You booked a classy five-star hotel for a weekend getaway. The enameled floors and blinding lights leave little to be desired. You enter the bathroom and what do you find there? A hair dryer ready for use!
After you take your shower, you decide to use this hair dryer. Soon, you start sneezing and coughing, and for the rest of the trip, you are miserable. You spend all of your time wiping your red nose and wondering how you caught the flu in the middle of summer.
What you don’t know is that you touched the flu virus willingly while using the hair dryer.
Clean rooms are good at deceiving hotel guests. But, you must remember—all that glitters is not germ-free.
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Hair Dryers in ALL Hotels Are Filthy—the Possible Reasons Why
A hefty price tag might add some bling to your hotel room, but it won’t guarantee cleanliness. The hair dryer is always one of the dirtiest spots.
As found in an experiment, The Price of Cleanliness, conducted by ABC News, the amount of germs on hotel hair dryers was equal across hotels ranging from $98 to $500 per night. In some cases, it had more microbes than the toilet.
Experts argue on the possible reasons why hair dryers are this shockingly unsanitary. Here are some plausible explanations:
- State codes in different countries mandate how essential high-touch surfaces like drinking glasses and toilets should be cleaned. But there are little to no guidelines as to how other surfaces should be disinfected.
- Germs accumulate for a long time on hair dryers. If not sanitized after every stay, hair dryers can go without cleaning for months, or even years.
- Housekeeping staff can make matters worse by their method of cleaning. Sometimes they clean the hair dryer and sink with the same cloth/wipe used to clean the toilet.
- It can be dangerous if a sick person has used the hair dryer and the device has not been cleaned since. The next person touching it will be at a high risk of contamination.
Avoid The Flu! Try These Alternatives to Using Hotel Hair Dryers
Beautiful and voluminous hair should not be achieved at the cost of your health. However, you shouldn’t be deprived of dry and voluminous hair either. So, here are some alternatives to using the hotel hair dryer:
If hair dryers are your lifeline:
- Carry your own hair dryer. Get a travel-sized mini version if you can’t squeeze the normal-sized one into your suitcase.
- Borrow someone else’s hair dryer (not from strangers). If someone in your group is carrying a hair dryer, you don’t have to.
- Buy a hair dryer from the local supermarket/store. That way you don’t have to carry it both ways roundtrip.
If you can survive without a hair dryer:
- Apply hair conditioner and serum for easy brushing of wet hair.
- Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingertips to detangle while your hair is still wet.
- Air-dry or sun-dry your hair.
- Squeeze and dry with a towel.
- Stand under a high-speed fan.
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Now, you have all the necessary information to guard yourself against hotel hair dryers, but what if you still get sick? Taking an international trip means exposing yourself to a lot of germs. Airplanes are teeming with bacteria and viruses, and that exotic street food you had for lunch may not agree with you. Even the water you drink on an international trip could make you ill.
Thankfully, by making smart choices and sanitizing your hands regularly, you can reduce the risk. However, illnesses still happen, and unlike when you’re at home, you won’t be able to make an appointment with your regular doctor. Emergency rooms in foreign countries can be expensive, and you shouldn’t expect your domestic insurance to provide coverage. This is why it’s essential to have travel medical insurance or travel insurance. If you require medical care while abroad, this insurance can help shield you from sky-high hospital bills.
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