Sure, we all want a clean room and a comfortable bed. Whether it’s at a motel or a local inn, who doesn’t love a good bargain?
But, what if your hotel room is not what you expected it to be?
This might come as a shock, but some hotels are cutting costs the wrong way. Travelers often find gross things in their hotel rooms that are left unchecked. An experience like this can make any person feel uncomfortable.
Some Unsettling Facts about Hotels
Every hotel has a different cleaning protocol, staff, and schedule. But not every hotel follows the right cleaning practices. You’ll find a lot of mixed reviews online, however it’s better to consider comments that are the most recent.
There are things you need to know when you’re staying at a hotel.
- Room Linens. Hotel staff cut corners when it comes to routine cleaning practices. Housekeepers reuse linens when they don’t come across visible stains. Even the blankets and duvets are washed once or twice a month.
Some travelers have found questionable stains on towel sets. Dirty bathroom counters and used toilet paper are also left unchecked.
- Hotel Supplies. You’re expecting a freshly vacuumed carpet, but in truth, you’ll find years of built-up grime on the surface. Hotels hide such imperfections with colorful carpets.
Before you use the TV, think twice. While the TV remote is fairly harmless, it’s the one thing that’s infested with germs, because it is rarely sanitized.
Room supplies like coffee pots and glassware are also not sanitized properly. To cut costs further, hotels even allow staff members to use the same utensils. Since these items are frequently used, it’s easy to catch a bad infection
- Housekeeping. This is where it all begins. Daily maintenance is what makes a full-service hotel worth the money.
However, most hotels are short-staffed when it comes to housekeeping crews. It’s easier to save money on these resources than provide a quality experience to customers. They further cut costs by reducing paychecks.
It’s understandable if you’re wary about staying in a hotel room after reading this, but fear not. Use the following tips to ensure a clean and safe stay at your next hotel:
• Start with the Basics
Pull back the blanket on your bed, remove the bedcovers, and check the bedding. You don’t want to be alarmed by horrendous odors and sticky residue. Further, you’ll want to look:
- Under the mattress
- Behind the bedpost
- In the closet & drawers
- In the garbage cans
• Check for Bedbugs
Bedbugs are hard to identify, let alone see. To keep it simple, look for tiny brown spots on the bedsheets and pillow covers. Make sure you check under the sheets and the mattress pads as well. When in doubt, carry a travel sheet along so you don’t get bit in your sleep.
• Check out the Bathroom
Inspect the bathroom for cleanliness first. Then, you’ll need to check if your bathroom supplies are new and unused. The toilet paper should be fresh and the sink should be clean. Check the garbage cans for leftover trash.
Hotels also conserve money by controlling water flow. So, check the water pressure in the faucet and shower. If it isn’t working, lodge a complaint, or switch your room.
• Lights, Fans & Windows
You’re looking for functionality. This includes everything.
First, check the regulator of the fan. You need a room in the summer that offers basic cooling. Next, see if the water heater’s working.
You’ll also want to check for dust and dirt on the window sill, behind the coffee table, and just about everywhere. Check if the light switches work.
• Sanitize and Disinfect
Have a good look at the fixtures: doorknobs, handles, countertops, and more. You’ll want to sanitize the surface to avoid contamination.
When housekeepers have limited time, they neglect cleaning hotel supplies. This includes not sanitizing the glassware properly. They also don’t disinfect the toilet seat, and might forget to sanitize the remote control.
Your best move: Carry disinfectant wipes and sanitizers. A few spurts and a quick wipe are all you need for a safe trip.
We know hotels don’t have time for deep cleaning. So, if you’re worried about air quality, have the staff clean or replace the air conditioner filters before use.
You should take pictures of the dirty room and the bedding before you speak to management. This helps resolve your case easily. When you have proof, they cannot argue.
If your room smells bad, it could be mold and mildew. This isn’t healthy or acceptable. Feel free to spend your money elsewhere.
But, if there’s no other room available, what’s the solution?
Here’s what you can do on short notice:
- Replace the bedding with freshly laundered linens
- Ask the staff for a fresh supply of bathroom towels
- You should also ask for new bathroom toiletries
- Get the floor mopped right in front of you
- Carry a bed bug spray in your backpack
- Don’t walk around barefoot
- Pack a sleep sheet and a nightcap
- Disinfect the dirtiest surfaces in your hotel room
- Carry your own mini-French press for coffee
- Bring your own reusable water bottles
Some hotels refuse to follow basic sanitation protocols. Most educated travelers find it hard to trust hotel owners. They’ll even travel with a germ-fighting toolkit to stay safe.
Some hotel experiences can be stressful, but there’s no need to panic. One minor hiccup shouldn’t keep you from traveling again.
If you do become sick despite your best efforts, it’s essential that you have travel medical insurance or travel insurance. With insurance in your corner, you can receive the treatment you need without the rude shock to your pocketbook. That way, you can get back to enjoying your vacation as soon as possible.
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