The Everyday Home: Hotel check-in checklist

Sonya McDaniel, extension educator, FCS/CED
Pottawatomie County Extension Service

I know everyone has added extra cleaning protocols at home, school, work, etc. and the same is true when you begin your post-quarantine traveling! As a family who just went on vacation, navigating airports, restaurants, and hotels we added a few “extra” items in our bags to help us with our travel safety checklist. Whether you are staying in a rental property or hotel room, you want to know your space is safe and clean.

One key factor is choosing a place you trust. Ask the rental owners about their cleaning routines or inquire with a hotel about their protocols between guests. It can also help to read reviews and see how others have rated the location for cleanliness.

One way to make sure your home away from home is clean is to make it part of your check-in routine. Here’s our check-in checklist of what to clean and disinfect when you arrive:

• Carry wipes for cleaning quickly. There are even travel packs of disinfectant wipes that can make the job easier.

• Focus on the high-touch spots that might be overlooked during routine cleaning, like door knobs, light switches, phones or remote controls.

• Wash the dishes prior to using them, especially if there is a kitchenette or kitchen in the unit. This is only needed if you plan on using them during your stay.

• Do a visual check of the room to make sure it looks clean, especially the bathroom. If not, it may be worth a call to the front desk for assistance.

With all the attention on not bringing germs, viruses, and bacteria home … Don’t forget we still need to be careful about taking bed bugs home.  Along with your room wipe down, take these precautions to keep your items free from bed bugs. 

• Check the underside of the mattress and box spring.  Use a plastic card (credit card or ID) to check the seams of bedding.  Look behind pictures and tables next to the bed. 

• Your best line of defense is never placing your bags on a soft surface in a hotel room.  Keep your bag and piles of clothes off the floor as well.  This will help contain your items in places a bed bug would least likely go or hide. 

• Inspect your personal items before packing them back into your suitcase, and when you unpack at home.  You can only confirm that bed bugs are present by carefully inspecting each item. Pay attention to cracks, crevices, seams and folds of material.

• Before leaving the location, sort anything that can be washed and place in plastic bags.

• Separate the laundry as you would if you were normally laundering items.

• This will prevent escaping bed bugs as you try to sort the laundry at home.

• Once home set the washer and dryer for the hottest setting that fabrics can stand and run everything through one wash and dry cycle.

Although we added a few tips and tricks this year we were able to enjoy time together, new sites and adventures as a family.  That was worth the extra disinfectant wipes in our carry-ons! 

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