As the covid pandemic restrictions are being lifted, businesses are beginning to reopen and many of us are longing to go on vacations and business trips. Since the COVID-19 pandemic seems unending, we all have to adapt to the new circumstances. We cannot lower the risk to zero, but at least we can take steps to minimize it. In case you have decided to book a hotel stay, here are 10 tips to maximize your safety during your trip.
1. Pick a Safe Destination wisely
The first step for safe travel is to choose your destination wisely and avoid any place that has a higher number of covid cases. Though safety is not guaranteed in a hotel stay, as people come from different parts of the country, making a safe decision is always better.
2. Research about the Hotel’s Safety Measures
It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the guidelines and safety measures that the hotel follows before making a hotel reservation. Whether the staff is adhering to the WHO recommendations such as, wearing masks and providing hand sanitisers in common areas. Frequent disinfection of public areas, contactless check-in/checkout and signs educating guests about COVID-19 are some of the important measures that hotels should follow. Enquire how crowded the hotel is by asking their occupancy rate can be a good option as fewer guests reduce the chances of a spread. If the hotel is transparent about its policies and has communicated the same on its website, then certainly it is a good option. In case, you still have doubts, call up the hotel and clear your doubts directly.
3. Check the Hotel’s facility for Guests Who Fall Ill During the Stay
One of the worst-case scenarios is when you suddenly don’t feel well, as you’re not in your hometown where you know exactly where to go for treatment. Does the hotel have medical protocols for you to follow? Do they have a doctor-on-call facility or can they take you to the nearest medical facility? If yes, then the hotel brand is trustworthy and safe to stay.
4. Maintain Social Distance and always Wear a Mask
Make sure you follow all COVID-19 safety protocols suggested by the WHO. This includes wearing a mask, avoid touching surfaces, washing your hands regularly and maintaining at least six feet distance from others.
5. Check-in a Room that has been Vacant for a Few Days
According to the WHO, coronavirus can live for up to 72 hours on different surfaces, including metal and plastic. This means that there is a higher risk if you take a room that the previous guest had just vacated. You can request a room that was not occupied for three days, just to be on the safer side.
6. Sanitize your Room upon arrival
Although most hotels regularly sanitize and clean rooms between guests, it would not be a bad idea to do a quick clean yourself, especially on frequently touched areas like doorknobs, light switches, TV and AC remotes, switches and any prominent flat surfaces like side tables. You can use disinfectant wipes to clean these surfaces and ensure that the room is safe. For extra protection, bring your linens and towels.
7. Ensure that the Room has enough ventilation
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the windows should be kept open for fresh air and increase ventilation as the risk of airborne transmission is higher with poor ventilation. While many hotel room windows cannot be opened, you should figure out if the hotel allows you to open the windows or if they have a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
8. Decline Housekeeping services to Minimize Contact
No doubt, the housekeeping staff must be taking added precautions but there is always a risk. There is no harm in being extra cautious, so skip the housekeeping service altogether. You can always request whatever you need to be kept outside your door.
9. Choose Room service rather than dining out
If you dine in your room, your contact with others will be limited, so room service would be a safer alternative than going to a restaurant. Dining within your room also has a dual advantage. Firstly, it is more comfortable and relaxing. Secondly, it can limit your contact with others. For added safety, you can always request a contactless delivery.
10. Avoid Common Hotel Facilities
Although the hotel may have opened all its facilities; it is advisable not to use all of them. Shared hotel amenities like a gym, spa and swimming pool will cause some serious problems as the use of masks may be quite challenging at such places. While exercising in a gym, if you wear a mask and others don’t then their respiratory secretions can go over greater distances. In the case of a swimming pool, the risk is higher so we recommend avoiding it.
Hotels are exhibiting efforts to ensure the safety of their guests, but much depends on you to follow the safety measures during your period of stay.