Summer is heating up across the nation, and people are re-emerging from the COVID shut-in that dominated last summer – and most of last year. During the pandemic, vacations were postponed or canceled, and the travel industry lost billions. As vaccination numbers increase and cities open their doors to travelers, it is essential to know that risks remain, albeit minimized comparatively to last year.
An easy way to maximize your family’s safety is to take action yourself to ensure the cleanliness of your surroundings. This will also put your mind at ease, which goes a long way in helping you relax and enjoy the vacation. Here are some tips to consider when arriving at your hotel or when renting a car.
When checking into your hotel, the first two questions you should ask are: What is the hotel’s cleaning protocols, and how long ago was your room occupied? You want to feel comfortable knowing the depth of the property’s cleaning procedures, and that your room wasn’t occupied by another the night before. Current recommendations advise at least 24 hours between occupancies, so be sure to ask (and hope they tell you the truth).
Secondly, when you enter your room, take a few minutes to disinfect and wipe down all surfaces, especially all high-touch areas. The post-COVID traveler is most likely to have a Ziplock bag full of cleaning supplies and anti-bacterial wipes—use them liberally throughout the room and bathroom. If your hotel windows open, you might consider opening them a few inches wide to get some fresh air circulating. Here is a list of items to pay particular attention towards:
- Light switches (including switches on lamps)
This level of attention and cleaning applies to your rental car as well. Before you zip off in your rented convertible (which now has more meaning for cleanliness, not just looking and feeling ‘cool’), wipe down the dash, steering wheel, console, and control panels.
The last bit of advice is one that many don’t think about often: your luggage. Your luggage is touched and handled by many people throughout your vacation: airport attendants, baggage handlers, flight crew, hotel staff, taxi drivers, etc. Sanitize your luggage at various points throughout your trip. And most importantly, continue to wash your hands. Oh, and enjoy your vacation!