Don’t Get Sick or Robbed on Vacation! 22 Tips for a Better Hotel Stay

Hotels can feel like a great retreat, but traveling also leaves you more vulnerable than ever to getting sick or robbed. Find out how to make your temporary room a true home away from home.

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Stay between the third and sixth floors


Hotel thefts are most common on the first and second floor, so staying on a floor above those will reduce your chance of having belongings stolen. Another consideration: Most fire engine ladders can’t reach the seventh floor. Rest easier by requesting the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth floor. These other little mistakes make traveling unnecessarily stressful.

Skip the historic stays


A Victorian B&B might be charming, personal, and romantic—but it also probably has allergens and dust hiding in the rooms and lounges. A clean, modern hotel is a better option if you’re worried about getting sick. These natural allergy remedies provide relief.

Opt for hotels over motels


It’s easier to steal from a room when thieves don’t have to go through a lobby first. Plus, if your bedroom opens to the outside, you’re literally opening your door to dirt and allergens. This is why shouldn't trust the hotel safe in your room.

Book an allergy-free room


Some hotels offer rooms designed to reduce the amount of allergens like dust mites. Even those without allergies could benefit if you tend to catch colds and flus easily. If your hotel doesn’t offer a separate room, check if it stocks allergy packs with items like mattress covers, special pillows, and face masks.

Keep your room number secret


Avoid physical attacks by making sure the person at the front desk doesn’t announce your room number out loud. Request that the employee write the number down instead. You should also test whether the hotel gives out room numbers. Use your cell phone to call the front desk, then pretend you’re a friend asking what room number they gave you. If they give it out freely, that’s a red flag. These are secrets hotel receptionists won't tell you.

Check for bedbugs


Even the best hotels can end up with bedbugs, especially with growing pesticide resistance. Avoid those itchy bumps by examining for the bugs before you unpack. Quickly pull away the comforter, and watch for brown bugs that are about the size of an apple seed scampering away. Take a close look at the pillows, mattress liners, and mattress seams for bugs or bloodstains. If you see anything questionable, ask for another room, and do another search there. Check out these expert tips for avoiding and getting rid of bed bugs.

Protect against bedbugs


Even if you don’t see any signs of bedbugs, take a moment to protect your bed, just in case. Move the bed out from against the wall, and tuck in the blankets so they can’t touch the floor.

Double check for bedbugs at home


When you get back from your trip, head to the laundry room to check your luggage for signs of bedbugs. If you see any signs, toss the clothes straight into the wash, and follow up in the dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes. Items that can’t be washed can be put in the freezer for a couple of days. Those nasty bugs won’t be able to survive the extreme temperatures. These are other non-food ways to use your freezer.

Pack your own sheets

iStock/jean schweitzer

Hotel sheets could be crawling with dust mites, allergens, and germs. Throw your own sheet over the bedspread so you’re not exposed to those irritants. Check out these bizarre travel items that will change your life.

Wear long sleeves


Another easy way to avoid contact with the bedding is to pack pajamas with long sleeves and long pants. A pair of light socks will help even more. This is the fascinating reason you always sleep worse on vacation.

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