With more people getting vaccinated and growing more comfortable with the idea of traveling in a world with COVID, some companies are beginning to open up their travel programs and letting their employees take certain types of business trips again.

Whether you have been vaccinated or not, we recommend practicing safety precautions when traveling. Here are five top tips from our hotel strategy team that can help keep you safe and healthy. (And for a complete set of hotel safety precautions to take throughout the entire duration of your visit, from check-in to checkout, click here.)

1. It is very important to follow your company’s booking policy and to book within its designated channels so your employers know where you are. But consider what options are available to you. To limit your interactions and keep a distance from others, you may want to look at smaller hotels or nontraditional corporate accommodation, such as serviced apartments.

2. Avoid the front desk or handling key cards by using app-based mobile check-ins, virtual keys, and digital checkouts wherever available. Many properties don’t require that you stop by the front desk to check out. Consider calling down from your room prior to checkout and having your invoice sent to your email. Many properties offer these services and you can use them to your advantage.

3. Wipe down key areas of your hotel room. While the housekeeping staff is doing everything they can to keep your room clean and sanitized between guests, you can’t be too careful. We recommend traveling with cleaning wipes so you can wipe down key touchpoints in your room – including door handles, light switches, the thermostat, phone, TV remote control, dining menus, desk, and more – anywhere you’re going to be touching. And remember to regularly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer, even while in your room.

4. Consider removing any bedding that can’t easily be washed. Most hotels are in the habit of triple-sheeting the beds so they can easily wash all the bedding between guests. If your hotel has a bedspread or blanket, consider removing this from the bed so you aren’t in contact with an article that isn’t washed as frequently.

5. Limit your exposure to other hotel guests by spending as little time as possible in the property’s public spaces. You may want to opt for room service over hotel buffets when you can. And wherever you’re eating, always thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands immediately before you eat. But retain a sense of perspective – decent, responsible hotels will be taking extra precautions and following best practices, so you shouldn’t feel completely confined to your room.

Be sure you know how to quickly contact your travel management company (TMC), whether by phone, SMS, or in-app webchat, if your travel plans suddenly change or are disrupted. Your TMC should be there 24/7, every step of the way.

For more helpful travel tips, visit Travel Vitals™ to stay up to date on the latest travel information like travel restrictions and what hotel suppliers are doing to protect their guests before you step out the door.