Staying overnight somewhere else always brings up the question of what clean means. Whether you are camping, taking a road trip or staying at a cottage this summer, it’s a good idea to go prepared!

Stock the car with tissues, paper towels, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and a roll of toilet paper just in case. Be sure to bring a first aid kit too.

If you’re staying in a hotel, check the room when you arrive for litter, stains, hairs, crumbs, etc. How does the room smell? If you asked for a non-smoking room, check for any smoking paraphernalia such as an ash tray. Check the bathroom for signs of mold and mildew, or leaking water. The toilet and bathtub or shower should be spotless and make sure all toiletry items – soaps, shampoos, shower caps – are sealed. Check the air conditioner and heat vents to make sure there aren’t any strange smells or dust and debris around the ducts. If you find anything that alarms you, call the front desk and ask for a new room or another ‘clean’.

If you’re staying in a rustic cottage, you may have to lower your standards a bit. But the experts at MOLLY MAID recommend that you wipe commonly used items and surfaces such as the phone, television remote control, light switch, door and drawer handles. Travel-size antibacterial wipes are perfect for this chore!

Remind everyone to wash their hands regularly with hot water and soap, or use hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to a sink.

Avoid walking around barefoot Pack flip flops or shower shoes to wear in the hotel room or cottage. It’s not likely the carpet or floors are shampooed and sterilized between guests.