Category Archives: On the Road

Could Your Hotel Have Bed Bugs? Check it Out Before You Check In

Whether you are traveling for business or leisure, it pays to be prepared for all possibilities, especially when it comes to choosing your hotel room.

Taking the rising number of incidents of bed bug infestation among hotels and apartments into consideration, all travelers are advised to be cautious when it comes to guarding against these nasty creatures. As a rule, never ever lay down all of your luggage and belongings in sleeping quarters that you have not yet inspected. This even includes the fanciest 5 star hotels, people!!

Before heading over to check out the indoor pools, restaurants, or travel destinations near your hotel, it is best to first get yourself settled into a comfortable and bedbug free room.

What are Bed Bugs?

These tiny insects are often reddish or brownish in color, depending on their age. As they are hardly noticeable, they can easily crawl into beds, bags, and closets without being seen, which explains why infestations are hard to control. These pictures of bed bugs will give you a good idea of what you should be looking out for.

What to Look For?

Although there is no sure-fire way to ensure that your hotel is 100% free from bed bugs, there are still ways to enjoy an itch-free vacation.  Fortunately, it does not take a genius to inspect a room for these puny bugs; the key is to know where to look.

1. Luggage Stand

Rather than immediately placing your bags in the closet, it is best to wrap them in plastic and place them on top of a table, or even on the bathtub. This is to prevent contaminating your belongings with these cunning insects. After securing your luggage, focus your attention on the closets and check for any signs of bugs.

2. Bed Sheets

Scan every inch of your bed, beginning with the sheets. Pull back each individual sheet and check for any blood or fecal stains. Do the same for the quilts, blankets, comforters, and mattress covers. Although the chances of actually seeing bed bugs are rare, it is still safer to check and be assured.

3. Mattress

After taking off all the sheets and covers, it’s time to inspect the mattress itself. When checking for stains, make sure to go in between the seams and creases where these nasty critters often hide and lay eggs. As mattresses are not changed as often as the bedding, you are more likely to find visible indications of unwanted guests here.

4. Bed Frame

Apart from the sheets and mattresses, also make sure to inspect the bed frame using a flashlight and mirror. Look in between crevices and holes, as bed bugs may also hide in these unlikely places.

5. Wall Hangings

Hotels often place an attractive painting or artwork above the bed to add aesthetic appeal to the room. If it is too difficult to unhook, simply use your flashlight and mirror to scan the edges and keep an eye out for trails.

6. Nightstands

As they are placed close the bed, they are also potential breeding grounds for bed bugs. To make sure that you don’t wake up with nasty bites, pull out all the drawers and scrutinize them inside and out.

Once you are confident and sure that your hotel room is bedbug-free, you can now relax and enjoy your long weekend ahead.

As a writer for BedBugs.org, Carla recommends educating yourself before traveling. If you have already brought the pests home from a trip, then look into how to kill bed bugs with heat before turning to the harsher chemical options.

Hobbies and Travel

One of the things I find different when I travel long term is that long with slowing down the actual rate of travel I need to do something creative. Although I take photos and write a journal I miss doing a craft with my hands. When I first started travelling my crafts of choice were knitting and crochet. I found the wool too bulky to carry around, and you have to buy all the wool at the same time so I couldn’t buy as I went. I then discovered cross stitch embroidery and was hooked.
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Compact, easy to carry, and the silks are numbered on an international system which means you can buy them in any Western country – handy, although they don’t take much space to carry. My one and only purchase at Harrods, London’s famous department store, was another skein of colour for my current cross stitch!

In fact your hobby can be incorporated in your travels in other ways: lots of people take a class to learn a new skill or enhance a new one: cooking classes in Asia or Italy, language classes, dance classes, the list is endless. We met a group of English women on a small Greek island siting at an outdoor cafe making lace. They were on an organised tour and found it great because all the locals were fascinated and came up and talked to them.

I remember extending my stay at cheap hotel in Sumatra because although the hotel was new and under-furnished it turned out to have perfect acoustics for a a fellow traveller who was a talented classical guitarist – free concerts every night – I don’t think that guy had to pay for his room all week, the owner figured out he was attracting other people to eat and drink in-house at night!

The ultimate travelling hobby though which can also make you money is being a hairdresser -everywhere in the world travelers will pay $5 for a cheap, convenient hair cut at the hotel – pack your scissors hairdressers -just not in your carry on!