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There are some things that I always want to bring back from my luxury travels to exotic destinations: a healthy tan, tons of photos, a quirky souvenir or two, and some wonderful memories; one thing that I definitely don’t want to bring back are any critters!

It’s another of those travel issues that people don’t really like to think or talk about but it is essential as if you deal with it in advance, it’ll be just you and your holiday companions returning on the flight home, not any tiny extras along for the ride!

Prevention is the best cure so the first thing I do when I check into a hotel, before even lighting the scented candle, is to check for bed bugs. Yes, they are found even at nice, luxury hotels so it’s always worth checking. Stick your cases in the bathroom first (where they are unlikely to be hiding) and thoroughly inspect the bed and furniture. As their name suggests, the bed is the number one location but make sure you look along the entire seams, the length of the frame and under the bed, plus check out curtains, cushions and sofas.

What are you looking for? Bed bugs are reddish, brown and about the size of an apple seed. The adults, babies and eggs are all visible to the naked eye and look for any reddish stains too. They generally come out at night and will feed on the blood of people or pets, the bites can cause itchy, irritating welts which will keep you up at night and ruin those holiday snaps too! It goes without saying, but if you find anything, ask to be moved to another room and inspect extra-thoroughly there.

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When you get home, be vigilant with your clothing as this is a common way of transporting bed bugs back home. Keep holiday clothes separate and in a sealed bag until you can wash them (though this will be straight away if you’re anything like me, got to get the holiday washing out the way!). While washing is essential, it’s the drying that’ll really help kill any bed bugs that are on your clothes; dry at a high temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Your luggage is another issue, you can vacuum it out and store out of the house, ideally in a hot attic or in a garage but a much snazzier solution is to use ThermalStrike Luggage. The innovative luggage has been designed for bug-free global travel and gets rid of bed bugs in all life stages using special heat treatment. Their cases, which include both a 20-inch carry-on and a 24-inch upright, are the world’s only luggage that kills bed bugs! The built-in heat treatment uses integrated, ultra-thin infrared heating panels which reach over 120-degrees Fahrenheit / 49 degrees Celsius and kills all bed bugs, much more effective than chemicals as there can be no hiding places. The technology is safe to touch and won’t damage your belongings as the heat is evenly distributed so there are no hot spots or indeed, cold spots, where the bugs could hide and survive. With ThermalStrike Luggage on your side, you can relax, show off that tan and look over your photos, safe in the knowledge that any sneaky hitchhikers are no more!

ThermalStrike Luggage