Q – The little woman and I are off on a land tour in Vietnam we booked with an online agency in the country. It will include two day cruises and four cities beginning in Ho Chi Minh City. We’re excited by my wife is a germophile and wants me to ask you the secrets of checking for bedbugs in hotel rooms. What do you do? We are not staying at the Four, or even the “Three” Seasons. I am sure your followers would appreciate this information as you’ve scared most of us away from hotels of questionable pedigree.
A – We didn’t quite understand how your wife’s “height” enters into your question. We recommend that you follow our Four-Step Bedbug Program:
- Pick up the mattresses and look under them paying particular attention to the edges of the box springs.
- Literally look under the box spring, a common area of infestation.
- Look behind the headboard and try to remove it. Look carefully at the hole where the headboard was fitted. Inspect all edges of the headboard.
- Never put any of your clothes in the room’s dresser drawers. Follow our previous advice about cleaning your luggage and keep your clothes in your luggage during your stay. Bring empty tall kitchen bags with ties for your dirty clothes.
Because hotel chains are among the heaviest travel media advertisers, consumers are rarely given information about this serious and growing problem. It is perfectly appropriate to contact the hotels you have booked to inquire about how often bedding is changed or cleaned.
When you see really low nightly room rates on the various hotel sites, ask yourself where they are cutting back. Housekeeping and security are two of the most frequent answers. And the one unstated but obvious observation is that the lower rate hotels tend to attract those with the highest likelihood of poor hygiene.
We apologize for sounding negative and scaring folks away from cheap hotels. The fact is that the top-tier hotels cannot comment on these issues and we think our readers need to hear it.