Picture this: The journey to your hotel takes more than five hours. In between these hours, you bear the long periods of riding a car, bus, ship, or plane. You experience motion sickness, and not to mention, sleepiness from last night’s 3-hour-long slumber because you spent hours packing. You walk from one terminal to another, with a heavy suitcase and one heavy backpack. You also struggle with hunger and thirst since rushing to catch your ride barely gives you time to eat.
That being the case, it’s not surprising why most of us look pale and haggard upon meeting the hotel front desk. The first thing we want to do upon getting our hotel room key card is to drop our bags and just collapse on the bed, right?
But sorry to disappoint you—we wouldn’t recommend that. Well, not until you do these 13 things that will surely give you a healthier, safer, and more comfortable hotel stay.
1. Check if the key card works
Once they bring you to your room, make sure you check whether your hotel card works or not, or how it works. They often come with instructions. Likewise, check if your door locks properly for security reasons.
2. Inspect the bed for bed bugs
The last thing you want to happen is to wake up from your nap with itchy, red, and bumpy skin from nasty bed bugs. Even if you’re not staying in an old, low-cost hotel (which is notorious for bed bugs), it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check the bed. Look for stains or small brown and black dots on the covers. Pull back the bedspread and sheets. Inspect the mattress too. If you find something nasty, call the front desk and ask if you can switch to another room.
3. Ditch the comforter
Here’s one thing a hotel insider would never tell you: the comforters aren’t changed regularly unless they’re stained. The sheets are changed after every guest, but not the thick, comfy duvets you love to snuggle on. You can either request a fresh blanket or bring your own.
4. Childproof the room
Do you travel with your kids? Before making the most out of your lovely hotel in Carlow with a picturesque view, take the time in childproofing the room.
Look around and address any potential hazards. Lock your windows and balcony doors, especially if your room is located on a high floor. Check under the bed and tables for possible items left by other guests which can be a choking hazard. Keep breakable items, like coffee makers and vases, out of reach. Keep the curtain cords out of reach too.
Lastly, we suggest bringing duct tapes. You can use them to cover sharp table corners and electrical outlets which can pose serious threats.
5. Sanitize the germiest surfaces in the hotel room
We’re talking about the TV remote, A/C unit controller, doorknobs, light switches, wardrobe handles, and phones. These are the dirtiest items found in hotel rooms because they’re the most commonly touched yet they’re rarely cleaned.
Do yourself a favor and wipe them down with anti-bacterial wipes or napkins sprayed with alcohol-based solutions. Wipe down the desks, tables, and countertops too.
6. Wash the drinkware
Based on how the bathroom glasses and coffee cups look and smell, can you guess whether they’re properly and regularly cleaned or not? Well, there’s no time for guessing — just go ahead and wash them with hot water and soap. If there’s one lesson we learned from the pandemic era, it’s the fact that we should disinfect common items, especially if they’ve been in contact with another person’s mouth.
7. Unload your luggage
Don’t you just hate digging through your suitcase all the time? Well, the cabinets are there for a reason — use them. Use the closet to hang your clothes, store your shoes, and display your toiletries. If you have snacks, feel free to use the shelves and the mini-fridge, if you have them.
8. See the hotel’s evacuation plan
Studying the evacuation plan and knowing where the emergency exits are may seem like a waste of time…until a real disaster like fire or earthquake takes place. It’s always better to come prepared.
9. Check if the appliances are working properly
No paying hotel guest deserves to stay in a hotel room with faulty in-room amenities — they’re included in your rate so you should be able to enjoy them. Before you sleep, see if the appliances and bathroom amenities are in good working condition. These include the kettle, coffee maker, air conditioning unit, television, hair blower, and the shower’s heating system.
10. See if the toiletries are complete
Check the bathroom. Is it fully equipped with an adequate amount of shampoo, conditioner, body wash or bar soap, and lotion for you and your companions? Are there enough towels and toilet paper?
11. Look for hidden cameras
There shouldn’t be a hidden camera in a hotel room. It would be a blatant threat to your security and privacy. Run a check on your room for strange gadgets, red lights, double “smoke detectors”, and misplaced objects, which may disguise as cameras.
12. Reset the alarm
Because nothing ruins one’s morning more than being awakened by a noisy alarm that belongs to someone else, like the previous guest who set the time to 4:30 A.M.
13. Enjoy your fully-furnished hotel room
Well if you’ve crossed out all of the items on this list, there’s only one thing left to do: relax. Hang the “do not disturb” and enjoy your hotel stay!