Even during the coronavirus pandemic, many flight attendants are still on the go, flying around the country and staying in hotels. Salt Lake City-based flight attendant Kat Kamalani has gone viral for her series of TikTok videos with highly informative hotel and airplane hacks.
Since Kamalani uploaded her original TikTok hotel video—with tips on everything from avoiding bedbugs to staying safe—in August, it has racked up 6.2 million views and 1.4 million likes and the travel-savvy flight attendant has been featured on TV outlets like Good Morning America and Inside Edition. In addition to her 286,000 followers on TikTok, Kamalani has also become an influencer on Instagram, with 50,000 followers, and YouTube, with 33,000 subscribers.
Now—naturally—Kamalani is sharing her insider tips on airlines that we need to know (and can’t stop watching). She also has advice on how to get hired as a flight attendant—which is more competitive than getting into Harvard, according to Kamalani—and she reveals things you might not know about a flight attendant’s job. (Spoiler alert: They don’t get to work on the most glamorous flights to places like Paris and Hawaii right off the bat.)
“I made these videos to help others stay clean and safe and have a more comfortable experience when traveling,” says Kamalani. “I was honestly shocked to see in my comment section on hotel tips how much people don’t think of germs when staying in a hotel. (I mean, thousands of bodies see those rooms!) So it lead me to making an airplane tips video next.”
Kamalani says she plans to continue making videos covering a range of different angles, from travel booking nightmares to the actual experience of traveling (the good, the bag and the ugly).
Read on for some of Kamalani’s top tips for hotels and airlines.
Airline Safety Tips
1. Whatever you do, do not touch the backseat pocket. “They clean them out between flights but they don’t sanitize them,” says Kamalani. “Think of all the dirty tissues, barf bags and garbage that has been in there.”
2. If you’re going to use your tray table, make sure you sanitize it. “I have seen so many parents use this as a changing table for their child’s diaper—and then they put it in the backseat pocket,” she reveals.
3. Wipe down the overhead air vents down before you touch them. “They’ve seen thousands of hands,” says Kamalani.
4. Next area of concern on a plane: the safety guide cards. “We don’t sanitize them and a lot people touch and read these to pass by time,” she says. “Yeah—just wipe it.”
5. Another airline dirt collector: the lavatory door. “Use a tissue to lock the door,” says Kamalani.
Hotel Safety Tips
6. Never say your room number out loud when you’re checking into a hotel or in a public area: “Just in case there’s anyone around, you don’t want them knowing where you’re staying,” says Kamalani.
7. Make sure there’s no one behind you when you’re going into your room, says Kamalani who also advises that it’s a good idea to “check if there’s anybody in the room—behind curtains, under bed, etc.”
8. Just closing and locking the hotel room door isn’t enough—be sure to use the deadbolt. “Always make sure you use the top lock,” emphasizes Kamalani.
9. Hotels can be an easy place to pick up bedbugs. Check for the nasty critters by removing the sheets and inspecting the seams of the mattress—especially the corners, one of their favorite hiding places.
10. On the bed, remove any decorative pillows, as well as the comforter. “They never wash those,” she explains.
11. Lastly: Never put your bag on the bed. “It’s been through the airport, and it’s disgusting,” says Kamalani.
Plus: More Travel Tips
Kamalani shared two more travel tips exclusively with Forbes Women:
12. Get creative if you get hungry on the road. “If you don’t have a microwave, bring an instant oatmeal packet with you while traveling and use the boiling water from the coffee machine to have breakfast,” says the globe-hopping flight attendant.
13. Everyone knows that the TV remote controller in a hotel room is a big germ catcher, so Kamalani has come up with this ingenious hack: “That thing never gets sanitized, so put the remote in the ice bucket bag.”
Original Article by: Laura Begley Bloom