Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Reader questions (do not fit into other categories)

Packing & traveling over the holidays plan

(5 posts)
  1. bedbuganxiety

    Account Closed
    Joined: Nov '11
    Posts: 118

    offline

    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Nov 12 2011 17:05:51
    #



    Login to Send PM

    We are heading to Disney World in December and after researching different websites, I have come up with a plan. We will be there for a week and will be traveling with 4 suitcases. My plan is to spray "Stop Bugging Me!" on all suitcases and backpacks (traveling with kids) before we leave home. All items including clothes and other items will be packed in ziplocs. One outfit, per person, per day will be in each ziploc. I plan to spray the luggage again while we are at the hotel as well as around the beds and room (after a through inspection of the room first!!). Plan to keep the luggage in large garbage bags at all times and in the bathtub unless the tub is in use. All items that we will buy down there will be put in extra ziplocs. Then I'll spray the luggage again before leaving the hotel. We are flying. Once back to our car, I'll put the luggage in large garbage bags that will be in our car already. Once home, I have a packtite. I'll run things that can go/that will fit thru the packtite. My larger suitcases (2 of them) won't fit the original packtite (the "closet" is on my Christmas list from Santa, but I may just go ahead and buy it for myself). In the case that Hubby says "no" to me buying the closet packtite, I plan to vacumm the suitcases (contain and then throw away the vacumm bag just in case) and then spray the luggage one last time. For the clothes, I was planning to put them thru a hot dryer cycle for an hour instead of the packtite to cut down on time.

    So, am I missing anything? Anything you all would do differently? Please, all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!! We had a bed bug scare when we traveled last June. Knowledge is power, and boy, oh boy, have I done a lot of bed bug research since June

    One good thing is now I won't be packing all the "extra stuff" that I always feel I need and then never use. My packing list sure is a lot lighter

  2. buggyinsocal

    oldtimer
    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431

    offline

    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 11:43:57
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Everyone has a different approach to travel.

    Personally, since I travel with a lot of electronics, heat treating every single item I travel with just isn't possible. (I can't not travel with electronics since I'm often traveling for work.)

    In addition, I don't want to put my clothes through the extra wear and tear that washing on hot causes--esp. when they aren't labeled for it.

    I prefer to rely on thorough inspection of the hotel rooms I stay in. Mind you, I also have a Packtite as a back up in case I find anything. My suitcase only sits on my bed in my house when I'm packing it--and I always use a thoroughly inspected luggage rack when I'm in the hotel.

    I suspect part of it is that having had an actual bed bug infestation, I had plenty of opportunity to see bugs, their eggs, nymphs, and fecal matter up close and personal, so I trust my inspection skills. (I've also been inspecting for nearly 3.5 years now, and I keep coming back to the boards as much to keep abreast of new developments as to sharpen my ID skills.) I also travel a lot. The first few trips--hotel stays, plane flights--post bed bugs I was a nervous wreck. Over time, the more trips I took during which I encountered nothing, the more I was able to back away from bedbug DEFCON1.

    I'm personally skeptical about the usefulness of those sprays. If the sprays work, they're likely to have a repellent effect, and I don't want to repel bed bugs. I want to know they're there.

    Part of it is that since I generally fly 25,000 miles or more a year, there's just no way I can go to that level on every single trip and stay sane. Instead, I rely on inspection and early detection (I know that if I get bitten, I'll react, and I have confidence that I can tell a bed bug bite on me from other kinds of skin things.)

    I also rely on regular inspection and a somewhat hostile environment at home. I redid the arrangement of my bedroom post bed bugs to make my bed easier to inspect. I change the sheets more often and only use light colored sheets. Even my summer blanket and comforter and duvet cover are all light colored now. My curtains are nowhere near the bed.

    Immediately after being exposed to bed bugs, I saw possible bed bug infestation vectors everywhere. I still know it's statistically possible to pick up a hitch hiker when on rare occasions I take the bus to work instead of driving. Or if my bag sits in the hold of the plane next to someone else's infested bag.

    As cilecto recently reminded me, I too once thought that bed bugs were a bit like Tribbles (From Star Trek) with velcro--they were everywhere and you could pick them up at any time.

    But having been through an infestation and having my general unwillingness to let the bad guys win by making me live in fear, I just can't bring myself to go on every trip I take in a way that ruins the trip for me. And for me, taking measures as detailed as those that you take feels like letting the bed bugs manipulate my emotions.

    I'm still cautious. I have changed a lot of behaviors. I do inspect hotel rooms thoroughly. I do have the Packtite on hand for the return home if I am exposed. I do inspect the outside of my suitcase when I get home.

    I mostly say this because everyone's personal threshold for what they can and can't bring themselves to do is different and situation dependent. I already have a Packtite. I've made changes to my home and behaviors that make it more likely that i'll detect things early. I know I react to bites. I've sharpened my inspection skills. Someone with a different set of variables may come to a different conclusion.

    But I do want future readers of this thread to know that while your plan is likely one that will make it hugely unlikely that you'll bring any hitch hikers home with you--and which may be the best plan for you and your family given the variables in your situation--it's also not required for most people when they travel.

    Hope y'all have a lot of fun on your trip.

  3. punaisedelit

    member
    Joined: Nov '11
    Posts: 124

    offline

    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 11:55:26
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Wow, thanks for the long post buggyinsocal. It actually helps a lot, because I will have to travel a lot in the next two months, and I'm extremely worried that I might catch a hitchhiker. I almost cancelled my Thanksgiving trip for fear of "infecting" the people I'm visiting, same with Xmas plans... but I cannot stop living because of the bed bugs.

  4. bedbuganxiety

    Account Closed
    Joined: Nov '11
    Posts: 118

    offline

    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 12:51:28
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thank you for replying, Buggyinsocal!! Knowing that you've been thru an infestation and are able to be much more relaxed during travel is comforting! I hope to get back to that point someday Taking these precautions, for now, helps me to be able to enjoy my vacation more without the constant worry that I'll be bringing home bed bugs. I'm also a "type A" personality. You know the type; lists for EVERYTHING, constant organization, always in need of feeling "in control of the situation". Tramatic childhood, in which I wasn't able to control anything, plays a huge part into how I am today. And reading about how some folks have battled these bugs for months, being retreated 5-6 times and still having bugs, just freaks me out to be honest. Again, plays into why I seem to be going overboard.

    I had seen the spray talked about by Jeff White on Bed Bug Central. Not totally relying on it, but figured if it may possibly repel some bug from my luggage, I'm all for that.

    So, maybe that will let people know why I have this "plan". Not in any way advising everyone to do the same thing. I'm not an expert nor do I play one on TV Was just basically looking for the reassurance that what I was doing could help and looking for any thoughts about what others had done while traveling that had worked.

  5. theyareoutthere

    oldtimer
    Joined: Sep '11
    Posts: 3,255

    offline

    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Nov 13 2011 17:19:18
    #



    Login to Send PM

    BBA: Good luck on your trip (and enjoy)! I'm the same way, so just wanted to say take care of yourself. It's easier said than done.

    BuggyinSoCal: I never knew your backstory and how much you travel...I travel for work and worry. I had a scare months ago after a trip and still don't trust my inspection skills. You've been through it and it's appreciated that you come back to the boards with helpful information and suggestions.

    TAOT

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT

RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

297,225 posts in 50,141 topics over 155 months by 21,920 of 22,416 members. Latest: Bery10, plsnopls, Ldrago