Travel logistics, in general, can be a major source of stress on holidays. It’s when we run to the airport, get out of hotel rooms, or book dinner that things get overlooked or lost. The simplest antidote, which is difficult when you are in traffic, is to simply slow down. Taking a few extra minutes (which you normally don’t want to waste) will help keep everything organized along the way. There is no reason to leave a hotel room, finish packing, collect travel documents, and call an Uber at the same time. Focus on one thing at a time and give yourself room to breathe instead of planning too much, and you’ll finally avoid some of the classic mistakes made by travelers.
Don’t ask for a specific room if you’re a light sleeper
Always be aware of your sleep preferences when traveling; after all, this is your time to recover and relax. If your sleep habits determine what kind of room you will be happiest in, talk. “I’m a light sleeper, so I always ask for a room away from the elevator, on a high floor and facing a less crowded street or courtyard,”
Not leaving a tip for the housekeeping staff before checkout
We instinctively tip waiters, bartenders, hairstylists, and cab drivers. Leaving gratuity for the housekeeping staff at a hotel should be second nature as well. If you’ve forgotten to tip housekeeping daily during your stay, the best thing to do is leave a tip in the room before you check out. “I always make sure to leave a tip for the cleaning staff — they do as much as anyone to make sure I had a great stay,”
Not asking about resort fees
The last thing you want on vacation is falling victim to hidden fees. But sometimes the built-in additional costs, such as resort fees, are unavoidable. The best thing to do is to be warned of these fees, so that you can budget them in the cost of the room rate. However, Shank also recommends asking about the resort fee, even if you already know about it, at check-in. “Unfortunately, Resort fees are becoming more common, “I always ask if resort fees are optional and sometimes I am successful.”
Not providing your contact information at check-in
We make an interesting case for leaving his information with the front desk as soon as he arrives at a hotel. “During check-in, I leave my email address and ask for my folio to be sent to me after checkout, “This way, I can skip checkout and walk out of the hotel, knowing I’ll have a chance to review any charges later on my own schedule.”
Waiting in line to check out if you’re crunched for time
Travelling today means you’ll likely be able to avoid standing in line at the front desk to check out. Your responsibility is to vacate the room on time, whether that’s at the designated checkout time or a previously agreed upon late checkout time. You also need to ensure that you have a way to review your bill, and that the hotel staff has a credit card on file for any room charges. If you prefer to review your bill in person, or you need to switch the billing information on the room, you should line up for checkout. But if you’ve followed Shank’s tip to give an email address and card upon checking in, you’re welcome to just head out. Don’t forget to leave your keycards in the room or hand them to someone on your way out, so the hotel can reuse the plastic.
Overpaying for an upgrade at check-in
The song and dance of getting an upgrade at a hotel is not unlike trying to qualify for an upgrade with your preferred airline. In either instance, you’ll want to put in the request as soon as you can, and you should have a threshold for the amount you’d be willing to pay. If it comes up, we recommends “offering a reasonable amount for an upgrade — my rule of thumb is 10 percent of what you paid.”
Not requesting an early check-in or late checkout
When booking your hotel, remember that a few properties are making moves to nix the typical check-in and checkout rules. The Hoxton hotels, from Williamsburg to their forthcoming Rome location, have introduced Flexy Time to do away with restrictive check-in and check-out times altogether. When requesting an early check-in or late checkout, Shank says it’s best to be flexible about your room type, as it may increase the likelihood that the hotel will be able to comply with your request. “I have found that early check-in and late checkout is as easy as asking nicely about it at the front desk,” he says. “And be willing to trade a particular room type for early access.”
Forgetting to look at an itemised bill upon exit
If you’re worried that the hotel will not email you a bill — or that you won’t see it because your email inbox is a mess — then ignore the last tip and leave yourself extra time to review your bill with the front desk before checking out.