Holidaymakers picking up more than just a tan on holiday

30 April 2013

Poor standards of hygiene making travellers sick on their summer holidays

We all look forward to our holidays and the last thing we want is to get sick from a bug left behind from the previous occupants of our room.  Whilst most germs are harmless and wont effect us there are germs lurking that could leave us under the weather for a few days.

Germy hotel rooms

Sharing the  previous guests germs - Even in the nicest of hotel rooms

Cleaner in our suitcases

Many holidaymakers are now taking their own disinfectant wipes away with them, this may seem like a drastic step especially as hotels have cleaners who clean on a daily basis, but unfortunately the cleaning that takes place isn't always effective as the staff do not have the time to clean and sanitise all the surfaces, indeed many of the established germ hotspots do not get cleaned at all.

Couple this with the fact that not all hotels will be using a good bactericidal spray and you have a room that may look very clean and tidy but at the same time swarming with a whole array of germs.

Increasingly, travellers are simply slipping a pack or two of surface wipes/disinfectants into their suitcases and on arrival carrying out a quick wipe over of the surfaces in their room.

If the people who stayed in the room before you had a cold or sickness bug there is a good chance that they have left these germs behind on one of the many surfaces that you undoubtably will be contacting with and who wants to spend their holiday time feeling under the weather or even bound to their room with a sickness bug.

Hotel Germy Hotspots

  1. The remote control
  2. Door handles
  3. Complimentary hairdryer
  4. Kettle
  5. Light switches
  6. Shower floors
  7. Jacuzzi baths
  8. Alarm clocks
  9. Safe keypads

For families with young children a particular area to be aware of is the highchairs, they will be in constant use and often not cleaned in between users, the food debris being left behind will be encouraging the rapid growth of bacteria not to mention the warm tempreatures in warmer countries providing perfect habitats for germs.

High chairs will need cleaning with disinfectant wipes to kill any germs that may be lurking along with tables that the kids may be touching - kids tend to put their hands in their mouths and to their faces much more than grown ups leaving them more at risk of picking something up and getting sick. Proper use of effective cleaning supplies can stop the transfer of these germs.

Bathrooms tend to be reasonably hygienic as they are cleaned regularly, its the areas mentioned above which may not form a part of the cleaners cleaning schedule - carpets for example, will not be cleaned untill stains start to show through consequently they can be harbouring huge numbers of bacteria - studies have shown carpets to be on average 4000 times germier than toilet seats when swabbed.

Remote controls tend to be a major hand contact point leading to cross contamination but here we have some good news for travellers - The US service provider Lodgenet Interactive who provide in room on demand TV services has recently launched a free mobile app that allows guests to use their own smartphones or tablets to control the TV in their rooms - eliminating the need for guests to have to handle the germy remote controls.

Some holidaymakers even go out to buy bleach to flush through their jacuzzi bath before using and were shocked by how much black mould they saw coming from the pipes, Mr Paul Prime from Derbyshire says "We had just arrived in our hotel in Florida and the room didnt look that clean so we went straight to the supermarket for cleaning supplies - the black mould just shows how poor the hygiene levels were and we complained to the management"

Another traveller holidaying in a 5 star hotel in Egypt was shocked to come back from the pool to find the cleaner washing their tea cups in the bidet.  Mr Watters from Glasgow says "We couldnt believe what we seeing and could understand now why so many people including our toddler were suffering with sickness bugs - as you can imagine it put us off the place"

We certainly aren't suggesting travellers carry out a deep cleaning operation when they are supposed to be relaxing but a little time spent wiping the surfaces mentioned could help keep you well on your holidays and avoid any downtime.

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