Theoretically all creatures serve a purpose, but it's safe to say that pretty much everyone (especially those living in and visiting major metropolitan areas) is ready for bed bugs to go away forever. Instead, the reverse is true: They’re spreading and becoming harder and harder to kill. Try as we might to eradicate them, bedbugs are here to stay. But that doesn’t mean they have to stay with you. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the little bloodsuckers from following you home. 

TUB YOUR STUFF.

The moment you arrive at a hotel room, stow all your luggage in the bathtub or shower. It might seem silly, but bedbugs care less about your possessions than they care about you and your delicious, delicious blood. The farther from your bed you can keep your things, the safer they will be, and a bathroom’s tile floor and slippery tub or shower walls leave the bugs no place to hide. Be sure to keep the area on and around the bed clothing- and luggage-free for the length of your stay. 

DO YOUR OWN INSPECTION.

Before you get into bed, or even sit on it, remove the comforter, pull up the sheets, and do a little detective work. You’re looking for blood spots, little black specks (bedbug poop), or the bugs themselves, which are brown and look kind of like apple seeds. They especially like to hide in seams and corners. Be sure to check any decorative pillows and upholstered furniture, too.

START WITH RESEARCH.

Shortly before your trip, do an internet search for your hotel and bedbugs. Then check the date on any complaints. A place may have had bedbugs last year, or six months ago, and be fine today, but if a recent guest reported a problem, you may want to find somewhere else to stay. That won’t guarantee you a pest-free trip, but it may help with your peace of mind.

QUARANTINE YOUR BELONGINGS.

If you’re still concerned by the time you get home, leave your things outside on a porch or balcony. Seal them tightly in plastic bags and quarantine them outside your home for a few days. If any eight-legged visitors followed you home, this should make it clear that they’re not welcome (by killing them).

Best of luck, and bon voyage!