Now that the holiday season is upon us, it is time for many people to prepare their travel plans, e.g. B. where you want to stay overnight. Recently, TikTok user Halee (@haleewithaflair) shared a helpful tip on how to check your hotel room for…unwanted guests.
The video actually duets a family of three who recently stayed in a room infested with bed bugs. Halee has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years, owns a hotel sales support company, so she checks her own rooms before settling in.
“This is how you should check your hotel room before you even unpack,” Halee begins. “The first thing you want to do is make sure your room is dark: turn off the lights, close all the blinds, and use the flashlight on your phone. And while everything is off, you’re going to emerge from under the covers here… you’re going to check out all the creases here on the bed [bed bugs] usually like to hang around in the corners and the folds. Also, make sure there is a mattress topper.”
Halee adds, “Even if you don’t see any flaws, make sure you check for smudges. [Even] Blood stains, because that’s not a good sign either.” Blood stains are a common indication that bed bugs are around, as the stains are actually the bed bug’s blood-filled excrement, typically in areas like beds or sofas where bed bugs can be found .
Halee’s video currently has 5.2 million views, 788.3k likes and an active comments section.
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Because they feed on things that are asleep, they are commonly found in places like the bedroom, on the mattress, and even places like hotel rooms. They are known for their reddish brown color and flat shape. The CDC said that bed bugs tend to live within “8 feet of where people sleep,” but noted that, contrary to popular belief, the presence of bed bugs in a room doesn’t necessarily mean the room is dirtier is than others.
People often bring bed bugs into their homes or hotel rooms from other locations through their belongings, such as purses and luggage. If an uninfested item is placed on top of something that has an infestation, like a sofa or bed, the bugs can attach themselves to the uninfested item and stay there after you move the items to a secondary location that can allow them spread.
I spoke to Halee, a hospitality professional with a degree in Travel Tourism Hospitality. Halee explained that while they focused on checking the hotel room mattress in their video, you should also check any sofas or curtains, adding, “In my 15+ years of working with hundreds of hotels at this point.” have worked together, I have personally [only seen] one outside of a mattress.
With 15 years of experience, Haley began her career in the industry as a housekeeper and now owns her own hotel sales support company. During that time she found out that the biggest misconception about bed bugs in hotels is that they are only found in run-down hotels. She explained, “People think that [bed bugs] are in shady economy-style hotels — [but] You can find them everywhere. They’re brought in by people, and how a hotel handles that is a whole different story.”
First of all, if you think you’ve found a bed bug in your hotel room, I’m sorry, but Halee advised that you’re within reach to call the front desk and request a new room. She said: “In theory, I think it’s okay to get a new room. I would personally ask for a room on the other side of the hotel’ as the bugs may have traveled beyond that room. Stressing the importance of getting checked out as soon as you enter the hotel room, she said: “Take your photos in the room. Then go to the front desk and say, “I just checked into my room. That’s in. Can you look at that too and inspect it?”
But as helpful as Halee’s video is, she also suggested that fear of bed bugs shouldn’t put you off booking a hotel, since they’re not as common as people think. She said: “I don’t think it’s that big of a problem. People commented on my video [saying]: ‘I bring my own sheets everywhere.’ I don’t think that’s whole [necessary] — but whatever you’re comfortable with.” Ultimately, Halee said, the best chance of getting a good hotel room is in the planning process—reviews. Although, as I said, it can happen anywhere. When you see a hotel rated two out of five stars – and cleanliness issues [mentioned] consistently on their reviews – this is probably not the best place to stay.”
And if you don’t get the help you need, Halee offers that trick too. She said: “If you get into a situation where you’re not getting the help that you should be, because let’s face it, not everyone is as gracious as they are to help when they’re at work as others are. One of the best solutions, If the general manager doesn’t help as well, of course he wants to find out who owns this hotel. Most hotels in this country are franchisees and owned by management companies or individual owners.” However, if you contact the company or individual owner, you are more likely to get help.
Halee said she didn’t expect her video to explode like this, but she mostly makes videos on her account for educational purposes. She said: “Hoteliers can be very subjective and assume the public should just know [these things]. And I often forget that myself. They don’t know unless you educate them and tell them – and that was my approach.
You can follow Halee on TikTok here.
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