As the owner of a cleaning business, I look at traveling through a different set of eyes. For me, staying in a hotel, motel or any other type of lodging involves bringing along a travel size package of antibacterial wipes or (another option if traveling by car) a bottle of alcohol and a spray bottle.

I have watched even the best of hotel cleaning staff go from room to room with the same mops, brooms, toilet bowl brushes, dusters and rags. Basically, whatever germs were in the rooms cleaned before yours have now been transferred into YOUR room.

The first thing I do after putting down my belongings is wipe out the tub and wipe down the toilet seat. I also wipe down items that are often neglected that absolutely need to be cleaned. This list includes: Sink handles, toilet handles, the hair dryer (if provided), door handles, light switches, the TV REMOTE, the clock by your bed and the phone in your room.

Once I have wiped down everything, I feel better knowing my room is as sanitary as possible. If I am staying just a day or so, I let housekeeping know I will NOT need my room cleaned. I give the housekeeper a generous tip for switching out our towels, replacing our toilet paper, shampoo & soap and emptying the garbage. Most places encourage you NOT to change your sheets every day to conserve water so this is never a problem.

I also move the towels if they are situated above the toilet on racks. Most hotels and motels do not have a lid on the toilet and when you flush, bacteria can get on your clean towels.

One last detail…I always try to stay at hotels that change their entire bedding between guests. You might want to ask this question before making your reservation. I personally don’t want to sleep with a blanket or quilt that many other guests have used. Not only is this not hygienic….it can wreak havoc if you have allergies. Some hotels will place a clean sheet over and under the quilt as an alternative to washing.

I hope these tips are helpful to travelers.