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    Bitten By the Travel Bug

    Something I read in the Telegraph travel news this morning has left me feeling decidedly itchy. Britain's biggest pest control company, Rentokil, has reported a 40% increase in transport-related call-outs in the past year. Apparently there are more bed bugs and fleas lurking on buses, trains and aircraft than ever before.

    The car hire industry doesn't generally suffer this problem, as every vehicle gets a thorough clean after each use - well you wouldn't be very impressed if you set off for your romantic road trip in a car full of sticky spills and sweet wrappers - but it's understandable that other forms of travel used daily by large volumes of people are finding it hard to control the odd infestation.

    Flight turn-around schedules are tighter than ever, so there simply isn't the time for cleaners to vacuum every nook and cranny, and if you've ever been on the London underground you won't be at all surprised that humans are not the only species getting a ride around the city. Buses and cruise ships also have a constant high turnover of people, and some will carry on tiny extra passengers that can be hard to detect, or get rid of, without a high level of diligence.

    To an extent I can forgive the slap-dash cleaning regimes of some public transport. I'm heavily guilty of neglect when it comes to the upkeep of my own car interior. With the constant supply of snack residue that comes with a two-year old passenger, who knows what could fester if I don't deal with it every now and then.

    A full valet service is a great way to keep on top of hidden car germs - particularly if you're as lazy as I am - but a quick weekly clear out is much cheaper and can be just as effective. I've found lots of advice on the products and techniques to give a professional finish on sites like and, but here are three simple tips to get you started:

    - Keep a small rubbish bag in the car - and empty it once a week

    - Baking soda is great for getting rid of lingering smells on carpets and upholstery

    - Removable car seat covers are brilliant if you're battling to keep a clean interior. Just take them off and throw them into the washing machine when they get dirty.

    If you have any other handy ideas for keeping car interiors sparkling with minimum effort, do let me know. Happy travelling  and don't let the bed bugs bite...

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