It is no secret that hotel rooms may not be as clean as they are portrayed to be. Instead, many hotel rooms – even the highest priced – may be crawling with germs and bacteria. What makes this idea more ominous is that unlike bedbugs, these threats may be all around our hotel rooms without our immediate knowledge.
Regardless of the threats that lurk in hotel rooms, there are ways travelers can protect themselves while staying in a hotel.
With a little planning, travelers can reduce their risk of getting sick while on the road from the unclean surfaces that await in every hotel room. Here are three hotel surfaces travelers may want to think twice about before touching.
Hotel Room Glassware: Avoid at All Costs
A staple of many hotel rooms, glassware can often be found in either the bathroom of a hotel room or somewhere nearby. Moreover, the paper cover atop of the glass may lull travelers into a sense of security, believing the glasses may have been cleaned prior to their arrival.
However, that may not necessarily be the case for every hotel. One hotel maid told The Huffington Post that while glassware is switched out with every check-out, the glassware is run through an industrial dishwasher that may not always get the job done. Other hotel maids admitted to not changing the glassware every time they cleaned a room, or merely running it under water and replacing them for the next guest.
Regardless of what actually happens to glassware prior to your arrival, many savvy travelers make a point to avoid using them entirely. If you must use a glass to make a toast or otherwise enjoy a beverage, try requesting a fresh one from the kitchen, or supply your own.
Hotel Remote Controls: Not the Cleanest Surface
It may come as no surprise that a hotel remote control may not be the cleanest surface available in any given hotel room.
Think about all the times we come in contact with our remote controls at home on a daily basis – then multiply that by the average number of guests staying in a hotel room during any given year.
Fears of picking up germs from hotel remote controls are not necessarily unfounded. According to hotel review website Oyster, some hotel remote controls have tested positive for a plethora of bacteria and germs, including (but not limited to) E.coli and staph.
When it comes to hotel remote controls, there is no such thing as taking too many precautions. Many savvy travelers will pack an extra snack bag just for their remote controls, providing a protective barrier between the bare hand and the remote control. When they leave, the clear bag gets thrown away, never to be thought of again. Travelers can also protect themselves by arming themselves with hand sanitizer, and using it often during their stay.
Hotel Bedding May Not Be as Nice as You Remember
For many travelers, a made and welcome bed is the ultimate sign of comfort after a long day over land or in the air. However, what looks comforting on the outside may not necessarily be as welcoming to the weary traveler. A well-made bed can hide many secrets, from bedbugs to unclean pillows and other unwanted surprises.
While many hotels mandate that soiled linens are to be changed daily, certain hotels do not extend the same policy to comforters, pillows, or other items. In her interview with The Huffington Post, the anonymous hotel maid claimed that some budget hotels did not change pillows between check-outs.
Those travelers who are concerned about the conditions of their hotel room have every reason to express their concern to the management. Travelers always have the option of requesting new materials to be delivered to their room, including pillows and other items. Furthermore, concerns about the bedding quality should be expressed to hotel management immediately.If complaints are not adequately addressed, travelers can always escalate their complaint to a local authority.
While a hotel room can be a safe space during travel, it can also be a hotbed for germs and bacteria.
By knowing which surfaces to avoid, travelers can reduce their risk to a minimum, resulting in a safer stay while away from home.