Healthy Hotels: Breathe Clean Air This Winter Vacation

With the promise of vacations this holiday season, healthy hotels are taking clean air initiatives into consideration for their guest accommodations.

As the glistening holiday lights begin to line the streets, and temperatures gradually decline, the feel of holiday cheer and the excitement of winter vacation is in the air. Healthy hotels are taking the initiative in using greener cleaning practices and other actions to create the best air quality experience for their guests.

When considering hotels for winter vacation or during holiday travel, we often consider location, proximity to desired events/cities, entertainment, and cost. But what about air quality? We spend all this time in our personal lives investing and preserving our home for a healthy night sleep, but take no consideration into whether or not the building we are lodging in has the same regard for indoor air quality as we do. Old air conditioning and heating units and dusty hotels can make a major impact on the outcome of fun and restfulness of your vacation.

If you are allergic to airborne particles like dust and mold or sensitive to chemicals found in various carpets, drapes, and bedding, inquire about “green” healthy hotels that manage their property to be environmentally friendly. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a “green” lodging property (hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts) makes a conscious effort to reduce pollution, including improving indoor air quality.

Travel is exciting and more importantly meant for time to relax, but why remove yourself and your family out of the clean air habitat you have purposefully created by staying in a space with poor indoor air quality? Some exposure is unavoidable, but you have a choice in what lodging you choose for your vacation.

So, what can you expect from “green” healthy hotels?

  • A fresh air exchange system where guests not only benefit from circulated air but an option to open a window.
  • The use of air purifiers that rid the air of pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold, and tobacco smoke.
  • Staff uses non-toxic or natural cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda.
  • Placement of wood indoor furniture instead of pressed wood products that contain urea resin.
  • Plants that boost oxygen levels in common areas and in guest rooms.

So, why not hold air quality in hotels with the same standard you hold clean sheets? True, we cannot physically see the pollutants in the air, but our bodies let us know how they effect us by way of symptoms like poor sleep, allergic reactions, and asthmatic flare ups. Choosing to breathe fresh air when you are away from home can bring nothing more than a positive and healthy environment, quality rest, and a better vacation. Ah, the power of clean, fresh air…

A note to travellers: Be wary, as not all hotels listed as “green” or healthy go under the scrutiny of meeting green environmental standards from organizations like Green Seal.

Looking for a green hotel? The Green Hotels Association lists members you may want to consider staying at for confidence that you’ll be relaxing in a safe home away from home.