4 Hotel Rules That A Doctor Says ‘Everyone Should Know’

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A doctor has revealed four dos and don’ts for staying in a hotel that he says everyone should know in order to have the best time possible. Are you following these four hotel rules when you check into a room? You probably should. After all, your health could depend on it.

Charles Puza
Dr. Charles Puza, a New York City board-certified dermatologist (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Dr. Charles Puza, a New York City board-certified dermatologist who studied at Harvard and Duke universities, has garnered a large social media following thanks to the tips and advice he shares on TikTok. In one video clip posted to the platform, Dr. Puza shared four hotel rules that he says “absolutely everyone should know.” So, before your next trip, let’s review Dr. Puza’s dos and don’ts for staying in hotels.

Go On The Bedbug Hunt

First on the list, Dr. Charles Puza tells viewers how to check for bedbugs. “No. 1, make sure your hotel is not on The Bedbug Registry and always check the corners and under the bed for any signs,” the doctor advised in his TikTok video, which racked up tens of thousands of views shortly after being posted.

Charles Puza
Dr. Charles Puza first recommends checking for bedbugs, including The Bedbug Registry. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

If you’re like me, you might not have even realized that a bedbug registry was a thing, but it is! The Bedbug Registry, found HERE, “is a free, public database of user-submitted bedbug reports from across the United States and Canada,” according to the website. Founded in 2006, the site has collected about 20,000 reports covering 12,000 locations.

However, according to the NY Post, the registry appears inactive with broken links. Luckily, Bedbug Reports, found HERE, has more recent information. The pest control company Orkin also provides useful information related to bedbugs, including a list of the top 50 bedbug cities, which ranks the metros with the most bedbugs. Topping the January 2024 list are Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia.

In addition to checking the registry, Dr. Charles Puza recommends checking the bed itself for any signs. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

In addition to checking the lists and registries above, one should also check the mattresses, box springs, headboards, footboards, bed frames, and furniture within 5 to 8 feet of the bed for “clusters of dark brown or black spots of dried excrement” left by live bedbugs, according to recommendations from Orkin.

Steer Clear Of Hotel Remotes & Uncovered Glassware

After checking for bedbugs and settling into your hotel room, Dr. Charles Puza says hotel guests should steer clear of the hotel’s TV remotes and uncovered glassware. Why? “[T]hat same rag that cleans the sink and the toilet is usually the rag that wipes down those surfaces,” Dr. Puza said, explaining common hotel cleaning practices. With this in mind, one might also want to be cautious about what they place on the sink — such as your toothbrush — since that surface was likely “cleaned” with the same rag as the toilet, one commenter warned.

Dr. Charles Puza warns hotel guests to steer clear of the TV remote, which is often laden with bacteria. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

According to a 2012 study published by Science Daily, Dr. Puza isn’t wrong. The University of Houston found that TV remotes, along with bedside lamp switches, were among the most bacteria-laden items in a hotel room. In addition, researchers also reported a frightening amount of bacteria on housekeeping supplies such as sponges and mops, which could lead to cross-contamination between rooms.

Can’t resist using the remote? One commenter on Dr. Puza’s video suggested bringing travel-sized Lysol and spraying it on the remote, to which Dr. Puza responded, “Yes! On literally everything.” Others suggested placing the remote in a large ziplock bag, while yet another advised covering it with the shower cap, saying, “Works like a charm!”

Although tempting, Dr. Charles Puza says you shouldn’t use the complimentary bath products. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

Don’t Use The Complimentary Bath Products

After admitting that rule number 3 is tempting, Dr. Charles Puza warns against using the complimentary bath products provided by the hotel. This includes the shampoo, conditioner, and body soap that often line the sink. “[T]hey’re usually extremely drying and loaded with fragrance,” the dermatologist explained. In addition to Dr. Puza’s warning, commenters, claiming to have worked in the hotel industry, also alleged that these products are often expired.

Say Hello To Your Neighbors

“No. 4 is optional, but you can always say hi to your neighbors. And that’s how you have the best vacation,” Dr. Charles Puza concluded. Of course, many will shy away from this recommendation, but maybe we should reconsider.


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According to research from Hotel Indigo, “[P]eople interact with their neighbors less than ever before because they’re too shy, don’t want to be an inconvenience, or don’t have a relationship with their neighbor,” the NY Post reported. However, “it’s been shown that even the smallest human interaction can make for happier communities.”

It would seem the doctor offered sound advice that is worth following. So, the next time you find yourself checking into a hotel room, don’t forget to check for bedbugs, avoid touching the TV remotes and uncovered glassware, ignore the free toiletries, and go say hi to your neighbors — and don’t forget to share these tips with your traveling friends so they can also get the most out of their next trip!