Dealing with bed bugs in a hotel room is bad enough; returning home with a few stowaways could ruin all the memories of an otherwise pleasant vacation.
Here are a few travel tips to avoid those problems:
Check In Online – One of the better sources of information about hotels with bed bugs are the online reviews room travelers who have actually stayed there. Often, those reviews will also cover attempts to resolve any problems with management, including management’s response to the review. A stray report here or there isn’t reliable. However, if you spot a whole string of stories about bed bugs, it’s a safe bet the hotel has a problem. Including one less reservation: Yours.
Hard vs. Soft – Hard-sided suitcases aren’t as permeable as cloth ones with zippers. The chance that a bed bug could worm its way into your luggage is said to be higher with the soft-sided variety. In any case, consider shielding your suitcase contents with a bed bug luggage protector.
Use the Rack – After ensuring that the hotel-provided luggage rack is free of pests, use it to hold your suitcase. Placing a suitcase on the floor or the bed increases the chance that bed bugs can access your belongings.
Get a Closer Look– Bed bugs generally don’t put on a parade so that travelers can easily spot them and run to the next hotel. They tend to hide in crevices, folds and cracks. They’ll even take up residence in the ruffles of a bed skirt. As soon as you check in to your room, take a close look at the pillows and linens, pulling back sheets and covers as needed to check for any pests.
Secure Your Laundry – Some travelers prefer to place their dirty clothes in a hotel dresser drawer. Which, like all hotel furniture, has its share of crevices and cracks. To reduce the risk that bedbugs will bum a ride home in your dirty laundry, opt for storing the used duds in a laundry bag, preferably one that’s said to be bed bug-resistant.
Above all, if you do find bed bugs, immediately notify hotel management and attempt to resolve the issue by working with them. If management does offer to relocate you, ask for a room that’s nowhere near the infested one.