Realities of hotel stays.

Realities of hotel stays.

Anticipating your destination is never the same as finally reaching it.  The first stop of your travel is your accommodations, and whether Airbnb or hotel, here are a few ideas to keep in mind when you finally reach your vacation stop.

There’s always that “ahh” feeling when you finally reach your destination where you want to lay on the bed in either exhaustion or relief at finally reaching your goal.  Hold on! Most likely, the hotel did not change the duvet or bed covering since the last guest.  As a former flight attendant who spent most of my life in hotel rooms, I could write a whole blog post just on the realities of hotel bed coverings. Your first notion when reaching your accommodation should be to remove the outer bed cover, especially if you cannot tell if it’s fresh linen. You can always tell this with white sheets and bed coverings.

Another hotel tip is to never drink from hotel glasses, especially those found in the bathroom before you wash them yourself.  I have often walked into hotel rooms in the process of being cleaned and, from my lived experience, often seen the maid wiping rather than washing the glasses.  Since Covid, many hotels have switched to plastic, but if your hotel has not, be mindful and wash those glasses before you use them.

Always check your sheets before you get into bed.  If after you’ve checked in and your bedding appears slept on or wrinkled, you can request to have them changed to be entirely sure they are clean.  In addition, check your towels, and if they appear soiled or used, please request fresh towels. Often only the towels used are replaced, and those not used stay in the room despite a new change of guest.

Along the same lines as hotel bed coverings, hotel carpets are also rarely cleaned.  I would highly suggest that you treat hotel carpet flooring as you would with public showers and never go barefoot.  Carpets are often only vacuumed between guests, but when maids are rushing to have rooms ready and the carpets appear clean, this is usually not done.  In most cases, when the carpet is soiled and needs cleaning, it is often only a spot treatment as this can take a room out of service.  Maids avoid this by heavily vacuuming instead, so be aware and try not to go barefoot.

These hotel realities are often not found at pricier hotels and accommodations, but sometimes the price does not guarantee quality.   Be aware that the standards you expect from your hotel may not be the reality.  Remember that these and other hotel realities can be addressed and do not have to spoil your vacation.

Have you had any unexpected hotel experiences? I’d like to know.

5 Covid friendly hotel stay tips.

5 Covid friendly hotel stay tips.

Having flown as a career for over 20 years I have stayed in many hotel rooms and so the experience has taught me a lot about what to look out for in terms of cleanliness.

1. Check the hotel sheets. No one wants to sleep on possible dirty covid sheets. I can’t tell you how many different times I have gone into a hotel room just dying to shower and get into bed and found that the sheets have not been changed. If you do this when you first get into the hotel room, there is plenty of opportunity for the hotel to fix the issue before you are ready to go to bed.

2. Make sure the sheets are visibly dirty before you check out of the hotel and prevent any possible Covid spread. I think it’s just a matter of kindness to the next guest and just plain hygienic. Don’t feel bad as the hotel should automatically be doing this anyhow. I always wiped the bottom of my shoe across the sheets before I checked out.

3.Place a face towel or hand towel on the bathroom counter to place all your items on. Especially in this time of covid you do not want to transfer any germs to your face or hands. It’s also a visual reminder of anything placed on the counter and it helps in not forgetting items like jewelry in the bathroom.

4. Take an extra washcloth and wipe the toilet seats down. I think we all assume that the hotel room has been cleaned thoroughly but my experience has shown that the toilet seat is often overlooked.

5. Treat hotel room floors like airplane bathrooms and never assume it’s just water. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed through hotel corridors and seen the remains of a hotel room party gone wild. Let’s face it, the hotel does not have the manpower or capability to thoroughly clean hotel room floors, nor do they often have time between checkouts. Covid can be easily spread through bodily fluids.

I hope my tips have been helpful, check back in for more of my lived travel experience.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

5 must have items that stay in my carry-on.

As an avid world traveler who has done this both professionally and personally, my carry-on is always semi-packed. Here are my tips and advice on the 5 items I consider must-haves and should always be in my carry on.

1. A lingerie organizer bag (details on another blog post). The one I use has two sides, one for clean underwear and the other for dirty. You never want to get them confused!

2. An electronic organizer bag (blog post coming). With people being so connected it is so inconvenient to lose connectivity and most hotels do not provide enough power outlets for the technology we use in our daily lives.

3. A toothbrush which in my opinion is even more needed than the electronic organizer. Many people pack this in their suitcase but with the chances of your luggage being lost, I like to always have this at hand.

4. A medicine bag with items like Tums, ibuprofen, cold medicine, etc. I tend to also have eye masks, face masks, prescription medications, band-aids, Neosporin, alcohol pads, and such (more on another post).

5. Finally I always have a small makeup bag with the basics like mascara, lip moisturizer, lipstick, makeup remover cloths, toner, and face moisturizer. These are always found at beauty supply stores and pharmacies in travel sizes.

You make have other priorities for your carry-on. If so, what are they? I’d love to find out.

Covid travel or not?

Covid travel or not?

This was not my first trip since the outbreak of Covid 19, but with the resurgence and travel advisories against Thanksgiving travel, I had lots of inner struggle with my travel plans.

My first trip during Covid was the long trip back from Asia and it was a struggle trying to decide whether to stay in Asia or return to the US. As my youngest had braved Covid on her own for several months, I decided it was time to return home and be there for my daughter (see motherhood blog). As I was now in the US and only 3 hours away from my mom rather than 24, I planned my Thanksgiving travel. There was certainly a bit of angst as New York had been designated a hot spot.

However, my trip was a choice I felt I had to make. Having been an ex-pat for many years and not seeing my mom in a while, I looked forward to this visit. I had planned this trip well before the resurgence of covid concerns and realities. With a recent unexpected death in the family, I struggled with the thoughts of missed opportunities. Should I reschedule my trip? Covid was so unpredictable I wondered whether any other timing would be optimal for covid travel.

It is said that most family gatherings are at funerals and I struggled with the thought of canceling my trip and missing a positive family experience. Still and all, I am a prolific traveler, and I honestly missed the travel experience and was looking forward to the trip. I chose to keep my travel plans but wondered how much of my decision was a want and how much was a need. No one can predict the future, and my choice could be seen as unnecessary and risky. It could also be seen as a perfect time to choose family while they are around, rather than grieve for them or the missed opportunity to create memories.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences if you’ve had to make a similar choice. What would your choice be? Covid travel or not?

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