One of my greatest fears while traveling is finding bed bugs in my hotel. I’ve read too many horror stories, mostly on Reddit, that detail the living hell that is bed bugs.
They’re difficult to get rid of, painfully itchy and, according to many who have dealth with them, cause psychological distress. The fear that you didn’t really eliminated the bed bugs never quite leaves. It’s utterly stressful.
Needless to say, I’ve tried to avoid bed bugs while traveling at all costs. I thoroughly shake down my hotel or hostel room once I arrive, and go through the sheets and mattress with a flashlight, looking for anything suspicious.
That’s a good precaution, but it can only do so much. That’s why I was thrilled (is that the right word?) when my friend texted me a website she saw on TikTok… bedbugregistry.com. A simple website that tracks hotel chains with bed bug reports.
It’s music to my ears. Lemme show you how it works and how you can get peace of mind when you travel.
Use This Tool to Check Your Hotel for Bed Bugs
How to Use BedBugRegistry.com
This is the homepage. It’s a fairly simple set up, nothing fancy. Over on the left is where you can begin your search.
Since my friend and I had a trip coming up and we had just booked a chain hotel, I immediately searched the property…
Type in the name of the hotel and location, then click “Find Hotels.”
I got quite a few results, but the top one was the hotel I was looking for. Nervously, I clicked the link…
No bed bugs! The relief was immediate. I felt like I could now travel and stay at this hotel with extra peace of mind.
Of course, I would still suggest giving your room a once-over, just in case. That never hurts.
This website isn’t just a bed bug hotel report database. You can also look at hot maps of major U.S. cities to see where bed bugs are most concentrated. This can help you avoid certain areas that may be dealing with a worse-than-normal infestation level.
Their resources page also has some great tips and product recommendations for dealing with a bed bug infestation. From their site,
If you suspect you’ve come into contact with bedbugs while traveling, the important thing is not to let them hitch a ride with you on your clothes or luggage to the next place you stay.
The University of Minnesota has a short guide to show you what bedbugs look like, and how to inspect and sanitize your belongings.
In brief summary, you’ll want to have plastic bags (preferably the thick contractor kind) and access to a clothes dryer.
Overall, I’m relieved a tool like this exists and can help in the fight against bed bugs while traveling. It shouldn’t be your only weapon against the bed bug wars, but it’s by far the best tool I’ve come across.
A drawback to the bed bug registry is that it’s limited to U.S. properties at the moment. In addition, only chain properties are listed, meaning smaller, locally-owned spots are left out.
I did manage to find one local hostel on the site (it’s all good, no bed bug reports) but I would like to see the tool expand to include smaller properties both in the U.S. and internationally. Hopefully, this will come as the website gets more popular.
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