness. However, on our off years, we have to pack up and make the long trip to my parents’ town or Chet’s hometown, and because there are four of us, there isn’t room for us to all cram into their small houses. I like to book the same hotel year after year to give us some consistency, and even though we’ve gotten pretty comfortable with our favorite hotels, I still worry about the germs hiding all over the room. You might find it stressful to check into an environment that you have no control over cleaning and sanitizing, and don’t worry you’re not alone!
Here are some important warning signs and tips I’ve picked up over the years during our holiday stays on how to keep your home away from home spic and span:
- Before booking a room, read reviews from previous visitors. Customer reviews are known to be brutally honest, so if there is a red flag raised, avoid that reservation. There are so many different places to read and post reviews which made it super simple for me to find the perfect place for my family.
- Upon entering the room, inspect it for bed bugs. Even though we come to the same place year after year, I have no idea who’s slept there in the meantime. Place your luggage in the bathroom. Although it sounds a bit like overkill, bring a small flashlight with you; this will make it easier to complete your inspection. Start with the mattress, as this is the most common area for bed bugs. Gently lift the sheet and mattress pad inspecting along edging, seams and other small areas a bed bug might hide. Continue your inspection with the headboard. Use your flashlight to look in the crack between the wall and the headboard. Believe me, a few minutes of investigation for these nasty creatures will put your mind at ease throughout your stay and prevent you from bringing potential bugs home with you.
- Remove bed comforters and put them in the closet. It is standard to change linens between guests but as gross as it is, hotels don’t always change bed comforters. Set the temperature of the room so your family will be comfortable sleeping or bring your own blanket. The kids always bring their own to make themselves feel more comfortable as if they were right at home in their own beds.
- Pack antibacterial wipes and quickly go over all touchable surfaces and objects in the room. This can be done quickly to disinfect the living space for the duration of your stay in case hotel staff missed anything. Be certain to wipe down doorknobs, phone receiver, toilet handles, faucets, light switches, TV remote controls and ice bucket.
- Wash the water glasses thoroughly with hot water. Most hotels do not wash glasses between guests; they only wipe them down with cloths, ew!
These are all easy steps you can take as soon as you check in to make your entire stay much more comfortable and healthy. Believe me, coming back to a clean hotel room after a long day of family holiday festivities is worth the few minutes of cleaning.