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£14 hotel hack can save you from dirty sheets – plus 4 more flight attendant tips | Travel News | Travel


Hotel cleaner in hallway

A former hotel worker revealed some secrets about her time working in the industry (Image: Getty Images)

Whether you’ve found one of the best Travelodge deals or are splurging on a luxury hotel stay, checking into a hotel is supposed to be your time to relax, with the accommodation acting as a home away from home during your travels.

However, unlike in your own home, there are some variables that are out of your control.

In the majority of hotels, guest comfort is paramount, and there is typically always someone on hand to ensure you are well looked after throughout your stay.

But according to some flight attendants and former hotel workers, there are a few things that can slip through the cracks at hotels around the world.

From dirt and germs to protecting your room from break-ins, we’ve rounded up some top hotel tips from travel industry insiders.

Make sure your hotel sheets are always clean

The bed is the heart of a hotel room, and once checked in, most guests can’t help but sink into the soft, fluffy pillows. However, in some cases, even the whitest of sheets could be hiding some dirty secrets.

A former hotel worker has claimed that bedding isn’t always changed after every single hotel guest but has a £14 tip up her sleeve to protect you from any hidden dirt or grime which may be left behind.

According to the worker, who shares secrets of the industry on TikTok, not every bed is freshly changed before a new guest arrives. With « seven years' » of experience working in hotels, the woman who shares videos to her TikTok page @hotel_hacks_ explained that limited time to clean rooms means that, occasionally, some hotel staff will cut corners where they can.

« Housekeepers only get 30 minutes to clean a room and 45 minutes to clean a suite, » she told viewers. « Do you really think they have time to clean every single sheet and every single towel after every single guest? »

If the bedding looks clean and the bed looks untouched, the worker explained: « Something like this they’re not going to touch it. The only thing they will do is tuck those corners in really tight so you can’t move when you’re trying to go to sleep. »

But, if a bed looks dirty or like someone has touched it « they’re definitely going to clean, » she clarified.

« Most hotels outsource their laundry and it’s just way too costly to do that after every guest, » she explained. « So here is a tip, you can ask the front desk for fresh and clean linens at check-in or bring your own. »

This is where disposable hotel linen comes in. While it might sound bizarre, there are actually a couple of disposable hotel bedding options available to buy on Amazon.

Most come with sheets and pillows and claim to be made of « soft » and « breathable » materials. The bedding also is packed in compact packaging which means it can be easily slipped into your suitcase or hand luggage, and is especially recommended for those staying in hostels.

Despite the claims made by @hotel_hacks_, some industry workers disputed these in the comments section below her video. One former hotel employee wrote: « This isn’t true I have been in housekeeping In Vegas properties for 15 years….the sheets get changed [and] they inspect the rooms. »

Secure your hotel room door

While hotel rooms can only be accessed by a key and even have secondary locks which can be secured from the inside, a flight attendant has urged people to take extra precautions when travelling in a new or unknown location. Seasoned flight attendant Cici, who shares her travel hacks on TikTok page @cici.inthesky, said she always adds her own additional layer of protection to ensure no one can get into her room.

In a video, Cici explained how hotel rooms can be easily accessed if the privacy lock is pulled. This is typically used in the event of a fire to get guests out of their rooms quickly and safely.

The flight attendant’s solution is to use a coat hanger. She places one hanger on the latch at the top of the hotel room door, while a second hanger is hooked onto the first hanger but is secured onto the door handle.

She explained she uses this method “to prevent people from using a wire to pull down the handle, or a tool to open up the [door].”

Of course, if you don’t want to try out her hack, there are other ways to add an extra layer of protection to your hotel room’s security.

Travel door alarms can be purchased on Amazon, and typically use motion sensors to detect whether someone is trying to get into your room. It could provide the extra peace of mind needed for anyone worried about staying in a hostel or hotel.

Protect yourself from hidden germs

If the pandemic taught us anything, it is how quickly germs can spread. Though hotel rooms are cleaned between guests, flight attendants have warned you can’t always be sure just how thoroughly each surface has been cleaned.

In the midst of the pandemic, experts from UpgradedPoints conducted research to discover some of the dirtiest places in hotels, discovering that the average hotel door handle has « 918 times more germs than a household toilet seat ».

With this in mind, Jane Hawkes, a consumer travel expert and a former flight attendant, says that cleaning is one of her first actions when she checks into a hotel.

Hotel worker wiping handle

A study found a high number of germs on certain hotel door handles (Image: Getty Images)

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Jane explained: « When you first enter your hotel room, wipe down the most touched areas, for example, light switches, door handles, chairs, desks, phone, kettle and of course the remote control. »

Similarly, flight attendant Kat Kamalani, who shares TikTok videos about her experience working for a US airline, urged people not to touch key parts of the hotel room, including the TV remote, before wiping them down.

She said: « These remotes are seeing so many hands with how many people are staying in the hotel room and you have no clue if they are being sanitised. »

The good news is, a handy pack of antibacterial wipes can be a quick and effective way to combat any lingering germs.

Of course, the hotel room isn’t the only area which may be harbouring germs. According to the research by UpgradedPoints, overall, the average hotel elevator button has 1,477 times more germs than the average household bathroom door handle and 737 times more germs than a household toilet seat.

Jane added: “Always sanitise your hands after pressing lift buttons too as the average hotel life button has 737 times more germs than a household toilet. »

Luckily, hand sanitiser is a quick and easy way to clean away any unwanted germs if you aren’t close to any hand washing facilities. 

If you are jetting off overseas, make sure your hand sanitiser is in a 100ml travel-sized container if you hope to carry it in your hand luggage.

Never do this one thing at check-in

As well as steps to take to secure your hotel room, former cabin crew member Kat Kamalani revealed the one thing she urges hotel guests to « never do ». 

Speaking in another of her viral TikTok videos, Kat said: « Never say your room number out loud just in case there’s anyone around and you don’t want them knowing where you’re staying. »

If you do happen to say your room number loudly in the wrong company, you could inadvertently lead someone to your room.

“Always make sure there’s no one behind you when going into your room,” Kamalani added.

Flight attendant in hotel

Flight attendants are well versed in staying safe while travelling the world (Image: Getty Images)

Keep your belongings safe

The likelihood of your hotel room being broken into is slim, but despite the odds, there are occasions when personal belongings can be stolen. And that’s where travel insurance comes in.

Regardless of where you are travelling to, travel insurance is an essential addition to your trip which should be purchased at the time of booking.

Former flight attendant Jane told Express.co.uk: « Ensure you have travel insurance with baggage-related cover so you can get compensation for your belongings if they are damaged, stolen or lost. » Although this type of cover is usually included as part of a standard travel insurance policy, it’s important to check the small print as how much cover you get will depend on your provider and policy.

Jane added: “Take photographs of the contents of your case and make an inventory with costs prior to travel so that the process is easier should you need to make a claim.”

Travel insurance policies will vary, and some offer different options to cater for specific needs.





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