Don’t you just dream of going on a long business trip in a beautiful country and enjoying a lovely “workation”? How about booking a month-long leisurely trip around Europe, and staying at a different hotel every week? Yes, these experiences are a dream for some. However, we can’t deny that long trips far away from home can feel sickening at times. We’re not only talking about feeling home-sick – we’re talking about getting really sick, physically, and mentally.
There’s no place like home. Nothing beats eating home-cooked meals with the right amount of salt, using plates and glassware we trust, and having friends and family by our side. And no matter how luxurious a hotel is, it can never replicate the homey vibe of our humble abodes.
If you’re stuck in a hotel for long periods, whether it’s because of the pandemic or due to long trips, we recommend 12 measures to take to stay healthy and safe during your long hotel stays.
1. Opt for modern hotels
Are allergens and dust a concern? While old, vintage bed and breakfasts are better in terms of personal touches and charming aesthetics, you may be better off with modern hotels and serviced apartments. The latter have crisp white bedsheets that are routinely washed and round-the-clock service you can rely on.
2. Choose a lodging establishment with a kitchenette
If you’re going to be staying for weeks or months, you’ll be broke in no time if you keep eating out. You’ll have a bunch of savings (and eat more healthily) by going for properties fitted with a kitchen. Many good-quality hotels and serviced apartments come with a refrigerator, microwave, stove, and a couple of kitchen utensils.
3. Get some sunlight
Natural light helps improve your energy, mood, and sleep whenever you’re traveling, so make sure you get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Request a hotel room with good light. If possible, a room with a balcony is ideal. You should also consider keeping your curtains open during the daytime to take advantage of the sunlight.
4. Take a look at bedbugs
Don’t let the bedbugs bite. Before you put your stuff on top of the bed, take a quick look around for bed bugs or reddish-brown blood spots. Strip the bed of its linens. Check the corners of both the sheets and mattress. Examine the upholstered furniture, headboard, and curtains too, focusing on the seams and folds. Notify the hotel staff ASAP when you spot them.
5. Disinfect common items
Even before the age of COVID-19, disinfecting common items is a must. Pack anti-bacterial wipes and wipe down hotel items and areas including the telephone, door handles, remote control, toilet flusher, light switches, faucets, and ice bucket.
6. Open the window, if you can
Poor air quality which is caused by paint, cleaning products, and furniture may result in headaches and fatigue. Whenever possible, turn off your A/C and invite fresh, natural air to improve the circulation. It would also be helpful to find time to walk around and breathe fresh air.
7. Clean your glassware
It’s okay to have trust issues whether or not the in-room glassware, mugs, and utensils were cleaned properly or not – a 2008 ABC15 investigation found 11 out of 15 hotels failed to sanitize their hotel guests’ filthy glasses. Give yourself some peace of mind by using disposable glasses or cleaning your glassware yourself with a bar of trusted dishwashing soap.
8. Get your daily dose of fresh fruits and veggies
Don’t use your budget as an excuse to eat nothing but unhealthy, fast-food choices. If your hotel has a continental breakfast buffet, indulge in fresh fruit platters and mixed veggies. If not, look for a nearby marketplace or grocery to buy fresh produce. Stock up on fruit, nuts, and vegetables, and make yourself a fresh salad.
9. Designate areas
A hotel room can feel cramped and suffocating over time. To avoid feeling stuck in a congested-looking room, try to compartmentalize the space. Organize your things the way you’d do at home. Put food and utensils in the kitchenette. If you’re staying in a hotel for work, designate your workstation and do nothing but work in that area.
Lastly, use your bed for sleeping only. Don’t work, eat, and watch TV on it – you’ll likely find it easier to fall asleep this way.
10. Prioritize sleep
Do you find it hard to sleep in a hotel? Prioritize sleep quality by taking steps to reduce noise and avoid other disruptions:
If hotel noises are a concern, you may request a room that’s far from elevators, ice machines, pools, hotel restaurants, and bars. You can also pack your own earplugs or listen to white noises and podcasts.
You may also tweak your hotel room to create an environment that’s conducive to sleep. You may request for fresh beddings, preferred pillow options, and blackout curtains. You can also set the temperature to an ideal one and spray soothing scents all over the room.
11. Go outside and get moving
There’s life outside of the hotel room, so always find the time to get moving.
Use the hotel amenities to your advantage. Hop on the treadmill. Take a quick dip in the pool. Check out the spa services they offer. Walk around the block to exercise and breathe some fresh air while sightseeing.
12. Call your family and friends
Gone are the days when we need to pay ridiculous prices for long-distance calls. Now, calling our family and friends is just a few phone taps away. Find time to check up on your loved ones via Zoom, Skype, or Messenger. While they’re physically miles away, seeing their faces on the screen and hearing their voices may be enough to eliminate the dread and loneliness of being away.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a content writer during the weekends, and a travel and food blogger 24/7. She may be an awkward introvert but she’s got a lot to say about travel, food, and cultural appreciation. To know more about hotels and travel blogs, you may visit PREMIER SUITES Bristol Cabot Circus.