Remember the days when the only thing we had to worry about during our hotel stay was that someone may steal our valuables. We reduced that risk with in-room safes and being smarter about what we leave in the room. The bed bug crisis had us checking the seams of the mattresses before we placed our bags down.  Now the coronavirus has taken disinfecting of the rooms to a whole other level. How comfortable do you feel about staying in a hotel room these days? Do you feel the need to disinfect your clean hotel room?

Check Out The Hotel’s Cleaning Protocols

Since we were still in the coronavirus pandemic, we felt more confident in venturing out to stay in a hotel once we knew how the hotels were handling social distancing and cleaning of their facilities. To help with social distancing try to avoid crowds and hotels that were going to have a high occupancy rate. Usually, traveling during the beginning of the week such as checking in on a Sunday and leaving on a Friday will minimize the number of people staying in the hotel.     Many hotels have enhanced their cleaning procedures. It is easy to look up the hotel’s COVID 19 protocols.  Most of the major hotel chains will have the commitment to cleanliness statement and a link to their new protocols at the very top of their website. Here is an example of Marriott’s standards.

Many of the protocols are pretty standard, but some take extra steps such as contactless check-in, limiting room cleaning until departure,  “sealing” the room with a sticker stating the room was clean, and adding disinfectant wipes in each room. The effort the hotels have put into making us feel comfortable and safe has been monumentous and greatly appreciated.  However, I like to have a sense of control when it could impact my health. We are vacation club owners and love how they offer flexibility in how we enjoy our stays.  Many units come with a full kitchen and a washer and dryer. This will allow us to wash our own dishes, purchase and cook our own food to limit the number of times we will be in a restaurant (as well as save money). We can wash our own towels and linens if we have a washer and dryer in our room. In addition, to this, we disinfect our clean hotel room.  

Pack Your Cleaning Supplies

Before leaving for vacation, we purchased cleaning supplies. Here are the items we make sure we have packed:

  • Gloves
  • Wipes (or alcohol wipes)
  • Travel size Laundry detergent
  • Travel size Dishwash detergent
  • 3-4 Ziploc bags (for the remote control)

Along with our cleaning supplies and clothing, we packed king-sized bed linens, a blanket, and a set of towels.  Since our last trip was a road trip so we were not hindered by what we could pack and bring. There was plenty of room in the car.  In the near future, we will fly to our destination. Fortunately with our points and therefore status with United (thanks to the partnership with Marriott) and our United credit card we get a to bring 2 bags a piece for free, which allows us to pack these items when we travel by air. It is important to check what you can pack and carry on the plane. For example, per the Hazardous Materials Carried by Airline Passengers and Crewmembers Guide  flammable aerosols such as Lysol are not allowed as a carry-on nor checked back. For a list of TSA approved items, check out “What I Can Bring”  If you are able to, purchase Lysol when you arrive at your destination.

Disinfecting The Room

Once we arrived in our room, the first thing we did was sanitize before we got too comfortable. I took to cleaning the kitchen and Dennis went to cleaning the bedroom and bathroom. We sanitized the:

  • door handles
  • light switches
  • thermostat
  • faucet handles
  • fridge handles and cabinet handles
  • sprayed the upholstery
  • drawers
  • shower floor and shower bars and handles
  • remote controls*

*the remote controls should be placed in a ziploc bag.
making the bed
Once we felt we cleaned everything we took the hotel’s comforter, sheets, and pillowcases off the bed and in the closet. We replaced with our linens from home. With the drawers emptied and cleaned, we placed our packing cubes inside.Once we felt we cleaned everything we took the hotel’s comforter, sheets, and pillowcases off the bed and placed them in the closet. We replaced with our linens from home. With the drawers emptied and cleaned, we placed our packing cubes inside.
Loading Dishwasher

Lastly, Dennis loaded and washed the dishes we would use for the week.

Keeping Safe

Since we did all of this work, we did not want to re do it again if housekeeping or someone else were to enter the room while we were gone. To discourage this, we kept the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, even when we were away. When we checked out of the hotel, we kept our towels and brought them home. However, if we go somewhere where we have to fly, we don’t want to bring home wet towels that will add weight and smell. Therefore on our next trip we will probably discard the towels. Disinfecting the room ourselves does not guarantee we will not come in contact with the coronavirus. We are only human. But it does give us comfort in knowing we did all we could to enjoy our time away from home.

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