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Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

Wilmette, Illinois
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38 posts
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Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

Howdy, Fellow Trip Advisor Travelers,

Have checked out the separate Forums for the above subject, but haven't found what I'm looking for -- which may be impossible to answer...

My husband and I are planning to take a 3-week road trip from Chicagoland to Vancouver, BC, mostly via Canada 1 (TransCanadian Hwy)and back via maybe US Rt.2, and other roads. We intend to avoid places we've been, eg ND, and hit places we haven't, eg, SD. We plan to do this for the first 3 weeks of September. As during a 9-day road trip to DC and back during the same time frame last year, we plan to not really plan: if we love somewhere, we'll stay a couple of days, and just pretty much wing it in general. We prefer small, quaint "mom & pop" motels to large chains or hotels, but when choices are limited, we stay at our lesser preferences. We've been able to average about $100/night. We use TripAdvisor with WiFi and AAA Tour Guides as we mosey along.

OK, here's the issue: how can we seriously eliminate/ minimize encountering bedbugs?

We managed to come out unscathed on our last trip, but my sense is that we lucked out. I'm not all that comfortable banking on luck. Have been too close to folks living in super-clean condos, etc., who have had to deal with infestations. Don't want to experience bedbugs in any manner, and especially don't want to bring them home! On our last trip, even inspecting rooms for roaches before committing, we sort of tried to check for bedbugs, too, but seemed unrealistic.

Don't want to be/appear overly paranoid, but more so, don't want to bring any critters home! Will be most grateful for any insights.

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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1. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

You can't really do anything, as far as choosing a hotel, to avoid them. Every hotel is at risk, regardless of how nice or expensive it is. I always do a bed bugs check, even at 4-star hotels, and even at the hotel where I stay roughly once per week for work. It just takes a minute and is likely to prevent a nasty encounter: http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Bed-Bugs

Main thing there is the not putting your luggage on the bed before you check. That's the easiest way for them to get into your home.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

There is nothing you can do to avoid bed bugs. Bed bugs are in the luxurious hotel charging $500 a night and they are in the crappy roadside motel charging $50 a night. Unfortunately, reading reviews doesn't tend to help because all it takes is just one person who has been infested like an international business traveler to stay and the next day they will have bed bugs.

I stay in a different hotel every week for the last five years for business. I only saw a bed bug once and I am not sure if it was from the hotel or the little guy hopped a ride in from my rental car. Remember, they can live in car seats, couches, luggage, etc- not just beds. Here's the check I do:

1. Remove pillows from bed, pull bed out from wall. Inspect wall for little black dots (they poo after they eat when going back to their hiding spot)

2. Using cellphone camera light, look behind headboard

3. Remove sheet and bed shirt and inspect edges of mattress for black spots

4. Important: bed bugs don't like to be disturbed, so they will often live in nightstand instead. Check nightstand back and bottom of drawers.

It's worthy to note, however, that the hotel I encountered with bed bugs actually passed this test. I saw an actual bug crawling on the nightstand and got bites. Remember, bed bugs are the same size, shape and color of a apple seed (tottaly visible with thr naked eye) and they leave a trail of black poo wherever they go.

Wilmette, Illinois
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38 posts
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3. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

Thanks for your input, colinaz. Tip re: not putting luggage on the bed seems like the first thing everyone is telling me! Thanks, too, for the helpful link. Don't envy your frequent "hunts"!

Wilmette, Illinois
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38 posts
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4. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

Much thanks for your detailed bedbug hunt routine, RingOrosie. Sure not encouraging, but I'll be on the lookout for the poop trails and check the spots as you recommended. I found myself scared by an actual apple seed the other day! A lot scarier traveling with this epidemic than in recent decades past. Good luck to all of us! ;^)

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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5. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

When doing road trips in camper ... The wife & I take only toiletries & the next days apparel to the room in sealed plastic bags... We have,on occasion,been made a meal of but have never infested the vehicle... carracar

Baltimore
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6. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

In general, I don’t worry about upper-scale, major chain hotels, mostly serving auto travelers. Maybe I should. I’m not completely dumb, will look around to see if I’m wary, but it really doesn’t seem much of an issue. I do feel it’s worthwhile staying with nicer chains.

BUT, I have world-class reason to be alert when I travel alone, to my favorite San Francisco, my old territory, where I find deep discount joints with serious edge because I save big bucks and it’s my old routine.

Here’s my strategy in a nutshell.

I own a cheap suitcase. I pack two black plastic garbage bags – the big ones. I only pack stuff I can throw away and will live with it. As described by another poster, I arrive in a room and place the suitcase up on a metal rack, pull back the bed covers and try raising the mattress looking for obvious evidence. If it looks clean, I then loosely cover the suitcase from the bottom with one garbage bag placing it on one of those conventional fold-out suitcase racks while using the other for dirty laundry – which gets stored on that shelf above the coat hangers. [I’ll usually stay at one of these places for up to 10 days].

I just don’t take much with me. I take my laundry across the street to a fold and wash once or twice during the visit.

All of this is routine and quite easy. I lose about 2 seconds even thinking about it.

So long as nothing seems to warrant just throwing everything away – only once was it close – when I get home the suitcase goes directly into a bathtub and all clothing directly to a double packing of plastic bags – and I shower. BTW, I have two residences. At this arrival residence, where I’ll probably only spend one night, I leave the suitcase in the tub. I carry the laundry to my home, in most situations leaving it outside until I’m ready to wash. I wash twice and hang outside on a clothesline to dry.

At this point, if no signs of bed bugs have occurred, these clothes gets integrated with other clothes.

When I return to the condo, I check the bathtub and suitcase for any evidence. If I can find no bed bugs, the suitcase gets stored at its location where it is only used for these trips.

Only once, have I dumped stuff in a dumpster and traveled home light. Even then, it wasn’t 100% but it was better than infesting either of my homes with bedbugs.

As to being bitten by the things, that’s small potatoes for me. I’ve been bitten by worse. Bed bugs don’t carry disease. It’s just that there’s hell to pay getting rid of them.

Wilmette, Illinois
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7. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

Thanks, carrar! No camper - just our Hyundai Accent. But bringing minimal stuff into 1-night places sounds like great idea. Figured we'd use an overnight bag so we don't have to schlep big bag nightly.

Wilmette, Illinois
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8. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

Thanks, SFCityGuy! Some great tips, indeed! We don't plan to stay in dives, but do dig quaint non-chain places on occasion. It's beginning to look like we may do some multi-day VRBO type homes, which I feel safer about (like the one we've been to in Vieques, Puerto Rico 4x), since owners tend to use them, too, + often have laundry facilities. Yep, I've had my share of various bites - especially spider - but I have no intention of bringing bedbugs home! Have seen too up close and personal what it takes to get rid of them and hope/intend never to go through it! Trash bags will for sure be travel companions!

9. Re: Road Trips With NO Bedbugs?

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