If you frequently stay at hotels, there are things you could be doing that are putting your health, safety, personal information, and even your life at risk. Here are ten things you should never do when staying at a hotel.
10. Don’t Pay with Cash or a Debit Card
Why? Well, first of all, if you pay with cash, you’ll have a much harder time disputing your bill. Even paying with a debit card may make it difficult for you to dispute charges on your bill. So, then the question becomes ‘why would I need to dispute charges on my bill?’ Well, according to ABC News, you could end up being a target of identity theft. Another reason is that hotel bills often have hidden charges (a.k.a. unexpected fees). “Many New York hotels located near Times Square are now charging an extra $25 destination fee. Some properties add on a resort fee for amenities — even when you’re not staying [at] the resort. Then, there’s the obnoxious restocking fee for those macadamia nuts you ate when you couldn’t bring yourself to walk a block to find food,” ABC News wrote on its website.
To be on the safe side, make sure you pay with a credit card AND research the hotel’s fees prior to booking your stay.
9. Don’t Steal Anything
It’s absolutely fine to take certain things from a hotel room–the complimentary soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc. But, please don’t be tempted to take other things, like the towels and bathrobes, for example. We know they may be oh so plush and luxurious, but it’s not worth it. First of all, it’s wrong. Second, they’ll find out about it, and that means that you could be charged extra. Third, you could end up getting banned. According to Travel + Leisure magazine, NBC says that most major hotels have a computer database with a no-stay list of patrons who’ve stolen from them. Those hotels are all too happy to share that information with other hotels. That could mean that even though you stole something from the Marriott, you could also end up getting banned from the Hilton. Fourth, and probably most important, is that it’s a crime, and you could end up getting locked up like the woman in Nigeria who spent three months in prison in 2010 for stealing two towels from the Transcorp Hilton Abuja Hotel.
8. Don’t Restock the Minibar
Now, don’t get us wrong. It’s totally okay to be thoughtful and leave behind little treats for the workers–like the guests who left the fridge and cupboards stocked with groceries, or the guest who said he buys a 6-pack of beer, only drinks a few, and leaves the rest behind in the mini-fridge for the workers to divvy up. But, what we’re talking about here is trying to “fake the hotel staff out by replacing the liquor with a half-sipped bottle of Diet Coke,” Sophia Borghese, a consultant for La Galerie Hotel in New Orleans, told Reader’s Digest. “This happens more often than you might think, and those who do it still get charged for taking that $30, two-ounce bottle of spirits,” Borghese added.