At its core, a hotel room is just four walls and a bed; it’s a place to get some rest, clean yourself up, and store your belongings. But something about staying in a new, different place is exciting. It brings about a new energy to things that are extremely routine in our lives.
We usually stay at hotel rooms for special occasions. From bachelor parties, to birthdays, to business trips, we end up at hotels for a reason other than sleeping in our own comfy beds.
While most times spent at hotels are exciting, it’s important to keep in mind that no matter how out of control the night gets, you need to leave your hotel room at the end of your trip – meaning you’ll have to pay for any damage or mishaps that have occurred on your watch.
Most of us have heard of the movie The Hangover, where the main characters trash the room after a crazy night of partying, but somehow everything ends up fine. Partying like that in real life and treating a hotel in such a way could get you sued and even arrested.
Before your next stay, follow these hotel safety tips every traveler should know.
Don’t Steal a Thing
Some people think that when they stay at a hotel, some items may be up for grabs, or the staff simply won’t notice – which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Don’t plan on taking anything home with you from the room: no cups, towels, appliances, bedding, hangers – nothing. Depending on the hotel’s policies, you could end up paying for more than just a pillowcase replacement – certain situations may end up with you having a much larger bill than a simple $20.
Hotels or places with lots of frequent travelers – such as cruise ships – will sometimes charge for a replacement if they can’t find an item. Instead of throwing your used towels around, make sure you can account for each one before you leave – or face the possibility of paying to replace it.
If you’re unsure if it’s okay to take an item home, simply ask the front desk. Dirty laundry bags and complimentary toiletries are usually okay, but check before you pack away a seemingly complimentary bottle of water. You may get charged for it later on.
Stay Away from Smoke
If you smoke, make sure you request a smoking room if available at your hotel. If not, it’s best not to risk it. Cigarette smoke can stick to the carpet, furniture, drapes – anything fabric in your room, and most likely won’t go away before you leave.
Stepping out onto the balcony or opening a window could even be risky. Reports say that hotels needing to deal with the smoke smell often charge the customer, including the popular Marriott hotels who charge individuals at least $250 per room they need to rid of smoke stank.
Report “Lost” Keys
It happens. You’re running around the city, and your room key falls out of your pocket or drops out of your hand while searching for your credit card. If this is the case, make sure you report it to hotel staff.
Many people don’t think to report lost keys if they happen to have a second one, but this leaves you, your belongings, and the hotel vulnerable. In the unfortunate case that your key was picked up or stolen, it could be used to break in your room. Have the hotel issue you brand new ones to keep you and your family safe, and avoiding any liability cases between you and the hotel.
Keep It Clean
Most hotels provide free housekeeping. Take advantage of it while you’re traveling, and don’t let your room go more than two days without being cleaned by housekeepers.
Staying for an extended period of time without a record of good cleaning could result in fines upon checking out. Hotels provide housekeepers and maids for a reason – let them do their job while you’re busy traveling.
If There’s an Issue, Call It In
Broken toilets can go from annoying to flooding the whole floor in a matter of minutes. If there’s a problem with something in your room, call the front desk or housekeeping and report it immediately.
Leaky faucets, broken heaters or air conditioners, toilets that won’t stop running, or any other damage you happen to see upon your arrival should be reported to keep the blame — and cost to fix it — from being placed on you.
Keep Your Reservation Safe
While it’s important to keep your room clean and safe, keeping your reservation and the investment of your room safe is critical, too.
Some third-party sites state that paying a deposit to them will act as a reservation. Always call the actual hotel to confirm reservations made through third-party websites. You’ll thank us when you get there and your room is ready to go in tip-top shape.
The next time you stay at a hotel, pay attention to your room. Ensure everything is in working order and exactly as you expected it before you kick off your shoes. And when you leave, be sure to leave it the way you found it – with everything still in it. The hotel you’re staying at – and your wallet – will thank you for following these hotel safety tips every traveler should know.