Bedbugs are a menace, and learning how to search your hotel room for them before you collapse into bed is critical to avoid taking them home with you. This video shows you best way to do just that, and to make sure you get a good night's rest away from home.
Contrary to popular belief, don't walk into your hotel room and put your stuff on the table or luggage rack. People often say you should, as an alternative to putting your stuff on the bed, but the video, from the University of Maine's YouTube channel explains it's better to put your stuff in the bathroom or bathtub while you search. These areas are more likely to be recently sanitised and are also further away from the bed.
Once you have your stuff in the bathroom, head over to your bed and shine a flashlight (or any light, the one from your phone will do in a pinch) down and around the headboard to see if you spot any bugs. Move the headboard around a bit if you can (some hotels have them attached to the walls, so around the edges and near the floor is fine.) Then pull up the sheets and check the top and bottom piping of the mattress. Right in the crease where the piping and the body of the mattress meet is a common hiding spot. Look under the mattress where the box spring or bed frame meet as well. Next, check the mattress pad (not the sheets, pull them out of the way — they may have been changed recently) for blood spots you wouldn't see through a fresh, clean sheet.
Then, look at the nightstand next to your hotel bed. Pop out the drawer and inspect the trim and joinery — it's another good hiding spot that's often undisturbed but close to a sleeping host. Finally, check that luggage rack. The fabric is flexible and has plenty of give, so bed bugs can hide in there too. The full video shows you exactly how to do all of this, and it has closed captioning if you want to watch without the audio.
It's a lot of work, but that effort when you check in and enter your room will make sure you don't bring the little nasties home with you after a business trip or an otherwise pleasant vacation. Keep in mind that bed bugs are highly portable, and can hide anywhere — four-star hotels or hostels alike — so no lodging is "too good" to have them. Always check.
How to Look for and Avoid Bed Bugs in Hotel or Motel Rooms [University of Maine (YouTube)]