This article has been medically approved by Pharmacist Sumaiya Patel - GPhC Reg No: 2215078
Your hotel room or holiday rental is your home away from home for the duration of your trip, but you donít want to be sleeping in the last guestsí germs. Even though the hotel is sure to have strict cleaning protocols in place, the only way to ensure it has been done to a standard you are happy with is to do it yourself. So where should you start?
Before you book
When planning where to stay, you should look out for what Covid-19 policies your chosen accommodation has in place. They may have this information available on their website, but donít be afraid to call and ask questions.
Some questions you might like to ask are:
- Have they had any positive cases among staff or guests?
- Do they temperature check people arriving at the hotel, including staff?
- How frequently are employees tested?
- What are their sanitisation policies?
- How long are rooms vacant between guests?
You could also request that they remove unnecessary high touch items from your accommodation, like the comforter or decorative pillows that are immediately moved off the bed.
What should you pack?
Some items that you might take for granted in holiday accommodation may be missing when you travel. Although, even if they are available, you might want to consider bringing your own to limit using high touch items.
Bring your own pen, cups, water bottles, mugs, coffee, sugar, and tea. If you are staying in self-contained accommodation you might also want to consider bringing your own plates, kettle, pots, and pans. Anything that you donít bring yourself should be thoroughly washed or disinfected before first use.
Additionally, bring your own disinfectant wipes to cleanse surfaces that canít be washed with hot water and soap. Make sure you have wipes that kill bacteria and viruses, rather than just removing visible dirt and grime.
When entering your room, and before removing your mask, open a window for ventilation. This allows any airborne pathogens that may be lingering to escape. Open the windows for short, sharp bursts of 10 to 15 minutes regularly throughout the day or crack them open a small amount continuously.
Where to disinfect
The simple answer is that anything you canít avoid touching during your stay should be disinfected prior to you starting to use it.
However, some high touch areas to focus on are:
- Door handles
- Door frames
- Light/lamp switches
- Remote controls
- Window sills and handles
- Keys or key cards
- Key lock box
- Stair railings
- Ironing boards and irons
- Bins (indoor and outdoor)
- Plugs and cables
- Blind cords/pulleys
- Indoor/outdoor furniture & chairs
Glasses and ice buckets can also be hotbeds for germs, but these shouldnít be cleaned with a disinfectant. Glasses can be cleaned with soap and hot water, or you can use your own water bottle. Ice buckets may come with a plastic liner for use on the inside and outside.
Donít put your toothbrush on the bathroom counter, use your own pen during check in, and wipe down any room cards you have to use. If you would rather not touch a remote at all, or you arenít happy with how clean you can get it with your wipes, you can seal it in a plastic bag.
Wash your hands
Itís also important to keep up with your regular hand washing. Continue washing and sanitising as much as possible while out and about, and as soon as you return to your accommodation you should wash your hands. Because you wonít be able to avoid touching door handles on your way to washing your hands, these should be wiped down regularly.