As the holidays approach, you’ll be preparing for travel, making the rounds to friends and family who spread out across the country. It’s time for your to-do list, checking off all of the things you must take care of before you can begin your journey. Don’t forget to take precautions to avoid bed bugs during your travels. These pesky insects are the last kind of guest you ever want to bring home upon your return. Carry a few in your luggage and you’ll have a full-blown infestation on your hands. These tips will help you to keep the bed bugs away when you are away from home.

Protect Yourself

You need to understand that bed bugs are not picky. They can show up anywhere, whether it’s a classy hotel or your grandmother’s house. Even the cleanest place you know could have a bed bug invasion. It just takes one person to carry them in. You can protect yourself from the possibility of becoming a carrier by purchasing a liner for your luggage that is designed to keep bed bugs out. You can also bring your own pillowcase designed for the same purpose to put on your pillow at a hotel. Bring your own pillow with your special pillowcase already in place for an added measure of protection. Laundry bags are available as well to keep your clothing free of bed bugs. It’s a small investment that can give you peace of mind.

Do an Inspection Upon Arrival

When you first arrive at your hotel, you need to thoroughly check your room. Although bed bugs are tiny and hard to detect, they will leave evidence, and hotels tend to be their playground. With so many people coming and going, it is hard for staff to eliminate the problem. If you find any of these troublesome creatures, alive or dead, you’ll want to notify management. Another sign of bed bugs includes small, brown stains in the bedding that would indicate blood. The spots will be tiny, meaning you will really have to check carefully. If there is a major infestation, you’ll notice a smell that will remind you of something extremely sweet, like the syrup in soda. Bed bugs only come out at night. The rest of the time, they’re hiding in tiny crevasses in the mattresses, the sheets, cracks in the wall, or the furniture. Pull out your flashlight and examine all of these spots where bed bugs tend to gather. If you find any, you’re going to want to look for another place to stay.

Use the Luggage Rack

If your room passes inspection, don’t take any chances. Take advantage of a luggage rack and keep your bags off of the floor. Don’t prop it against the wall either. If there are any bed bugs that have taken up residence in the wallpaper or any other gaps, you are less likely to pick up unwanted travelers.

Inspect Your Belongings When You Get Home

Once you return home, unpack your special laundry bag and luggage outside of your home, such as in the garage. Launder everything immediately on a high setting in your washer and dryer. Check your luggage as well. You can cleanse it thoroughly and leave it outside if it is cold or blow dry it with your hairdryer after a cleaning as an added precaution. Take these steps to make your holidays merrier when the bed bugs stay away.