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All You Germaphobes - Listen Up!
March 23, 2011 @ 08:52 AM | By Sara Steele

One out of every five adults travel for business—averaging about three nights per trip, five times per year. After a long day at work, most travelers need a nice place to unwind and rest their eyes. But, what many don’t realize is that with all this coming and going, hotel rooms may not be as clean as you want to believe.

Sure, the sheets are washed regularly, but not the bedspread which is breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Unwanted guests have even been known to live in many hotel rooms–that’s right, bed bugs! The most used item in the room is the remote control and you know most people don’t wash their hands before turning on the TV.

So, what can you do to avoid these germs and keep them out of your life? Well, for starters you can skip the business trip altogether and meet virtually through InterCall’s audio, web, and video conferencing solutions. That way you can sleep in your own germ-free bedroom and use a computer and phone that have not been contaminated by a stranger’s dirty fingers.

But when the trip is necessary, there are several pre-cautions that germaphobes can take to avoid (some of) the germs that infest these hotel rooms. Here are a few tips, as provided in Management Report Center’s Business Travel Guide for Germaphobes:

  1. Pay more, get more. Higher-priced hotels offer better services and amenities and hopefully have better trained housekeeping staff who take better care of guest rooms.
  2. Remove bed spreads and blankets. Most hotels wash the sheets after every guest but usually not the bedspreads and blankets. Think about all the people who have slept under those blankets before you and what ‘substances’ they may have left behind.
  3. Avoid using the coffee pot. If you really need a cup of coffee, make a trip to a local Starbucks. You never know how sanitary the coffee pot is or the last time it was washed.
  4. Skip the ice bucket. It’s nice that hotels offer guests ice buckets, but germaphobes may want to think twice. Was the ice bucket ever used as a barf bucket or an ash tray?
  5. Disinfect everything you touch. Antibacterial wipes are a germaphobe’s best-friend and are a must-have in hotel rooms. Wipe down every surface you come in contact with, such as door knobs, light switches, key cards and the remote control.

Is that enough to make you want to stay home? Got any hotel horror stories you want to share?

Sara SteeleSara Steele is an associate marketing manager at InterCall responsible for various corporate communication initiatives; including social media and channel marketing efforts. Sara began working with InterCall after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2006. In her free time, she enjoys running, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

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