Tourism is looking entirely different these days. More travelers are opting for road trips over air travel, taking day trips as opposed to weekend or week-long trips, and are wary of staying in accommodations like hotels or Airbnbs. Plus, depending on what state you’re in, you may have to quarantine for 14 days when you are visiting a new place.
However, if you’re itching to take a trip and wondering: are hotels safe? Read on to learn more about what many hotels are doing, and for some hotel safety tips you can use both this summer and in your future travels!
Hygiene & Cleanliness
While many hotels have strict regulations in place to keep their spaces sanitized and clean, personal hygiene and cleanliness is still incredibly important. Make sure you bring lots of hand sanitizer with you on your trip, wash your hands frequently, and follow other CDC guidelines in place for individuals in the current climate.
One of our best hotel safety tips is to look up the state you’re traveling to for details and guidelines on what they are doing to keep hotels safe for visitors. Better yet, visit the website of the hotel chain you’ll be staying at to see exactly what precautions they will be taking.
For example, The Marriott is emphasizing flexible cancellations, a “commitment to clean,” and contactless services on their site. When clicking through the different categories, you’ll see specific steps they plan to take, like “cleaning surfaces with increased frequency, dedicated staff, and recommended cleaning agents.”
Hilton Hotels has developed a cleaning program with Lysol to safely disinfect their surfaces. They also announced they will increase cleaning frequency of public areas, implement contactless check-in and check-out, add hand sanitizer machines, and more. While they note they have adjusted their common spaces to allow for easier social distancing, they ask that guests take it upon themselves to adhere to these guidelines and keep a safe distance from other guests.
When visiting a hotel right now, it might go without saying that you should only travel with people you are already living with (and have already been exposed to). Once that risk factor is dealt with, we’ve got some hotel safety tips for your room that you can take into your own hands:
You might consider waiving housekeeping for the duration of your stay. By having staff clean the room before you’re there, you can know your room has been cleaned without having to worry about coming into contact with a stranger in a confined indoor space.
There are many high-touch objects and areas in a hotel room, from sink faucets to televisions to the door lock. One small way you can sleep a little sounder during your stay is to carry a portable lock with you. Not only is it a secure way to lock your door, but you can avoid having to touch a knob that strangers have touched as well. You can purchase an inexpensive key lock online — aside from hotels, these are great for studio or one bedroom apartments as well.
Of course, one of the best hotel safety tips is to sanitize everything in your room yourself. Upon arrival, wipe down surfaces like nightstands, desks and knobs — though cleaning staff have most likely already done this before your arrival, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Common Space Practices
Common spaces are one of the trickiest places to be in and stay safe from germs and virus exposure. Coming into close proximity with strangers is risky, especially if they aren’t wearing masks. Luckily, most hotels have rigid social distancing protocols and enforce the use of face masks in their common spaces.
And nowadays, it’s easy enough to make sure you have a mask (or a few!) on hand. Etsy is a great one-stop-shop for stylish, unique cloth masks if you’re looking to make more of a fashion statement. You can even upscale and get a designer mask from brands like Everlane, or Banana Republic. If you prefer disposable paper face masks, check out your local Walgreens, Target, or look online at Amazon. N95 masks might be a bit trickier to find, but Home Depot typically has some in stock.
Still, we definitely want to include distancing yourself in our list of hotel safety tips. Avoid spending time in any lounges or common areas unless it’s absolutely necessary, to limit the chance of contact with strangers or infected persons. Try to maintain a distance of 6 feet, as is recommended by the CDC during the pandemic.
If you have opted for an Airbnb or other homeshare rental over a hotel, most of our hotel safety tips will still apply to your accommodations. By visiting the Airbnb website, you can find more specific details on their cleaning procedures. The company outlined a 5-step cleaning process for hosts: prepare, clean, sanitize, check and rest. Airbnb has also recommended that hosts have cleaning supplies on hand, from protective gear like face masks and disposable gloves to products like multi-surface cleaner and disinfectant.
We recommend ensuring you are able to regularly and quickly communicate with your host. This is so that you can ask questions about their cleaning process, who else will be in and out of the accommodations, etc. Ultimately, while Airbnb has set guidelines and recommendations for hosts in terms of cleaning, it is up to you to make sure that your stay is as safe as it can be.
Clean your space upon arrival with the given supplies, giving special attention to the high-touch areas. If you are going to be using your host’s kitchen supplies, one of the best hotel safety tips we’ve seen is to give those a good clean as well.
Generally, Airbnb might pose less of a risk of coming into close contact with strangers than a hotel. There will be no hotel lounges or common areas with guests milling about. However, it is a good idea to stick to only rentals where the host will not be staying in your space at the same time as you.
These hotel safety tips are a good baseline for what you should consider and what steps you might want to take if you have been questioning: are hotels safe? At the end of the day, it’s best to take your own health and safety into your own hands by being prepared to sanitize your space and distance from others.
If you still don’t feel comfortable staying outside of your home in the current climate, opting for a day trip might be the best way for you to change up your scenery and still experience a new place.
Have you stayed at a hotel recently? Would you choose Airbnb over a hotel, and why? What are some of your hotel safety tips?