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On a Trip? Here’s How to Fend off Coronavirus in Your Hotel Room
By: Sarah Contreras
As tourism slowly reopens in some states, people are looking into venturing out for a much-needed breather. Well, there is no escaping that this pandemic has hit everyone hard. Taking a short vacation at least to a neighbouring town would be a great way for us to recover from all sorts of health damage — physically, mentally and emotionally. Even so, protecting ourselves and other travellers from the virus should be the main priority as we go.
For the nonce, your hotel room will be your home away from home. BUT! With a few exceptions, you are not the only person who gets to sleep in it. Perhaps, hundreds or even thousands of travellers from different corners of the world have slept in that same room before. Carriers might be on the loose and they could be one of those previous guests. The worst part is that some housekeepers in the hotel may not have the same standards of cleanliness that you do at home.
Whether you badly need a vacation or you just can’t avoid travelling in the mount of coronavirus, at least make sure you have the luxury to keep your hotel room clean. This way increases your odds of staying healthy throughout your vacation. Follow our tips on how you can turn your hotel room into a safe sanctuary while you’re at it.
Find the best hotel.
While commercial cleaning and maintenance are crucial in hotel management, there is no specific standard for hotel cleanliness. Neither price, location or brand name can guarantee completely sanitised accommodations. But, hotel reviews from co-travellers will help you decide on which hotel to stay in.
Pack some cleaning supplies.
Make sure you’re not sleeping in that hotel room without bringing in some cleaning agents like disinfectant sprays and wipes. If you are using hospital-grade products that contain bleach and other strong chemicals, do not forget to wear gloves and a face mask for your own protection.
Wash your hands.
Before you enter the room, you probably touched doorknobs, lift buttons and other surfaces where germs and viruses may linger. Unless you are wearing gloves on your way up, it is best that you head straight to the sink and wash your hands properly to keep the icky virus at bay. Do frequent hand washing, especially after sanitising all the filthy items on your list.
Scrap hotel sheets.
Did you know that most hotels do not really change the heavy bedspreads for each guest? How gross! Even if they did launder those sheets, hotel pillows could be full of allergens and residual saliva. Better if you can bring your own travel-friendly blanket and pillow or use an antibacterial linen spray all around the bunk.
Wipe all the hard surfaces clean.
From door handles and keycards to light switches, nightstands, coffee table, toilet seat and lid, make sure all these hard surfaces are wiped down. Aside from hospital-grade wipes, you can also use a UV wand to wave over areas and surfaces prone to germs.
Cover the remote control.
Before you slack off on that couch and turn the TV on, care to know that one of the dirtiest items in your hotel room is the remote control. The best way to use the remote without touching its contaminated surfaces is to pick it up with your gloves worn and put it in a zip-top plastic bag. Zip it up and there you have it!
There is no guarantee that your room glasses, mugs and cutlery sets are completely rinsed off. What if they just washed it off on a dirty sink or maybe wiped down with the same cloth that’s used to clean the kitchen surfaces? Unless you packed your own travel mugs and spoons, the best way to deal with your anxiety over unsanitized glassware is to run these pieces under hot water for a minute or two before using them. This way should kill the bacteria lurking on your glassware. You can also bring your own sponge and dish soap for more efficient results.