8 Things All Travelers Should Do When Checking Into a Hotel Room
Kicking your shoes off and settling down in a comfortable bed is one of the best parts of traveling. Before you start sawing logs, though, do a sweep around your room. Housekeepers do their best at maintaining dozens of rooms a day, but sometimes certain areas slip by inspection. An illness or a compromised space is no way to begin a trip, but you can guarantee smooth travels with a few chief precautions. Keep reading for eight useful tips to follow when starting your hotel stay.
1. Test the Door Lock
Most hotel doors self-close and self-lock. If yours doesn’t lock after you, make a call to the front desk. Switch out your key for a new one if it doesn’t secure or unlock the door. Ensure the deadbolt isn’t broken or faulty. If it is, ask for another room — it’s essential for protection whenever you’re inside. The door lock serves as your first line of security, but the deadbolt provides additional peace of mind.
2. Scan for Cameras
Though it’d be nice to trust that all hotel goers have the best intentions, some are unsavory. Fortunately, hidden cameras don’t pop up often in hotels — they’re more common in low-rated or off-brand accommodations. Still, check just in case. Take notice of appliances such as lamps or alarm clocks placed in odd locations. Inspect the smoke detectors and look for any red lights. You can detect a lens by using a device to reflect light off of it.
Hidden cameras often lurk in bathrooms and office spaces, so scrutinize these areas for signs.
3. Check for Bed Bugs
Even the fanciest hotels aren’t immune to bed bugs. These critters spread wherever they can, so always check your bedding before lying in it. Pull back your sheets and look for brown and black stains. These come from their droppings — beyond disgusting, right? Peel back the mattress cover and folded areas of the sheets too, as they like hiding in dark spots.
Bed bugs are small, so you may not be able to see them with the naked eye, but they leave behind shell casings as they mature. Search for these discarded skins within your sheets.
4. Wipe Down Surfaces
Let’s face it — many hotel goers use the TV remote, but way fewer clean it after they’re done flipping through channels. If no one else will, you should make it a habit, because it’s one of the dirtiest spots in your room. A study revealed that 81% of hotel surfaces contain some fecal matter, with the remote being one of the top areas. Throw a few packs of antibacterial wipes in your luggage — or a few dozen.
Use those wipes to clean every surface you touch. It may sound over-the-top, but you’ll be glad you did when your health stays in optimal shape during your trip. Wash the glassware before using it, or bring reusable bottles from home if you’d rather not risk the germs.
5. Ensure Towels Are Stocked
Confirm you have enough towels and examine their cleanliness. You don’t want to realize you’re missing a bath towel after you’ve stepped out of the shower. Likewise, you probably won’t be ecstatic to notice a towel has unknown stains after you’ve already used it. Taking two showers in a day doesn’t hurt, but nasty stains shouldn’t be the reason why you’re back in the water.
6. Check the Toiletries
A lack of toiletries doesn’t pose an immediate problem, but you may be inconvenienced if you forgot to bring your own. Do you genuinely know panic if you haven’t hopped in the shower before work only to see all the shampoo is gone? Avoid appearing at a meeting with a wild bedhead by calling the front desk — they’ll be happy to restock your supplies.
7. Lock Your Valuables Up
Tuck your valuables — such as your passport or jewelry — away whenever you leave the room. Don’t leave anything in plain sight while you’re gone. Many hotels offer a small safe to lock your belongings in. Take advantage of this amenity, but be sure it works beforehand. The hotel needs to reset the administrator code before use to ensure it’s secure.
8. Review the Escape Plan
You likely won’t have to worry about evacuations or emergencies during your stay, but be aware. Check the hotel’s escape plan — usually mounted on the back of the door — and note important routes and exits. Keep the local police department’s number in your contacts, and look up alternatives to 911 if you’re staying in a foreign country.
Enjoy a Clean and Safe Hotel Stay
Once you’ve done your inspection, you should be good to go. If anything comes up during your stay, don’t be afraid to reach out to the hotel workers — they’re there to help you. Treat them with respect, and they’ll provide quick solutions to your issues.