If there’s one thing I’ve missed most during the pandemic, it’s travel.  I daydream of wandering out for a weekend staycation, or spontaneously hopping on a plane to somewhere tropical. I’ve assumed hotels aren’t open during Coronavirus, and travel is off the table.

Last week, I cracked. I just had to get away. So I booked two nights at a small hotel in my college town. It was the most exciting. I wandered the campus, social-distanced with old friends, and just got out of my house! AND, I experienced first-hand how hotels are handling safety and sanitation during the pandemic.

Here’s what you can expect if you travel to a mid-level hotel, like my Best Western Plus (a Choice Hotels property).

Checkin

  • On the front door, there’s a sign indicating that masks are required in the public spaces of the hotel
  • Current County orders related to Coronavirus are also posted on the front door.
  • After you walk in, you’ll find a plexiglass shield installed on the check-in counter
  • Hand sanitizer is readily available at the check-in counter and near elevators and stairs.
  • I was able to use Apple Pay for a touchless payment experience. Android pay is also available.
  • I asked the front desk person about any closed amenities and cleaning protocol. See below.

Room Safety

  • Rooms sit empty for 24 hours after each guest before staff enters and cleans the room.
  • The day after the typical room cleaning, the staff comes back for a deep cleaning
  • The rooms sit empty again for a day before a new guest comes in
  • Staff is not allowed to enter the room while you are staying, so leave your dirty towels, used cups, and trash outside. They’ll replace them for you.
  • Robes, slippers, and remote controls were sealed in “freshness” bags to assure they’re unused since cleaning.

Amenities

  • Gyms, pools, restaurants, and bars are closed. We did find morning coffee available in the lobby.
  • At mealtimes, I was able to get takeout from nearby restaurants bring it back to my room.
  • I had a room with a coffee maker and a fridge so I could make my own meals.
  • Hand sanitizer was installed and available near elevators and stairs.

Tips:

  • Check our travel decision tree below to find out if you’re clear to travel.
  • Call ahead to find out if the hotel is open, and what protocols they’ve implemented. (Should be at least everything above.)
  • Don’t book through an online hotel booking site unless you’ve called first. Most hotels have not updated their info there.
  • Rates are really low, and they’re willing to give you even better deals if you call the hotel directly.

can I travel

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