How clean is my hotel room and is there a way to insure a clean room?
Travel like life itself has its incredible intrinsic worth as well as hazards to be avoided and like life, travel is not to be avoided because things are not just the way we like them. I’m not sure to what standard you are expecting to have a “clean” hotel room but I suspect that in many cases hotel rooms are cleaner than some peoples’ bedrooms and bathrooms, as hotel rooms are cleaned, dusted, vacuumed and parts are even sanitized daily. However, this is not to say that one won’t encounter a hotel room that does not live up to your own anticipation of what a clean hotel room ought to look and feel like.
Since there are no international standards for hotel cleanliness it is best to do a little research before you book a room. Websites like TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Hotels.com and Orbitz offer peer reviews rating thousands of hotels around the world. Included in these reviews is a cleanliness category.
Best Western International recently announced a new approach to cleaning their hotel rooms. Best Western housekeepers will be armed with ultraviolet sterilization wands to use on areas that receive high traffic, i.e. telephones, remote controls, light switches and bathroom fixtures. UV black lights will be used during cleaning inspections to detect smears and stains of questionable origin. I’ve made mention of these handy hand held devices in the past and I’m pleased to learn that some hotels are starting to use them. I suspect that most major brand hotels will follow suit if they are not already so doing. Best Western rooms will also be outfitted with easy to wipe down remote controls and pillows, blankets and towels will be wrapped to indicate they have been freshly laundered.
You can choose to pack your own personal ultraviolet sterilization wand in your luggage. Again, travel stores and outfitters are a good source for these devices.
If packing another item in your luggage is something you choose to avoid and checking websites is not always possible then here are a few tips.
Bed bugs have become a nuisance to travellers but not one that is dangerous as their bite does not transmit disease unlike the bites of ticks and fleas.
Avoiding bed bugs is a bit of a gamble since a hotel’s cleanliness or lack there of makes no difference to these pests. They can hitch a ride in anyone’s luggage from one infested hotel room to one that before their arrival was bed bug free. Since these bugs do not discriminate between two and five star hotels nor do they care about cleanliness, that’s why, no matter where I am staying, I always pack in such a way as to use my luggage instead of or in place of the hotel room dresser drawer . I keep my suitcase zipped at all times other then when I’m accessing some item so as to ensure that those dastardly little critters don’t find a new home. There is also a convenient bed bug spray that will keep these critters away called “Bed Bug Patrol” that you can spray on your hotel room mattress or chair.
If you are travelling to a place outside of Canada and you have fear of the relative cleanliness of your hotel, hostel or other accommodation where you are likely to encounter little pests of one kind or another, you might want to wrap yourself in a silk sheet or permethrin impregnated sheet. A single strand of silk is actually stronger than an equivalent strand of steel. Thus a silk bedsheet or sleeping bag sack will keep the bed bugs from biting through. And if you are heading to a tropical climate, you may want to cover your bed with a permethrin impregnated mosquito net. Not only will it keep bed bugs away, Permithrin has also been widely used as an anti malarialinsecticide. It is a common synthetic chemical, widely used as an insecticide and insect repellent but not in Canada. That’s because Health Canada has not fully determined its toxicity. Travel outfitters and travel clinics can sell these items to you but you must declare that you are using it out of country. Out of country, you can find it available in impregnated clothing as a personal protective measure used primarily for US military uniforms and mosquito nets and in pet flea or tick preventative collars or treatment.