Canadian Hotel Rooms Test High For Bacteria, Investigation Shows

Oh, Canada. You’ve got national healthcare and spectacular scenery, but your hotel rooms … those need work.

According to a recent CBC Marketplace investigation conducted by a microbiologist, six diverse chain hotels ranging from budget to high-end had, “high levels of contamination creating potentially hazardous conditions for guests.”

Marketplace apparently surveyed thousands of “high-touch” spots in 54 rooms, using a “an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measuring device that determines microbial contamination on surfaces.”

The filthiest items likely won’t come as a surprise to frequent travelers: bed comforters, bathroom faucets, and remote controls took top honors for bacterial counts. Microbiologist Keith Warriner of Guelph University, who conducted the investigation, warns that hotel bacteria is a greater health risk to guests, because the germs come from literally thousands of different bodies. In the case of bedding, we’re exposed to those nasties for a longer period of time.

If money is tight, you’ll be happy to know that ubiquitous cheapie Super 8 had some of the cleanest bathrooms, while luxury hotels often had poor results. The big picture is that just because a room looks clean, doesn’t mean it is. Blame overworked (and likely underpaid) hotel staff, who often don’t have adequate time to deep-clean all of the required rooms on their shifts.

Here’s a tip: Bring your own pillowcase, fold down the comforter, and make friends with a bottle of Purell when staying in a hotel or motel. Otherwise, just look at it as an immune system-building holiday.

[Photo credit: flickr user adrigu]

SkyMall Monday: GermBana Face Gator, Gloves & Scarf

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean that you can’t get sick. While we associate the flu and other ailments with winter, summer colds are common and can derail our warm weather wackiness. Travel, of course, is always germ-laden but you don’t need to venture that far from home to encounter illness. Heck, your mailman delivers filthy papers to you everyday. That lunch buffet that you frequent because it has both tacos and spaghetti? Yeah, it also has E. coli. Your kids? Ticking time bombs filled with fecal matter. Thankfully, there is a way to protect yourself without resorting to living in a bubble. SkyMall is here to help us live our full and filthy lives. Now, we can safely leave the SkyMall Monday headquarters and you can, too, can enjoy that whole big world out there thanks to the GermBana Face Gator, Gloves and Scarf.GermBana products are “made from Fibrant, the revolutionary fabric infused with a natural agent that kills germs on contact, including MRSA. Fibrant incorporates an advanced moisture management system to keep you cool, dry and odor free.” Sure, Fibrant sounds like the name of a brightly-colored fiber cereal, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t work.

GermBana Face Gator

Let’s start with the product description:

The Face Gator is designed to be worn discreetly around your neck and pulled up over your nose and mouth when you need added protection from germs or are sick and want to keep your germs away from others.

It will look totally natural when you move it from your neck to your mouth right as that gross guy from your department sits down next to you in the conference room.

GermBana Gloves

The Gloves are designed so they are comfortable to wear all day. Whether you are shopping or traveling in places where you may be handling germ-invested products or touching surfaces that can transfer germs to your face or loved ones, the Gloves will protect you and others.

We’ll ignore for a moment that it describes the gloves as “germ-invested,” as gold is trading at a much higher price than germs right now and, thus, is the wiser investment. More importantly, it’s about time that we had gloves that we can wear all day. From the grocery store to church to crime scenes, we’ll stay healthy and inconspicuous.

GermBana Scarf

The Scarf is designed to be worn around the neck and used to kill germs when you cough or sneeze into it, rather than your arm where germs can live up to 48 hours.

The pockets hold tissue or hand sanitizer, and can double as mittens when you have to touch germ-infested surfaces.

Since none of us bathe, germs live on our arms for two days. The pockets, of course, can hold more than tissues and hand sanitizer. You can keep your Fashion Face Mask or other customized masks in there. You could even keep your foil hat.

So, step back into the world and don’t worry about getting sick. That means more time to go to work, take care of your kids and do all those errands that your spouse keeps nagging you about. Hooray!

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Stop getting sick when you fly – Airplane tip

Forget buying expensive products that promise to keep you healthy when you fly. This simple, but unglamorous trick, prevents me from getting sick every time.

Before I head to the airport, I put a generous amount of antibiotic ointment on a cotton swab and then coat the inside of my nose. It creates a barrier for the germs and keeps my nose from becoming dry and irritated while breathing the recycled air in the plane.

(Of course, I have no medical proof, but I never get sick after flying when I remember to do this.)

Gadlinks (7.21.09)

What’s new in the world of travel news, you might ask? You’re in luck – we’re back again with this Tuesday’s installment of Gadlinks. What travel stories from around the web caught our eye today? Take a look below:

More Gadlinks HERE.

How to avoid getting sick after flying

Forget vitamins. I am about to give you the best travel tip ever. If you want to avoid contracting a virus or bacteria on germ-infested airplanes, use nasal irrigation before and after flying.

Yes, I agree that squirting saline solution into your nose is not the most pleasant thing, but it works so well! Nasal irrigation clears out excess mucus and particulates and moisturize the nasal cavity. It also cleans allergens, irritants, bacteria and viruses from the nose reducing the frequency of infection.

If you think about it, it makes sense. People contract most germs through their nose. Rinsing the nasal cavity with salt water is a great way to keep it clean. It’s not at all a new technique. Nasal irrigation is an ancient Ayurvedic technique known as “jala neti,” which literally means “nasal cleansing with water” in Sanskrit, where the practitioner uses a neti pot to perform the irrigation.

I have tried several different nasal irrigation squirt bottles and I like the NeilMed bottle the best. It makes it really easy and relatively quick to squirt 8 oz of saline into your nose. I do it after every single flight I take and I try to do it before I fly, as well. I also using after using extremely packed public transportation.

It is magic.