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Airlines, hotels, resorts, and tourist attractions are showcasing the different ways they’re taking measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety in the wake of COVID-19. Even so, there’s no doubt many of us are a bit extra cautious — especially as we continue to adapt to the “new normal” way of life. 

As travel slowly commences once again (the CDC still recommends staying put for a while), it’s essential to remain vigilant and not let your guard down should you decide to take a trip during this time. 

Considering hotels are a revolving door for people worldwide, you’re going to want to learn how to sanitize a hotel room even if there are strict cleaning policies in place — because you just never know. Don’t worry; you don’t have to sport a hazmat suit and pack a week’s worth of cleaning supplies in your suitcase. It only takes a few extra precautions to disinfect a hotel room — here’s how. 

Have a Chat With the Hotel Regarding Sanitation Protocols 

Sure, most hotels say they have protocols in place, but what are they? Don’t be afraid to ask questions so that it’s clear what measures they’re taking to ensure your health and safety. For example, are they using traditional hotel-quality cleaning supplies, or did they up the ante with a spray machine that distributes an EPA-registered disinfectant as well as a diffuser to kill airborne pathogens? If not, bring your own as both surfaces and the air you’re breathing in need to be addressed. 

You also may want to ask the hotel to remove “high touch” items such as the bedspread and accent pillows before your arrival, and don’t be embarrassed to ask how long it was before someone stayed in the room before you. 

Sanitize Your Luggage

Before bringing your luggage and personal belongings into the hotel room, make sure everything is sanitized correctly — especially if it’s been tossed around on the cargo of a plane and the baggage drop-off/pickup. Wipe down or spray every piece from handles to zippers to the wheels. Briggs & Riley has hard shell and soft luggage, both of which are easy to keep clean

Don’t Rely on In-Room Amenities 

While it’s easier to use hotel shampoo, shower gel, and other essential toiletries, bring your own travel-sized amenities to avoid touching items that were likely in a lot of hands before yours. Other things you may want to consider packing include plastic cups and cutlery, pillowcases, and a washcloth. As for everything else, sanitize, sanitize — which brings us to our next point.

How to Disinfect a Hotel Room

Take a good look around your room, consider all of the high touch points you’ll be in contact with, and then sanitize them regularly. Remember, you’re not going to be in the room the entire time; you’ll be elsewhere in contact with other people, places, and things, so a one-time sanitation job isn’t going to cut it. Not to mention, the cleaning crew may be in your room daily. Here’s a general list of items to wipe down, but since each room and hotel is different, use your best judgment during the sanitation process. 


  • Door knobs/handles on both sides and in all rooms
  • Door lock(s)
  • The headboard of the bed
  • Any tables and chairs you plan on sitting at/on (including nightstands)
  • Television and radio remote controls
  • Lamp/light switches
  • Countertops
  • Showerhead, rails, and floor
  • Toilet seat and flusher
  • Room key
  • Alarm clock
  • Hotel phone
  • Curtain pull
  • Your shoes each time you walk back into your room

Staying Healthy and Safe: The Bottom Line

As you keep your hotel room sanitized, continue to practice social distancing measures, thoroughly wash your hands regularly (Happy Birthday twice, everyone), wear your mask and, and keep hand sanitizer with you at all times. If something in your room doesn’t look or feel clean, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your goal is to sanitize as a protective measure — not to do the hotel’s job of keeping the room tidy. 




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