Have you seen any of those TV programmes that have been cropping up in recent years regarding the cleanliness – or lack thereof – in average hotels?
If you haven’t, see the video below as an example. See how serious, even deadly, bacteria can lurk in hotel rooms.
Most of us stay in hotels at some time or another and yet few of us can afford those real luxury places. But if you’re paying for accommodation – no matter how basic – then you have a right to expect a germ-free environment. We’re not expecting our hotel rooms to be as sterile as an operating theatre but we do expect certain standards.
These are not always being maintained.
Luckily there are four inexpensive items you can take with you to make sure that you don’t pick up any ailments when you’re travelling. I am all in favour of travelling light but these items take up next to no space in your luggage and can help prevent you coming into contact with some nasty germs.
In addition to these items (see below) there are other simple measures you can take.
- Remove the bedspread. It’s well documented that hotels don’t wash these after every guest. Fold it, put it on a chair and don’t use it when you are sleeping
- Bathroom counters notoriously are a germ-ridden area. Place a clean towel or a few tissues on the counter before you unload your toiletries
- Keep yout toiletries in a bag when housekeeping are coming into your room. Remember that housekeeping should wipe down the bathrrom counter and you don’t want them moving your toothbrush with a hand that has just cleaned the toilet
- Carpets harbour all sorts of nasties. Be sure not to drop dirty clothes onto the carpet
So what are the four simple items that you should take with you to a hotel?
A COLLAPSIBLE CUP
One of the worst practices that has been discovered regarding hotel hygiene relates to that bathroom glass that you find in there. If they are plastic, and encased in a bag, then you’re safe but hidden cameras have found some horrible practices when it comes to cleaning these.
Some are really gross, like cleaning the glass with a cloth that has been used to clean other (unsavoury) things in the bathroom.Usually, glasses are simply rinsed in the bathroom sink and if the person before you had flu….
BALLET SLIPPERS OR FLIP FLOPS
Hotel carpets are vacuumed of course, but this only removes surface debris. And let’s face it, we don’t know what people are doing on hotel room carpets. (And probably don’t want to!) But the fact remains that the carpets are walked on every day by people who are bringing who-knows-what onto the carpets.
Then there are people who walk around hotel rooms in their bare feet even though they might have fungal infections. Add folding ballet slippers or flip flops to your luggage – they are also useful at home, too.
You may have heard about the one item that is usually full of germs in hotel rooms. And it’s something that almost everyone touches and they are rarely cleaned. Yes, the TV remote.
Now you could spend ages cleaning it but especially if it’s an old-fashiooned one with lots of buttons, you’ll never get all the germs out of there. Simply put the remote into a baggie before you use it. Yes, it will still work just fine and you’ll be protected.
This is going to sound like overkill but it only takes a couple of minutes. When you arrive at your hotel room, take a sanitizing wipe and run it over the doorknobs, the light switches (including the bedside lights), the toilet handle, the sink taps and, if these are in your room, the phone and the radio/alarm.
Remember the toilet seat too. In tests, these locations are when most of the germs have been found.
See example products below.