Q. I'm taking a trip to New York next week, and have booked a room in what I consider to be a nice hotel. Still, after everything I've read in recent years, I can't help but be concerned about bedbugs. I've even read accounts of bed bug infestations on airplanes. Is this a widespread issue I should concern myself with, or just a lot of hype?

A. The truth is, you can come into contact with bed bugs just about anywhere- from hotels to movie theaters, and yes, even airplanes. They are stealthy little critters, and excellent at latching on undetected to luggage, clothing, upholstery, you name it. The latest word is that bed bugs are on the decline (at least in New York), though you'd still be wise to check online reviews of your hotel for any recent reports. You can also have a quick look around the perimeter of your hotel mattress for any signs of, uh, activity. As an extra precaution, there are travel sprays available online to deter bed bugs from crawling into luggage. And of course, they are less likely to latch on to hardshell bags. 

For more info, you can read through the very thorough travel FAQs at Bedbugger.com.

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