When you first check in to a hotel, it can be tempting to just open the door of your room and plop down onto the fluffy bed. Traveling is tiring, and the allure of a bed you won’t have make in the morning can be too strong to resist. But there are a few things you should do first to maximize your stay. Here are six tasks you should perform immediately after checking in to your hotel.
1. Ask For An Upgrade
The first item on this list should happen before you even get to your room. When it comes to swapping your standard room for the penthouse suite, it never hurts to ask. How can you improve your odds of scoring a free upgrade? Traveling during off-peak times, arriving late and letting hotel staff know about any special occasions you may be celebrating, like a birthday or anniversary, can all improve your chances of trading up.
2. Check For Unwelcome Guests
When you enter your hotel room, you should check to make sure the only living things planning to spend the night are you and your travel companion(s). That’s right — we’re talking about bed bugs. Although no one wants to think about them, they’re an unfortunate reality in some hotels.
Bedbugs are reddish-brown, and most hotel sheets are white, so they should be pretty easy to spot. Be sure to check all sheets, mattresses and box springs, as well as the area surrounding the headboard. If you do see any bugs, let hotel management know as soon as possible. They should be happy to work with you to solve the problem, and you should ask for a new room at least two floors away from the original room, as these bugs can hide in the walls and travel between floors.
3. Assess The Cleanliness Of The Room
Although you probably expect most hotel rooms to be sparkling clean when you check in, the reality is that germs can still be lurking. Some common hot spots for dirt and germs in hotel rooms include the bedspread, the remote control, drinking glasses, the room service menu, the phone and pillowcases. Inspect each of these items upon your arrival, giving them a swipe with a disinfectant wipe if you can, or asking for a replacement if necessary.
4. Make Yourself A Home
Designer Karim Rashid is a frequent traveler, and suggests a strategy many organization experts advocate for at home: decluttering.
“I take every piece of paper, every note or book, and put it in drawers to hide them,” Rashid told Bloomberg of his decluttering process when he gets into a hotel room. “I don’t like visual clutter. And in the bathroom, too — there’s a crazy amount of stuff they shove in there.”
He says that getting rid of extra stuff will make your stay more relaxing, pleasant and distraction-free.
Another thing that will help your hotel stay feel more comfortable is if you actually take the time to unpack. There’s a reason “living out of a suitcase” is perceived as a negative. The less time you spend rooting around your suitcase for that sweater you’re certain you packed, the more time you can spend exploring your destination.
6. Ask About Extras
If you’re a savvy traveler, you likely already read up on a hotel’s major amenities — such as a hot tub, pool or spa — before you book your stay. What you might not know, however, is that some hotels partner with nearby facilities or other hotels to offer certain perks they lack. So even if your hotel doesn’t have a gym on-site, you may be able to get a workout in down the street.
Other extras you may not know about include shuttles, bike rentals or free food and drinks at the hotel bar or restaurant. As with an upgrade, you’ll never know unless you ask!
How have you ensured your hotel stay was the best it could be?