A few extra precautions can help keep you and your family safe.

By Jessica Bennett
May 28, 2020
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If you're looking to get away this summer, renting a bungalow on the beach or a secluded cabin in the woods could be one of your best (and safest) options. Vacation rentals are generally more controlled, private environments, providing a safer choice than crowded resorts or hotels when it comes to avoiding the spread of COVID-19. Often equipped with their own kitchens and laundry facilities, these properties allow you to limit person-to-person contact with those outside your family. However, it's important to remember that there are still risks involved with renting a private retreat during a pandemic. Keep these safety and cleaning tips in mind when staying at a summer vacation rental to help keep you and your family healthy.

Credit: Julie Soefer

1. Book Stays with Safety in Mind

Before booking a vacation rental, ensure the property manager or homeowner is taking precautions to maintain a safe, clean environment. If possible, choose a property that does not book back-to-back stays, which helps give hosts enough time to clean and disinfect between guests. (Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends waiting at least 24 hours before entering an area that has been occupied by a sick person, and a recent study shows that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be detectable in the air for up to three hours and on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for up to three days.) Additionally, look for vacation rentals that offer self-check-in and check-out to limit contact with hosts. If it's not apparent in the listing, consider contacting the host ahead of time to ask about the waiting period between bookings and their cleaning protocol.

2. Bring Your Own Cleaning Products

Although many vacation rentals come stocked with a few cleaning essentials, you might want to bring your own supplies to ensure you have what you need. Consider packing a disinfectant registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, a roll of paper towels or a few cleaning cloths, and some disposable gloves so you can sanitize surfaces when you arrive and keep things clean during your stay.

3. Disinfect Surfaces on Arrival

Once you've reached your destination, consider disinfecting frequently touched surfaces immediately after checking in to reduce the potential risk of contamination. Wipe down countertops, light switches, doorknobs, appliance handles, and other common areas with a disinfectant spray or wipes. You might also want to run a load of laundry for sheets or towels, and wash any shared dishes or kitchen utensils you'll be using. After cleaning your vacation rental, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

4. Remember Your Rental Has Likely Been Cleaned Already

Hosts are generally expected to clean between stays, and several vacation rental companies, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, have issued new guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting properties in response to the current pandemic. It's likely that the rental has been thoroughly cleaned before your arrival, but if you're worried about potential contamination, giving the area a good wipe-down once you arrive can give you some peace of mind and allow you to better enjoy your stay.

In addition to using these cleaning tips for vacation rentals, be sure to check local travel restrictions before you hit the road to ensure you're following the guidelines. With a few extra precautions, you can still enjoy your summer vacation safely and responsibly.

Comments (1)

May 28, 2020
Where can I find this table and lamp?