Before you even think about booking a hotel room, there are things you should be on the lookout for. Additionally, there are things you should be on the lookout for after you reserve your room, too.
Continue reading to learn what you should be checking for in a hotel room.
10. How is the Location?
There are a couple of reasons why location is important when it comes to booking a hotel room. First of all, your safety is critical. That being said, it’s a good idea to avoid booking a room at a hotel in a sketchy part of town. This is especially true if you’re a woman or a tourist, who are often frequent targets of crime.
Another reason location is so important is because if you’re there for sightseeing, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have to run all over town just to take in the sights. In other words, look at a map to find a hotel that’s central to all the attractions you want to visit.
9. Check For Bedbugs
Hotels are notorious for playing host to uninvited guests in the sheets, mattresses, comforters, and other cozy spaces. This is even true for clean hotels.
That’s because bedbug infestations have nothing to do with the hotel being unclean — although that can certainly be the case at times. But, as far as it goes with clean hotels, bedbugs are usually transferred from people’s clothing and personal items.
Unfortunately, that means those same bedbugs that were brought there by someone else can end up in your suitcase and eventually in your home. That’s why it’s so important to check for them upon entering your hotel room.
Here are some things you can do:
- Use a business card to scrape the bottom corner of the mattress, where bedbugs are likely to be hiding.
- Look for stains or small brown and black dots on the bed covers, bedspread, sheets, and mattress.
- Pull the comforter off the bed and check the corner seams of the sheets for droppings.
- Check the seams of all furniture in the room.
- Use a flashlight to make sure you get a good look.
8. Make Sure the Phone Works
One of the first things you want to do upon entering your hotel room is to make sure the phone works. BobVila.com recommends making two phone calls — one to the front desk to ensure you can reach an actual person and the other to someone outside the hotel, strictly for safety reasons. The website recommends placing a call to family and friends and/or emergency services to ensure you can reach them if needed.
7. Remove the Comforter
If you want to get a clean night’s sleep, do yourself a favor and take that comforter off the bed when you get to your hotel room. That’s because hotel maids don’t change and clean the comforter regularly. One reason is that they require special washing.
That being said, it might be best to bring your own blanket with you and cover-up under that.
TIP: Don’t put your suitcase on the bed. It’s been dragged through the airport, the hotel lobby, and the hallway where your room is located. Think of all the germs you’ll transfer to your bed by sitting your suitcase on it.
6. Make Sure the Thermostat Works
The last thing you want to do is check into a room during the sweltering summer heat or the blustery winter chill, only to discover the thermostat doesn’t work.
That being said, it’s a good idea to make sure the thermostat is working before you unpack your bags. It could be something as simple as a call to the front desk to get them to show you how to operate the unit.
On the other hand, it could be something more serious, like a broken unit. In any event, you will want to know exactly what’s going on with it early on in case you need to change rooms.
5. Check the Locks On the Doors and Windows
Upon entering your room, check the locks on the doors, windows and balcony to ensure they are working properly.
This is not only important for your safety and privacy, but it’s of the utmost importance if you’re traveling with your family.
You need to make sure that your little ones can’t let themselves out — especially if your room is located on a high floor.
TIP: BobVila.com also recommends checking the bathroom and closets to make sure they are clean and vacant.
4. Check for Hidden Cameras
People sometimes set up hidden cameras in hotel rooms to spy on you while your bathing, getting undressed or engaging in other private activities. That’s why it’s so important to do a quick scan of the room to make sure no one is watching you.
First, take a look to see if anything seems out of place. Then, look for random wires that don’t belong, small holes around the room, double smoke detectors, or blinking red lights. Lastly, look for an actual camera. Some of them aren’t small enough to hide and therefore stand out very easily.
3. Make Sure the Bathroom Has All the Essentials
Wouldn’t it be a shame for you to rush into the bathroom to use the toilet only to discover there’s no toilet paper in there?
Do yourself a favor and make sure your hotel room’s bathroom has all the essentials — clean towels, toiletries, toilet paper, etc. — before settling in.
If the essentials are there, make sure there’s enough of them. For example, if there are several guests in your room, you’re going to need an adequate amount of clean towels and toilet paper.
2. Reset or Turn Off the Alarm Clock
If you’re going to a hotel for a much-needed vacation, the last thing you want is to be awakened by an early alarm set by the previous guest.
Even if you’re not there on vacation but are there on business and don’t need to get up early, you should reset or turn off the alarm clock before going to bed.
That way, you can sleep in late if you desire or set the alarm for a time more appropriate for you to engage in whatever activities you have planned.
1. Read the Escape Map and Locate the Available Exits
Emergencies happen all the time — especially when we least expect them. That being said, it’s a good idea to read the escape map in your room and walk through the hallway to find the closest available exit(s), so you can have a plan in place.
NOTE: The map should be on the wall or the back of the hotel room door; however, some hotels might place them at the ground level.
TIP: If you’re going to explore the neighborhood, talk to the concierge beforehand and ask him or her what’s the safest walking route in the surrounding area.