The thought of sleeping in a hotel room — where countless people have stayed before you — may hold little appeal right now. But take heart: Whether you need to travel for essential reasons or are starting to plan for upcoming adventures, there are steps you can take — and questions you can ask — to help ensure the safe and enjoyable hotel stays.
While packing a heavy set of bed sheets in your suitcase might seem a bit extreme, some travelers do bring their linens with them when they travel. There are several reasons why you might want to do the same or bring a travel blanket. (Boston Global, 2020)
Sensitive Skin or Allergies
Travelers with allergies to bleach, perfumes, or soaps at times, cannot use hotel sheets or cruise ship bed linens because they are washed in strong detergent. It is far easier to bring bed linens, or a travel blanket from home washed in the laundry detergent of your choice than to endure a skin rash.
Motel/ Rented Farm Houses / Houseboat Stays
Unlike hotels and cruise ships which provide bed linens, rented properties, houseboats, and recreational vehicles usually do not.
It’s always recommended to find out whether you need to bring your bed linens when you make your reservation, and be sure to inquire about bed sizes.
Some travelers choose flannel or jersey sheets and pillowcases because those fabrics provide extra warmth and light in carrying. This is especially important if you prefer not to sleep under your hotel’s bedspread and blankets. (RD, 2020)
Cleanliness Concerns Are High Priority
Bed bug infestations are big news, and some travelers believe that their bed linens are best because they are clean and will protect them from bed bug bites. This is not true!
Your sheets and pillowcases are guaranteed to be clean, provided you have washed them. If your hotel room has bedbugs, you will be bitten regardless of which bed linens you use.
Of course, nearly all hotels and cruise lines strive to provide clean, comfortable beds, but if worrying about lodging bed linens will ruin your vacation, packing your sheets and pillowcases is a good idea will feel reassuring.
Sometimes having all the comforts of home can make a vacation even more relaxing. If you enjoy sleeping between satin sheets or have developed an addiction to cotton bed linens, you might just get more rest if you bring your bedding on your trip.
If you are sensitive or allergic to laundry detergents and fabric softeners, consider washing the hotel or cruise ship (of more than a week-long duration) bed linens with detergents you can tolerate, on the first day of your trip. (Trip Savvy, 2020)
- You can pack liquid detergent in your carry-on bag as long as it is stored in three-ounce bottles. You can also pack liquid detergent in your checked baggage if you take precautions against leakage.
- On an ocean cruise, self-service laundry facilities are usually available. On land, consider staying at a hotel that offers self-service laundry to its guests.
- Another way to cope with bed linen issues is to buy new sheets and pillowcases at your destination (Recommended if your stay is more than 2 weeks or cruise for weeks). This will save you from making your suitcase heavy or getting triggered on extra charges from your airline.
- Alternatively, you can buy a silk sleep sack and pillowcase. They will effectively protect you from contact with hotel sheets. Sleep sacks pack small and weigh next to nothing, so they are a good alternative for travelers who wants to avoid dealing with luggage restrictions.
Whether you book a room yourself through the hotel or a third-party site, it is advisable to call the hotel first to find out what it has done to make the space as safe as possible and ask if the hotel has incorporated extra cleaning protocols to disinfect high-touch surfaces around the property and in guestrooms.
Many major hotels, such as the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotel Group, and Accor, now use electrostatic sprayers with hospital-quality disinfectant to sanitize guestrooms and public spaces.
Peace of Mind
While there is nothing to do to prevent germs in common areas, doors and furniture, hotels and guest lodging establishments are being hyper-vigilant about room cleanliness as we navigate the uncertainties of COVID. We’ll never look at travel in the same way. Pillows, sheets and pillowcases receive the most intimate use while staying away from home. A little planning will go a long way to giving you peace of mind when traveling.
Bodnarchuk, Kari. “How to Make Sure Your Next Hotel Stay Is a Safe One – The Boston Globe.” N.p., 13 May 2020. Web. 21 Aug. 2020. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/13/lifestyle/how-make-sure-your-next-hotel-stay-is-safe-one/
Grant, Cheryl S., and Emily DiNuzzo. “How Bad Is It to Not Wash Your Sheets Every Week?” Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest, 24 June 2020. Web. 21 Aug. 2020. https://www.rd.com/article/washing-bed-sheets/
Parode, Nancy. “Should You Bring Your Own Bed Sheets on Your Next Trip?” TripSavvy. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2020. https://www.tripsavvy.com/should-you-bring-your-own-bed-sheets-2973040