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How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

hotel room bed, pillow, travel

These days, travel is part of our daily life, and I don’t just mean commuting, although some of us do endure tediously long trips to work! I mean journeys that take a day or two (or more) and include sleeping in a hotel or motel, a bed & breakfast or an AirBnB, perhaps a conference center or a rented apartment. In any event, not at home.

Of course, staying in any of these places always requires a leap of faith, however luxurious or Spartan your choice is. In my travels I’ve found that appearances definitely can be deceptive: expensive, well-appointed accommodation can be harbour all sorts of unpleasant things; while the Spartan can be clean, comfortable, and quiet.

But, no matter which type of accommodation you choose, be prepared for the fact that your room may already have guests ̶ unwanted fellow travellers who have preceded you. That is, bed bugs!

Actually, there are good reasons to believe that it is precisely because of our increased mobility ̶ both nationally and internationally ̶ that we have seen an enormous increase in the global bed bug population. What makes things more complicated, for we humans at least, is that getting rid of bed bugs is hard and these buggers are superb ‘hitchhikers’. They’ll find their way into almost any place we inhabit via clothing, backpacks and suitcases, even you!

But things get worse, I’m sorry to say. Bed bugs live on the blood of other animals, and they do seem to have a preference for us. Research tells us that bed bugs usually remain within ten feet from where we, their human hosts, sleep.

So, wherever you’re going to travel, and wherever you’re going to stay, here are the three ‘stages’ you should keep in mind before you leave:

1. Things to Do Before You Go

Find out all you can about your intended destination

Before you commit to a particular hotel or motel, etc, do your research. Check out every option, investigate every possibility, and read every review and/or customer comment you can about the place you have in mind. However, if you uncover negative feedback about a particular destination, it may just stem from a dissatisfied guest who wants to damage the reputation of the hotel/motel. Happens all the time!

Contact your hotel, motel or Airbnb directly