We’re glad that the country is opening up and Americans are going back on vacation and resuming travel after this difficult time.  Before you book a hotel room, it’s good to read what’s changed and what hasn’t about your staying away from home.  Vox has a very interesting article about all the ways that hotels used the pandemic to change and respond to changing demands from business and leisure travelers.

From contactless check-in to vending machine meals, chatbot concierges to heightened cleanliness certifications, it’s all part of the new normal for travel.

Gone are the days where a hotel receptionist will hand you a set of keys and point you to the elevator. Chains like Marriott, Hyatt, citizenM, and Hilton have all opted for contactless check-in. Most major hotel brands have invested heavily in digital keys, so the guest can skip the front desk and use their phone as a room key.

Nowadays, hotels have temperature checks at the front (some use thermal imaging cameras that read each guest’s body temperature).

There’s much more about how hotel dining, fitness, room temperature controls, and more have changed.  What hasn’t changed? Hotels are still a vector and reservoir for bed bugs.  Hotels attract by definition a largely transient population of visitors who can bring insects to and from these rooms, bed bugs hide incredibly well, bed bugs can wait long stretches to feed, and these hitchhiking insects like to move into people’s luggage and find new homes.

Enjoy your new travel experience.  But be warned- what’s old is still new- it’s best to be vigilant when you check into a hotel room, and to take steps not to bring home any critters from your stay at a property.  For Bell Environmental’s helpful advice on how to avoid bed bugs while traveling, download our free travel card.