Unless you commit to carrying your own bedding when you travel (hello, van life?), you will have to sleep in beds and sit in chairs and seats on planes, trains and buses, that have previously been occupied for long periods of time by many, many others. And it doesn't matter where you travel.
According to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can expect to encounter bed bugs anywhere in the world.
Although typically, it has been assumed that bedbugs are a bigger problem in developing countries where hygiene is harder to control, in recent years bedbugs have been part of a rapid spread in the USA, Canada, the UK and parts of Europe.
At the time of writing, Paris, France was experiencing an outbreak of bedbugs during Fashion Week that made it to the pages of Time, Forbes, CNN and the New York Times. With the Paris Olympics and Paralympic Games set to kick off in less than a year, authorities in Paris are said to be implementing urgent plans to eradicate the biting pests well ahead of the Opening Ceremony.
Annoyingly, bedbugs aren’t just confined to hostels or hotel beds, they can also be found on bedding and beds on planes, cruise ships, trains and buses, too. Don’t panic. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. While they might leave you with a bite that itches, few people will have a severe allergic reaction that may need medical attention.
Feeling itchy? Aside from waiting for local governments to implement anti-bedbug strategies, what can you do to minimize the risk of being on the biting end of a bedbug when you’re traveling?
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