There’s more to a hotel than meets the eye.
Avid traveler or amateur, it’s high time you learn what you should and absolutely shouldn’t do if you care about your well-being.
1. Jumping into bed without inspecting it
Hotel room beds are the epitome of comfort. Plump pillows, downy duvets, and a cushy mattress that melt your wariness away as you sink in.
Of course, the serenity will quickly turn into revulsion when you consider how many bodies have been in it before yours, or how many unwelcome companions you might have.
That’s right. Hotel beds are notorious for bed bugs. Some hotels arm their beds with a bed bug-resistant sheets, but not all hotels are willing to spend that extra money.
As soon as you step into the room:
- Pull out your phone flashlight to inspect every crevice and sheet-covered inch
- Keep your belongings in the furthest corner from the bed
- Don’t neglect checking the closet and luggage rack
Immediately call for help and a change of room if you spot something suspicious.
2. Getting your hands on everything in sight
Every surface is a germ hub of its own right. Remote controls, throw pillows, door handles, and elevator buttons being the biggest of all.
Take the hotel’s guarantee of cleanliness with a grain of salt. Wipe down anything before laying a finger on it.
If you’re embarrassed to do that outside your room, use hand sanitizer. Carry one that contains at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands with soap and water at your earliest chance after.
You don’t need to become a germaphobe, but caution doesn’t hurt. Better safe than sorry.
3. Tossing valuables about
Anything that goes missing is on you. There are no security cameras within those four walls to recover your trinkets once lost.
Lockers or safes are a part of many rooms. You’re paying for it, so you might as well use it.
Where one isn’t available, simply lock your prized possession within your suitcase. It is much harder to traipse away with than a pair of earrings.
4. Becoming loose-lipped
A lesser-noticed but equally concerning matter: it’s not only the person you address whose ears are privy to your conversations in public.
Don’t advertise your room number. Indicate your name to the concierge, servers, and other hotel personnel. Lower your voice if you must mention digits.
You never know who might be listening to your conversations. Take your personal safety seriously at the hotel.
5. Bringing your pet(s) to the party
Hotels are strict with their protocols for pets given the noise, smells, and mess they could create. They could even be fatal to someone who’s allergic.
Smuggling in your furry friend could get you slapped with a hefty fine. When push comes to shove, you might find yourself out on the street and banned for good.
Give your pet a special place in your heart, not your hotel room. If you want to bring your pet along, opt for a pet-friendly accommodation.
6. Blocking the smoke alarm
Fire accidents occur at nearly 4,000 hotels and motels every year. Smoke alarms are there to prevent the number from increasing.
If you’re desperate to smoke, book a room that allows smoking. This saves you from going to great lengths to stifle the alarm.
While on this subject, beware that a steamy shower can set off sensitive alarms. Always keep the washroom door shut.
7. Using items for unintended purposes
Face cloths are not for shining shoes. Hand towels are not floor mats. Electric kettles are not for washing socks.
Be considerate of the next occupant. What they don’t know won’t hurt them, but how does the slight possibility that someone before you did the same make you feel?
8. Chugging tap water
Did you know that it’s unsafe to drink tap water in 187 countries?
Even in some European and North American nations where it’s deemed safe, horror stories of tap water’s side effects are aplenty.
It is not the brightest idea to gamble with your health for the sake of saving pennies on bottled water. If you’re ready to, keep an eye out for unusual taste, smell, or color.
1. Stealing stuff
Sure, you’re meant to take home sample-sized toiletries and the individual-use slippers, and perhaps even some stationery from a swanky hotel. It ends there.
Having access does not entitle you to snatch towels, robes, blow dryers, pillows, covers, coffee mugs, and silverware.
The biggest faux pas of all is sneaking alcohol from the minibar, and then denying it.
As clever as you pride yourself to be, the hotel is probably two steps ahead. Minibars are equipped with weight sensors that’ll catch any movement within. The result is an instantaneous bill that will leave you wishing you didn’t breathe in the cooler’s vicinity.
2. Plopping your bag where it doesn’t belong
Chances are that your bags have accompanied you on one too many adventures. Its wheels and underside have gathered scum from one too many roads and cargo tosses. Keep your stay hygienic and resist dirtying spots needlessly.
If your room does not have a luggage rack, the floor is the next best option.
3. Being noisy or nosy
Stomping around, guffawing in common areas, eavesdropping on the couple at the adjacent table, and plunging into a heated argument with the manager is unacceptable behavior.
Beyond a tolerance point, the staff and fellow lodgers are bound to reciprocate your obnoxiousness, or give you a wide berth.
Whether on a vacation or traveling for work, people at hotels prefer to mind their business. It’ll bode well for you to do that too.
4. Assuming additional services
Beyond the room that you paid for and a cordial experience, the hotel doesn’t owe you anything. It’s your duty to ask about changes and add-ons.
Enquire whether early check-in, late check-out, upgrades, and preferences are available beforehand. If the hotel can’t accommodate your needs, don’t incessantly question why or compare with facilities elsewhere.
Don’t expect housekeeping to not wake you up from a slumber unless you hang the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door. Likewise, there are no guarantees that they will come knocking unless you indicate it’s necessary, especially on a short stay.
Commit these pointers to memory. A perfect mix of diligence and manners will make your hotel visit unforgettable for the right reasons.
5. Going without travel insurance
A lot of things have to go right to have a successful vacation. You have to be healthy enough to take the trip. The weather has to be conducive to travel. Your bags need to arrive safely to the airport. You have to avoid getting sick or injuring yourself.
If any of these things don’t go to plan, you could be in a world of bother, and put in a financial strain. If you’re unable to take your trip due to health reasons, a family emergency, or flight cancellation, don’t expect the hotel to refund your prepaid booking costs. If your baggage goes missing, you could be out all the items that were in it. If you get sick or injured, you’ll become intimately acquainted with the cost of emergency medical treatment in a foreign country (where your domestic health insurance does you no good).
Luckily, travel insurance can help protect your finances in any of these situations. It can allow you to make a claim for compensation if you have a medical or travel emergency, so you don’t have to shoulder the costs yourself. Visit Insubuy to view a variety of international insurance plans, and choose the policy that’s the best fit for your trip.
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