How to Protect Yourself from Bedbugs While Traveling

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The internet has been abuzz over the last few weeks with the news of a bedbug infestation taking over Paris. Locals and tourists have shared videos of the insects crawling around everywhere from hotel beds to movie theater seats. While concern about the outbreak is absolutely justified, this is not the first time that bedbugs have taken over a particular city, and it likely won’t be the last. Whether you’re planning a trip to Paris any time soon or just want to understand how to avoid bedbugs in general, read on for a few tips to help keep you safe.

Inspect Your Accommodation

As soon as you arrive, thoroughly inspect your hotel room or Airbnb for any signs of bed bugs. Check the bed under the sheets, in folds of the mattress, and behind headboards as well as in any other upholstered furniture. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects about the size of apple seeds and can usually be detected by dark spots of excrement or blood, even if the bugs themselves aren’t visible. 

Keep Your Luggage Elevated

Avoid placing your luggage on the floor or bed until you’ve finished inspecting the rest of the space. Instead, use luggage racks or keep them on hard, non-porous surfaces like tables or dressers where bugs are less likely to hide. 

Wash Your Clothes

When you return from your travels, wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on the highest heat setting to kill any potential bed bugs or eggs that may be hiding in the fabric. This is especially important for dirty clothes that may have touched the bed or floor of your accommodation but also goes for clean clothes that stayed in your suitcase.