If you travel as much as I do, that moment when you open a hotel room door and drag yourself inside can bring about that feeling of…

relax(Ahhh….)

The journey is over as are the various stresses that come with going from one place to another. You can take a nice, deep breath, turn on the TV, and maybe take a nice hot shower or bath.

But, thanks to a recent article from the website Travelmath.com, you might want to forego all of those activities unless of course, you’re wearing this….

hazmat(Could this look more ominous?)

The site wanted to look at the microbial contamination of hotel rooms and reached out to a testing laboratory to help them find out. A variety of objects were swabbed, such as the remote, the bathroom counter, the desk, and the phone. The swabs were cultured for microbial number and type. Basically it was…

cup(Standard Microbiology…)

The group examined several hotels ranging from three-star to five-star ratings hoping to find differences between the different scales of comfort. When it was all said and done, they reported the results as follows…

(You can see where this is going…)

Not surprisingly, hotel rooms were covered in germs. In some instances, over 1 million were collected per square inch (for you metric folks, that’s about 180,000 per square centimetre). The worst was the bathroom counter but it was closely followed by something almost everyone uses…

remote(The remote control…)

But this wasn’t the biggest shock. That came when the levels of microbes were compared between the different ratings. The cleanest remotes happened to be in three-star hotels. The five-star had well over 2 million bacteria…

jerry
(Yeah, I know…)

Similar differences were seen for other surfaces as well. All things being considered, the numbers suggest a three-star hotel would be better for your health as well as your wallet.

Yet this wasn’t the whole story. When the microbial types were analyzed, the three-star rooms appeared to have more diversity among the lower numbers. As for the five-star, only a few types were isolated but in very high concentrations.

I know what you’re thinking…

farquaad(Or some other reasonable facsimile…)

The answer most likely lies in the difference between the way three-star and five-star hotels are maintained. The lower ratings are usually capable of having fresh air through windows while many five-star hotels only use recirculated air. This would account for the difference in both diversity (open windows) and numbers (higher concentrations in ventilation).

It may seem like a no-win situation leaving anyone checking into a hotel facing what could best be described as a…

crap-shoot(Health crap shoot…)

But don’t start counting your unlucky rolls just yet. While the information does seem to suggest there may be a risk for infection, there was one small, tiny piece of data missing from the study…

scream(ARE THEY INFECTIOUS?)

That question was never answered. However, many of the types mentioned were environmental in nature and thus harmless. Most appeared to be good old-fashioned human bacteria, which pose little threat to others. Any apparent risk was low at best.

There was one saving grace to this article. The site did recommend people wash their hands often and also bring along disinfectant wipes. Both of these suggestions are excellent and should be a part of anyone’s travel activities. I always have wipes, sanitizer, and of course my scarf because…

mask-scarf(It’s fashionable and gets no extra attention at airport security!)

If you happen to be travelling, you might want to make these items a part of your everyday necessities. If you happen to be spending some time waiting, you may also want to have this…

germ-files(You never know when you’ll run into me and I always have my pen)

If you want to read the entire article on hotel germs, you can find it here: What are the germiest surfaces in hotel rooms?

Advertisements