Whether you’re staying at a high-end resort or a budget motel, there are some aspects of staying in public accommodations that are universal. Everyone should do them, no matter in which part of the world you’re resting your head for the night.
Look for bedbugs. They’re hard to spot, but evidence of their infestation is not. Examine the mattress pad, comforter, and furniture for brown bloodstains, which are the fecal remains of the insects’ processing of the blood they ingest while you sleep. If you see evidence, ask for a new room. Bedbugs are not the kind of souvenir you’re looking for from any trip.
That light switch you’re about to flip is full of germs. Don’t touch it until you’ve sanitized it with a portable wipe or a washcloth from the bathroom that you’ve squirted with some liquid hand sanitizer. Wipe down the remote control, door handles, bedside clock radio, and phone. (Especially the remote control.)
Remove the comforter. Duvets and bedspreads aren’t washed each time the room’s occupant changes. According to Reneta McCarthy, a former housekeeping manager for a major American hotel chain, it’s possible that bed covering could be laundered only four times a year. You also have no idea what guests prior to you did with or on that comforter. So, remove it and toss it in the corner. If you still need one, call to the front desk for a new one.
Check the hiding spots. This may sound alarmist, but opening closet doors, checking underneath the bed and under the mattress could keep you from becoming the victim of a clever intruder. Also, make sure not to give out your room number to anyone, even to the waitstaff in the restaurant, or open your door without checking through the peephole first.
Finally, make sure the temperature controls work. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to turn in and discovering that the thermostat is broken, and spending the night sweating or shivering.