The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the whole travel industry. It forced people to stay isolated at their homes and it demolished businesses in the travel sector.
Airlines started canceling and rescheduling flights and reported severe operation losses. Passengers to this day are wondering how to handle their coronavirus flight cancelations and get a refund. Most hotel rooms are currently empty. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Regardless of travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, many people are eager to travel again. If we learn how to protect ourselves from the virus we can minimize the threat.
While wearing a mask in crowded public places is important, there is one thing you should be more concerned about, sanitizing your hotel room properly. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know and do to ensure your hotel room is COVID-19 free.
What are hotel chains doing about it?
First and foremost you should be sure that hotels realize the threat and take it seriously. Most hotels, especially big brands, are taking serious measures to sanitize rooms, lobbies, elevators and literally every corner of the building.
After all, they don’t do it solely because the government requires it. If somebody gets infected with COVID-19 during a stay, the hotel would most probably have to close, get bad publicity, and in some cases they could even get sued in case of extreme negligence.
Moreover, the news will spread like wildfire and no hotel chain wants to be a part of that story. So if hotels don’t take measures to prevent infections, it means both revenue and reputation loss for them.
Naturally, no hotel chain wants that.
This is the reason most world-leading providers are open about their sanitization effort. A recent example is how Marriot showcases new cleanliness standards.
Thorough sanitizing isn’t the only thing hotels are doing to attract more customers despite the scarcity. That is obvious when you take a look at the elevated credit card welcome bonuses Hotel branded cards are doing at the moment.
You can see the huge sign-up bonuses that Hilton and Marriott are currently offering with their partners. And we can expect more offers like this to come out in the following months.
Hotels are desperate to stimulate people to travel and now is a good chance to take advantage of these great offers.
But before you hurry to go on your dream summer vacation have a few things in mind. It is not a good idea to entirely trust others to keep you safe. You should learn what you can do about it yourself.
Furthermore, this summer season doing a short road trip and staying at a rental won’t be uncommon. While big hotel brands have strict measures, we can’t be sure if smaller providers are doing the same.
So whether you plan to stay at Hilton or a small private family rental here is what you need to bring with yourself.
Packing for post-pandemic travel
The first and most obvious thing you should bring with yourself is a face mask. Or to be more precise multiple face masks. If you prefer single-use face masks, make sure you bring a lot.
Your holiday destination may not have an excessive supply of them. Right now masks are selling like crazy so don’t test your luck and be prepared.
Generally, it is better to have a reusable, machine washable mask. Buy at least 2 or 3 so you can have one at your disposal while the others are in the washing machine.
Next, you need to buy travel-sized disinfectant wipes. These will be useful throughout your whole trip, from washing your airplane seat to disinfecting your room.
Last but not least, bring a hand-sanitizer. The good news is the TSA is currently allowing you to bring large-sized bottles of hand sanitizers through the airport security checkpoint.
So after you make sure you have all of these let’s take a look at the 5 steps to sanitizing your hotel room for Coronavirus.
1. Wash Your Hands for Real
The first thing you should do when you enter the room is to wash your hands and face. That is the number one advice all experts give. There is no point in sanitizing your room if you touched an infected surface while you traveled anyways. First, sanitize yourself.
However, you need to make it count. A splash of water and little soap won’t do the job. Here is a depicted guide from the World Health Organization on how to wash your hands properly. You should rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds and make sure you get your nails and back of your hands as well.
2. Sanitize All Surfaces That are Touched Often
First, wipe your suitcase and everything you brought from the outside into your room. After that, you need to disinfect and wipe all surfaces that are touched often. These areas are very likely to hold infections as most people interact with them while they are in a hotel room. You can wipe them with your disinfectant wipes. Some of these surfaces include:
- Doorknobs (all of them)
- Toilet Lid and flush button/ handle
- Sink and shower handles
- TV remote controls
- Light Switches
- Cloth Hangers
Also, if you use glasses, cups, cutlery, the ice bucket or any other food and drink utensils, make sure you wash them with hot water and soap after use.
3. Get Rid of the Bedspreads
Bedding is changed after the guests leave the room right? Well, not exactly. If you have a bedspread that covers your top sheet it is likely this isn’t changed between guests.
Many people probably left their dirty suitcases, clothes and other belongings on the bedspread. Ask the housekeeper to take the decorative bed covering and give you a new one or you can just use the non-decorative sheets and pillows.
4. Open the windows
Many people figure out they have to clean the surfaces. But what about the air? You need to open the windows and let in some fresh air. Especially if it feels stifling. Coronavirus can drift through the air as well.
One good side of COVID-19 is that air pollution went down drastically. However, pollution is likely to return to the same level. So let some fresh air circulate in the morning from the windows if weather and pollution levels are acceptable.
5. Give your Housekeeper instructions
Housekeepers will usually go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and of course, to get a tip. They are likely to arrange your items, fold your clothes, etc.
Tell your housekeeper to refrain from touching your stuff while cleaning. Just to be on the safe side wipe and disinfect your items you suspect were touched during the cleaning. For items like a toothbrush, wristwatch or hair combs that interact directly with your body disinfection is mandatory.
So there you have it!
You are now one step closer to having a worry-free post-pandemic trip. If you are wondering where to look for bookings right now, you can compare offers at some of the 15 Best Hotel Booking Sites for 2020.
Now when you know how to protect yourself you can now go on your next trip with peace of mind.