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Travel | Traveling


As you’re packing for your next vacation, you open your suitcase on your bed to pack and organize your clothes and belongings. After a long day of traveling, you check into your hotel and place your luggage on the bed to unpack. What you may not think about is where your suitcase has been, and what may be on it that you’re transferring to where you sleep.


There are three main reasons to not put your luggage on your bed:


As you drug your suitcase through the airport, into the bathroom, down the street, into an Uber, and through your hotel, there’s no telling what may have transferred onto the wheels in the process. This dirt and germs can transfer to your bed if you put your suitcase on it.


Your suitcase exterior sees a lot of things, including conveyor belts in the airport, other people’s luggage, the inside of an airplane, cab, bus, or other means of transportation, and is brushed against a number of dirty and germy surfaces. Keeping your suitcase off your bed will help prevent these germs from getting on your sheets.

On the bed

While we don’t want to think of creepy critters sharing the space we sleep, even the cleanest of hotels or Airbnb can have bedbugs or other bugs hiding in the mattress, couches and even carpet. If you place your luggage on the bed, these bugs can get into your clothes or luggage, and can even come home with you.


Typically hotel beds have a bed skirt, or dust ruffle, which hangs down over the box spring to the floor. These can help block the accumulation of dust particles, which prevents build up of dust, dust mites, and other unpleasantries. While bed skirts don’t completely prevent dust and mites, having one can mean your hotel bed is a little less dusty. However, you should still avoid placing your luggage on the bed.


Here are a few cleaning tips to ensure your luggage stays germ-free both while you travel and once you get home:

  • Use sanitizing wipes on the wheels once you get to your destination, and again when you get home. This can help minimize the transfer of dirt and germs.
  • Organize with packing cubes or bags and keep your clean and dirty clothes separate, and even consider placing a trash bag over your suitcase when you’re not using it.
  • Spray down your luggage with a disinfectant spray both during your travel and again when you get home.
  • Vacuum your luggage once you get home—both inside and outside.

When traveling, the best place to put your luggage is in the bathroom, specifically the bathtub. This keeps germs away from the surfaces you’ll touch or sleep on, and bedbugs are less likely to invade the bathroom. Or, keep it off the ground on a luggage rack. This keeps your luggage off your bed and out of the way, but easily accessible for unpacking and repacking.