December 2, 2023

COVID travel safety: questions for hotels and rentals

Whether you’re renting a home or staying at a hotel, there are things you should…

COVID travel safety: questions for hotels and rentals

Whether you’re renting a home or staying at a hotel, there are things you should know when you get to where you’re going.

CLEVELAND — Editor’s note: the video in the player above is from a story published on March 17, 2021. 

With increases in coronavirus cases and people traveling, we’ve talked a lot about what to do to stay safe while traveling. But what about when you get to where you’re going? Whether it’s a hotel or home rental there are some important questions you should ask. 

First, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still recommending against non-essential travel because it, “increases your chances of getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others,” according to NBC Medical Correspondent Dr. John Torres.

But with scenes like the ones in Miami during spring break, many don’t seem to care. So if you’re going to be traveling here are some ways to lower your risk when it comes to lodgings.

RELATED: Tips to stay safe if you must travel during the pandemic

Before you book a rental home, ask how the property is being cleaned and disinfected. The team at Top Mops, which clean about 80 rentals in vacation hot spot the Carolinas say they start with the touchpoints by, “spraying all the light switches, buttons, oven doors, the refrigerator door, remote controls.” Top Mops owner Kristin Bray says they also take care of hangers, blow dryers and bed frames. 

If you’re staying in a hotel, be prepared to do it yourself. Wherever you stay, ask how they clean the bedding. Sheets are supposed to be washed between guests, but comforters and blankets often are not; though some property owners now space bookings to allow for that.

RELATED: GOP lawmaker wants to outlaw ‘vaccine passports’ in Ohio

“Previous years they would have what’s called a back to back,” Bray said. “So, someone would check out at 10 a.m. and a new family would move in around 3 p.m. and some of our hosts are putting several days in between.” Or you could do what Bray does, and bring your own bedding.

In a hotel, you might want to cancel room service altogether, to limit the number of people in your room. And if your place has a kitchen, consider washing dishes and utensils before using them.

Lastly, ask about the amenities, like whether beach chairs, bikes and games will still be available. If so, wipe them down with your own disinfectant, whether at home or a hotel.

And remember, a negative COVID-19 test before your trip doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. Symptoms might not show for up to two weeks, so still be cautious.

Editor’s note: The video in the player below is from a story published on March 23, 2021.