This summer, AAA forecasts that Americans will take 700 million trips based on economic indicators and state re-openings. While that number is down about 15 percent from last July through September (and is the first decline in travel since 2009), AAA travel experts have begun to see positive trends in travel, as hotel and rental car bookings have been gradually increasing since April.
Jeff Gonce, Travel Trainer for AAA, recently presented a AAA Travel webinar on hotel safety. He outlined the safety measures hotels are taking to keep you and your family safe when you travel this summer. The next time you check into a hotel, things will different. We want you to be prepared from check in to check out, so here are the most important things to expect the next time you check in to a hotel.
See upcoming AAA Travel webinars at AAA.com/Events.
Safety is at the forefront of any property you stay with. There are a few things we can all do (whether we’re on the road or at home): wear masks, wash our hands and remember to observe the six-foot rule to keep a safe distance between you and others.
Contactless Check In
If you’ve never used a digital key before, many hotel chains will have them, including Hilton, Marriott, MGM Resorts and Disney hotels. They allow you to have a contactless check-in experience and avoid crowded lobby areas. It’s simple and secure. You simply download an app on your phone for the property and instead of stopping by the front desk to pick up a key card, the key is part of the app.
Impact on Service
Services will be limited in order to ensure the safety of hotel staff and guests. You’ll find that some services formerly offered by hotel properties have been modified to minimize contact and allow for sanitization, including:
- Valet service suspended
- Focus on grab and go pre-plated food.
- Limited room service
- No breakfast buffets
- No salt/pepper shakers, ketchup bottles, self-serve coffee stations
- Limited housekeeping services during stay
- Pools, spas and gyms closed or operating at limited capacity
- Limited number of guests on an elevator at a time
- Pre-packaged toiletries
- Magazines, notepads, pens and extra pillows removed from the room (any in-room items that cannot be wiped down with sanitizer will not be available).
You’ll also find that on-property bars and restaurants will have limited hours and social distancing protocols. This is dictated by the state or city in which the hotel is located, so if this is important to you, you may want to call ahead to find out what the restrictions are.
Enhanced Cleaning Protocols
Hotels have implemented new additional cleaning procedures, including washing linens on the hottest setting, paying extra attention to high touch areas like light switches, door handles, TV remotes, etc. and offering hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in room for all guests.
Your Safety Precautions
AAA Travel recommends that you follow a “PPE” plan: Plan ahead, Protect and Expect.
- Plan ahead. Check with your hotel for specific restrictions and closures.
- Protect yourself and others. Respect hotel rules and procedures.
- Expect to have a great time, but understand that your stay will look different from years past.
Finally, know that your AAA Travel Agents are standing by to assist you with finding the safest hotel property wherever you travel. They can also answer any questions you have about a hotel property’s protocols and procedures for safety.
Contact your local AAA Travel Agent with any questions or for more information. Call 800-750-5386 or visit AAA.com/Travel.