New Standards in Hotel Stays Post Coronavirus

Has cabin fever got you down? Are you looking to book your next vacation for later this summer, during Thanksgiving, or pushing it out to 2021? If you are concerned about staying at a hotel and want to know what they are doing to ensure your safety, health and hygiene, this post should give you some good insight. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which represents the global Travel and Tourism private sector, has unveiled a range of new worldwide measures to restart the travel sector. Based on these mandates, hotels across the world are already making key changes before they reopen. Here’s what to expect…

Reduced Capacity

Though not required to do so, most hotels are planning to fill approximately 60% of their rooms. This will allow them to have more lag time between check-ins so they can thoroughly clean each room and apply more resources toward existing guests. Speculations are that cost of hotel per night will go up. However, more travelers will choose to stay longer at one destination.

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Use of Technology

You may not be walking up to a check-in desk, having small talk about how your journey was, and waiting for the agent to allocate your keys anymore. The WTTC encourages hotels to integrate technologies to enable automation. These are contactless check-ins, keyless entry, and automated payments.

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Cleaning

Extensive new cleaning practices are in place for protection against potential Covid-19 viruses. Before guests arrive, all rooms are deep cleaned. The same cleaning protocols are applied during every guest change over. The most frequently used areas, such as bathrooms, and most used devices and appliances like TV remote controls will receive particular attention. Disinfectant dispensers are placed throughout the property, especially at all important contact points. Some hotels will pre-schedule your housekeeping time.

IHG is offering individual guest amenity cleaning kits, as part of their  Clean Promise program launching on June 1, 2020. They will also appoint on-property Clean Champions to continue building the culture of clean instilled in IHG hotels around the world. 

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Limited Dine-In

To limit the number of guests in hotel restaurants, capacities will be significantly reduced. Tables are 6 feet apart. In order to provide sufficient space for all guests, the opening hours of restaurants and other hotel facilities will be extended. Everyone should use no-contact, delivery room service. Self-service offers, such as buffets, are reduced to a minimum. Wherever possible, food and beverages are served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.

Social Distancing

Signage and guidelines posted around the hotel will remind guests of social distancing rules. Marked paths in common areas and hallways will control the flow of traffic. In public areas, such as in the restaurants, corridors or gyms, all employees will keep a distance of 6 feet between them and the guests.

Personnel Training

The new protocols will be enforced with the staff first and training is underway. Daily temperature monitoring, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including handwashing and the use of masks and gloves will be practiced. Training by independent auditors is also likely.

Entertainment and activities

Many travelers enjoy using the spa, swimming pool, play golf, or watch live shows at resorts. For the next few months, only events involving a small number of participants and without close contact will be made available. Golf or tennis, for example, can take place, but football tournaments cannot. Spas are adapted so you or the therapist are the only people in the room fitted with HEPA filters. Childcare is organized to new standards. Such standards are in line with the requirements of the destinations and guests’ countries of origin.

Hotels, from MGM Resorts International to Marriott International are outlining their comprehensive health and safety protocols and procedures designed in conjunction with medical and scientific experts to deter the spread of the virus, protect customers and employees and rapidly respond to potential new cases. Make sure to check the website of the hotel for what they are doing, before booking your stay.

Always Travel With These 10 Things

Over the years I have gotten down packing to a science. Who am I kidding? I hate packing and find it to be the most dredging part about traveling. Having to decide what matching outfits, shoes, and jewelry to carry for 2 weeks that would be perfect for the weather, activities, and local culture consumes me.

However, there are a few items I have discovered that make travel easier and I never leave home without them.

1. THE BEST TRAVEL JEANS IN THE WORLD BY AVIATOR $98

This is my favorite pair of jeans ever, not just for travel. It is made of stretchable and breathable cotton, has hidden pockets to hide change, and loops for headphones. Best part is it looks really flattering!

2. POWERSHOT G9 X MARK II CAMERA BY CANON $529

I only recently discovered this camera and ditched my mirrorless Sony and Panasonic for it. The Powershot is so compact, it fits in my purse, so I don’t have to carry a seepage camera bag with all its attachments. And the 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor camera takes really good pictures, even in the dark.

Instead of carrying my Apple laptop charger, I now keep DART-C is, the World’s Smallest Laptop Charger ® in my carryon. It is four times smaller and lighter than chargers found on the market today.

Because I am often on very long flights, I keep all my chargers and essentially in my hand luggage. The Techaway Roll with its zipped compartments makes it easy to organize cords. It’s like your cosmetic bag for technology.

I am an over packer and frequent shopper, which can lead to overweight luggage problems. This compact scale can weigh your bags, as well as serve as a battery bank. Its dual functionality eliminates the need to carry two gadgets.

Because I am often traveling by myself I think about what safety precautions can be taken. I recently found this 1-oz ultra-compact siren that emits a 120-decibel alarm that can be heard up to 300 feet away. It is safer than carrying pepper sprays, although there are many pepper spray reviews to tell you which one is the best one to buy.

Aromaflage is probably the only product that repels mosquitoes that cause Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever, and smells good too! I always keep a small bottle of natural insect repellant (the size of a perfume sample) in my clutch that serves the dual purpose of insect repellant and fresh scent. While Aromaflage repels most insects, you should be wary of bringing any home with you in your luggage. You might want to check a site like https://www.pestcontrolexperts.com/local/louisiana/baton-rouge/ if you find your home infested after your travels.

When changing hotel rooms frequently, it can be tough to get a good night’s sleep. In addition to my personal Tempurpedic pillow, I have now started carrying this ultra-portable humidifier.

You never know when you need a lint roller, and this one is smaller than the size of a smart phone and has a protective cover so the sheets won’t dry out. Always have one in my suitcase.

10. ZIPTUCK™ REUSABLE TRAVEL BAGS BY FULL CIRCLE $5.99

If you are a smart traveler, you will store your liquid cosmetics, medicines and snacks in air tight plastic bags. Made of reusable FDA-Grade EVA material, air tight and dishwasher safe, these are the most sturdy, practical and environment friendly storage bags I have ever found.

Do you have a favorite travel product you always carry? Do share with me by leaving a comment below…

Debit card skimming and bank frauds

Wikipedia’s definition of skimming refers to a form of white-collar, a slang term that refers to taking cash “off the top” of the daily receipts of a business (or from any cash transaction involving a third interested party); the formal legal term is defalcation. Last fall, two brothers from Bulgaria were charged in U.S. federal court in New York with using stolen bank account information to defraud two banks of more than $1 million.

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