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3 Things you should NEVER do in a Hotel Room (unless you really like germs)

3 Things you should NEVER do in a Hotel Room (unless you like germs)

by Jeremy B

Fecal covered hotel remotes? Semen covered chairs? That’s a hard pass for me. And probably you too. Hotel rooms are notoriously gross (after all there are thousands of people staying in them) and can feature some unique risks to lodgers if not careful. Here are the 3 things you should never do in a hotel room under any circumstances!

Be sure to check out our entire “Never do this while traveling” series

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Don’t do this in your hotel room

3 Things you should NEVER do in a Hotel Room (unless you like germs)

If you are like me you spend a decent amount of time in hotels. Maybe it’s for business travel (like most of my trips) or maybe you are a points and miles kinda person that loves to fly business class for free. Maybe you just a regular old vacationer taking your annual vacation each year. Whatever your reason, you’ve spent your fair share of time in hotels and motels. And it turns out they are super gross.

We’ve assembled a small list of the “hotel don’ts” – as in don’t ever do this in your hotel room. That is, unless you love pink eye, the flu, or really just germs in general.

NEVER: Sit on the chairs or couches without disinfecting them

Don't do this in your hotel room ever

“It is best to avoid comfy-looking upholstered recliner. People sit there nude, potentially spreading staphylococcus bacteria via their underarms and rectal cavities, which can potentially lead to staph infections.” says Phillip Tierno in the NY Post.

I’m sorry, what? Nude. Yes.

Yep, you know you’ve done it too. We all probably have. And a cloth chair or couch can be a little wildlife preserve for all of your nasty butt sweat (among other things). And, with an alarming 33% of men addicted to porn and 70% of men aged 18-24 look at porn every month, can you guess how much semen might be in the general area of that couch or chair?

Looking for further confirmation you should avoid the furniture? Head here to find the grossest things found by maids in a hotel room.

Pro Tip: Drape a bed sheet over couches or soft chairs, or avoid them altogether. If the chair is plastic or leather you can wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe or use some travel Lysol.

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NEVER: Use the remote without wiping it down (unless you dig “colonies” of E.Coli)

In a Fox News article a microbiologist reportedly “…took swabs from various items in hotel rooms and found that the remotes in each room ranked the highest on the germ meter and analyzed the results in a lab, where she found “colonies of E. Coli,” among other potentially dangerous contaminates.”

Never Do this in your Hotel Room - use the remote control without wiping it down

She went on to note that these findings “…indicate there was fecal contamination on the remote, so perhaps someone used the restroom and didn’t wash their hands when they were done.”


Instead wipe it down with something. Some folks even suggest carrying baggies with you and using the remote whilst it is stored inside the baggie.

Pro Tip: As noted in our 31 Hotel Hacks you really need to know article we suggest your bring some disinfecting wet-wipes with you and wipe that bad boy down. Or, better yet, leave the TV off and fire up your iPad. I am sure it’s clean….

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Sign on to the Hotel Wi-Fi without a firewall and antivirus software (at least) unless you like “Cyber Germs”

Hotel Internet - never do this in your hotel room

Free hotel Wi-Fi is a huge bonus to travelers looking to get a little more work done before bed or stream the new season of Mrs Maisel on their iPad. However, it’s a boon for hackers and other nefarious minded folks. There are a plethora of stories about the risks of hotel Wi-Fi network including:

Bottom line? Go ahead and use the hotel Wi-Fi, but we smart about it. Always use the bare minimums when using hotel wi-fi and that includes at least:

  • Antivirus Software (consider McAfee)
  • Using your computer’s firewall (learn how to enable your firewall here: Windows, Mac)
  • Keeping your system current with the latest security patches (consult your device provider for details)
  • We recommend avoiding making any financial transactions (like paying a bill) over the hotel Wi-Fi unless you are using a VPN

By the way, we share several additional cyber security travel tips here.

Pro Tip: We always recommend using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network connection whenever traveling. This includes when using hotel networks. Learn why here. Get a special offer on the industry leading NordVPN here.

a man smiling and holding a phone

Some other ideas that didn’t make the top 3

There are lots of things NOT to do in a hotel room and only three could make the list. But we had so much fun thinking about this we had to add a few more. Here are a couple of extra “never-do’s” in your hotel room.

Never do these:

  1. Leave your toothbrush in your room. Hotel maids jacking with your toothbrush? Nope. Nope. Nope.
  2. Set your suitcase on your bed. Thing about that airport bathroom you rolled your fancy TravelPro Crew 11 across this morning in the Denver airport. Now toss it on your bed.
  3. Forget to check the iron before your using (check for pee and residue on surface). Wait, did you just say pee? Yep, gross. But it has happened. More likely is that there’s some residue from the last user on the face of the iron itself. Wipe it down BEFORE you ruin your white dress shirt.
  4. Forget to remove the hotel bed comforter from your bed. They don’t get changed often and you can always request an extra blanket from the hotel staff if need be.
  5. Check the Hotel Room Coffee Pot for Mold or worse.
  6. Stay at a Red Roof Inn. Ok that was a joke, but the motel chain does suck!
  7. Eat the Hampton Inn Breakfast. Also a joke, but it is a little gross.

We could go on, but we won’t. How about you? What’s the ONE thing you NEVER do at a hotel? Drop us a comment, below, or tweet us!

Thanks for dropping in – be sure to check out all of our travel content

We travel hard (well, not hard, easy actually). But we do travel a lot (mostly for work, but occasionally for leisure, or bleisure). Along the way we like to share our tips and tricks for surviving on the road. Be sure to check out some of our other great travel content including some gems, below:

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Three Things you should NEVER do in a Hotel Room (unless you like germs)

3 things you never do in a hotel room

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Mike January 5, 2020 - 10:18 am

But I love the little puns with the Hampton Inn Breakfast :p

Seriously though good advice.

The C Boarding Group January 5, 2020 - 11:10 am


rmh January 5, 2020 - 6:46 pm

correction needed :

“And it turn out they are super gross.”

The C Boarding Group January 5, 2020 - 7:48 pm

Thanks for the heads up. Corrected! hat tip!

NellyR January 6, 2020 - 3:13 am

Somehow it did not cross my mind that remotes are disgusting, but when you think about it… ugh. While at the same time, using hotel wifi is fuuuucked beyond reason. Anyone can easily access the network. My friends and I have been traveling for work around interesting countries, we are filming a TV show for one “influencer” and we were in Dubai. We got one room each and I tried facetiming my colleagues, little did I know that without a VPN, you would not be able to do that. It’s literally baned, so with a little help from NordVPN I was able to do it and chat with my colleagues. Anyhow, after that I asked the staff why can I do that only through a VPN, why is it banned? Not only they were shocked I did facetime, but they told me that using a VPN is forbidden in Dubai because they are monitoring what you DO on hotel WiFi. I was a bit surprised that hotels are actually looking at what YOU are looking for, so never log in to these WiFi connections without a VPN.. I’m really happy that the staff did not take any action against me and just warned me to not do that again

The C Boarding Group January 6, 2020 - 6:23 am

Yikes! You do have to be careful in foreign countries as they can have some funky rules sometimes.


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