The holiday season is coming: you’re busy, on the road, and getting things done.
There’s no guarantee that someone in your hotel has fallen sick, but since we’re getting into the thick of flu season (and nasty stomach bug season, to top it off), your chances of crossing paths with a virus might be higher.
With so many communal spaces in hotels, how can you protect yourself? Without meaning to push you into suffering from O.C.D, here are some tips to help avoid getting sick in a hotel, or just after you return home:
1) Reconsider Using the Pool
Swimming pools are a great space for bacteria. Especially if the area is kept well heated. If you truly want to stay clear of viruses, consider skipping that post-work dip and turn instead to relaxing in a hot bath in the tub.
2) Wipe Down All Machines With a Vengeance
It’s great to use the work out area to stay in shape and keep your routine going on the road, but beware: bacteria love the stepper.
If the hotel is providing disinfecting sprays or wipes, use them before you touch any of the equipment (who knows who was there before you,) and after, to protect everyone else from you.
(You have no symptoms- but you could still be carrying and spreading something).
3) When it Comes to Doors, Pretend You Have No Hands
We don’t mean to say that you shouldn’t open anything… but door handles are the best spot in the world to catch something. If it’s a door to push, use the side of your body to open it. If it has an electronic opener, tap that with an elbow to avoid contact. (Sounds crazy but you’ll thank us later!)
4) Also Wipe Down that Phone
It could be that the cleaning staff is wiping down the phone for each new guest- but it’s doubtful. With a schedule to keep and guests waiting, this is one mark on the check list that no one’s going to notice if it goes undone.
So, if you’re going to be making calls, best practice is to keep some Lysol wipes on hand, and use them.
5) And the Keyboard
Speaking of Lysol wipes, you’d be wise to use them on that keyboard in the lobby, as well.
Whether you’re checking the weather, your flight, local attractions or just plain old email, infectious bacteria and viruses will still love your fingers. And cling to them- and then you’ll scratch your face, or rub your eyes.
If you’re using a public workstation, keep in the clear and wipe away- even the mouse.
6) Keep Hand Sanitizer in Your Pocket
Hand sanitizer doesn’t do as great a job at getting germs off of your hands as soap and water does, but it’s good to keep some at hand.
If you MUST open doors by touching them with your hands, and you HAVE TO use the workstation in the lobby and REFUSE to be seen wiping it down with Lysol wipes, use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer just after these activities.
This can reduce your risk of being exposed to something that’s going to put you out for the rest of the week.
You may call it being a worrywart, but we call it good practices for winter traveling.
Remember: those bacteria love the warmth of the front lobby as much as you do-but they don’t need to become a semi-permanent part of your body’s biome, (even if they think they should).