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Top Ten Hotel-Borne Illnesses, and Alternatives for Your Travels and Travails

There's a ton of risks involved with staying in a hotel that we don't even think about. 100's of people in and out each month. People doing ... stuff in the hotel rooms. Kids running around all germy.

Contracting illness at a hotel is a real concern- and kinda gross.

It is important to know what the dangers are and understand how to avoid them... so without further ado... here are the top 10 dangers to be aware of during your next stay in a hotel, and why you should probably take the minister's vacation rental advice.

1. Legionnaire's Disease
This bacterial disease can lead to a dangerous form of pneumonia and is spread through infected water. Be careful when you use anything from a shower to a hot tub.

2. Dirty Pool
Going for a swim can be risky if a hotel pool is not properly maintained because certain bacteria cannot be eliminated by chlorine. Check hotel guidelines concerning pool maintenance before taking a swim.

3. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs feed on human blood and leave behind welts. These insects can be introduced through luggage and clothing. Check for signs of bed bugs in your room, such as dark spots on your sheets, upon check-in.

4. Ice Buckets
Sometimes, ill guests use these containers to vomit rather than store ice and simply rinse them out when done. It is important to make sure the bucket is thoroughly sanitized before filling it with ice.

5. Allergens
Each hotel room is cleaned thoroughly daily by the housekeeping staff. Still, dust and dander can linger on bedding, behind furniture and in vents. Check to see if a hotel offers a hypoallergenic room when making reservations.

6. Carpet
Hotel room carpets are rarely cleaned beyond a quick vacuuming. They can harbor mold, bacteria and other germs from dirt and spills that end up on the floor. Never leave your clothes lying on the floor and walk around in socks to avoid germ contact with your bare feet.

7. Hot Tubs
Sitting in a hot tub can be relaxing. It is also risky since hot tubs are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Skin problems and lung ailments can result from overuse of a hot tub. Check the maintenance guidelines before going for a dip.

8. Buffets
Eating at the hotel buffet is an easy way to get a meal. The problem comes if the food is not kept at proper temperatures or sits out too long. Food that stays out in the open too long can breed new bacteria quickly. Another problem can come from ill guests who cough and sneeze on food.

9. Drinking Glasses
Make sure all drinking glasses you use are cleaned in hot soapy water. Simply wiping them down does not get rid of germs.

10. Toxins
In some hotels, you run the risk of staying in a room that may have been used as a meth lab. Meth labs leave behind dangerous toxins in the cooking process. Exposure to such toxins can cause serious problems after a few days.

With all the hazards involved in staying at a hotel, a cheaper and safer option is to check out vacation rentals in the area you are visiting. Staying in a rental home offers fewer risks because it is not exposed to germs that come with high traffic like hotels.

Featured in Health