Three (strange) hotel habits of mine

In the past I’ve blogged about my seven hotel habits, which I actually suggest others follow, because (I think) they make sense. Let’s be honest, though, we’re all secretly creeps (or are we?), and I have a few habits I figured I’d share in hopes of you guys doing the same (if you don’t I’ll feel like the nut around here, and that should make you all horrible people). šŸ˜‰

These are things I do somewhat subconsciously, and oddly only at airport/non-luxury hotels. I’m not suggesting they’re totally at all rational, but here we go:

Walk into the room really slowly

I was once assigned a room with someone else in it, and that was enough to traumatize me. So now when I enter a room for the first time I try to make sure there’s no one else in it, in an almost comically detailed fashion. First I’ll knock a few times. Then I’ll open the door very slowly (after all, if they think their room is being broken into you want to make sure they’re not coming at you). And then as I turn on the lights I’ll say “hello?” Whew, the coast is clear!

Check the shower/bathtub

In my top seven hotel habits post I suggested checking the shower as soon as you get to the room. In case there’s an issue with the shower head you want to move rooms before your early morning wake up call where you probably don’t have much of a buffer before when you have to leave. But I also check the bathtub for… well, let’s just say I think I’ve seen too many thrillers lately.

Check the closet by the door

Same as shower. See above…

Once I’ve established I’m the only life form in the room I’m usually feeling pretty good. Anyone else care to make any confessions?

Filed Under: Hotels
  1. There are always ghosts hanging in hotel rooms… from what i heard. Lucky you did a right thing not to disturb them too.

  2. I do always check the bathroom first thing. I’ve had non flushing toilets and countless number of clogged showerheads.

  3. You really need to add checking under the bed to your routine – just to be sure. It’s hard to do if it’s a platform bed but still worth the effort!

    On a more serious note…

    A little over a week ago at the Zagreb DT the piercing fire alarm went off and “the voice” told us to evacuate immediately. Mrs. Fredd and I debated about opening the safe for the contents (passports, etc.), but decided to get going.

    There was an employee directing people to the emergency exit (in iiself reassuring) and we walked down eight flight of stairs to find out that somebody leaving a door ajar in the spa had caused steam to trigger the alarm.

    I’ve renewed my resolution to know the emergency exit location(s) on my floor, even if we’re checking in late at night, so if necessary I can find them in the dark, and also to keep a light source handy at all times (cell phones, etc. are better than nothing).

  4. I live in hotels as a pilot for a major airline. I would add checking for bed bugs and wiping everything with a sanicom to the list. The dirtest things it the room are the tv remote and the light swich by the door.


  5. I always go for the window and check the view as soon as I walk in. If it’s nice, I take a picture immediately with me in front of it! Not strange, I guess.

  6. I always check to make sure a bible was placed by the gideons in the room. Not that I am very religious, but it’s not a good omen if the room is lacking one.

  7. Bed Bugs…ewww. How do you check for those?
    My favorite thing in hotels has got to be when it has good water pressure!

  8. I’m in hotels 4 days a week, I’d agree with the 3 above. I also check for bed bugs, lift up pictures/art on the wall for cameras and check the durability of the secondary lock on the door.

  9. I allways plunge on the bed like a swimmer would do, and because I weigh about 110 KGs (220 LBS – I guess)… Once the bed crashed to the ground. And so did I.

  10. pretty much do all the same. if the room has a balcony i check to make sure the lock functions correctly.

    Also, i always establish a good spot to empty my pockets and keep everything organized. ie. keys, wallet, watch, phone, work id etc.

  11. Bathroom and Bed bug Check are the first things I do. I always put the remote in a zip lock to avoid touching it.

  12. Maybe I’m the weird one. I’m also in hotels 4 days a week and I literally never check anything. My ritual stroll right in, laptop bag on the desk, lay my carryon flat on some piece of furniture, throw anything off the bed in a random direction that’s not a pillow I’d put my head on, and untuck all of the sheets.

  13. The first thing I do is flush the toilet. If that doesn’t work, you want to know BEFORE you use it. šŸ˜€

  14. Yup… check for bed bugs and have and emergency plan for what to grab in an evacuation.

  15. As others have suggested, I’m surprised checking the mattress for bed bugs isn’t the first thing to do once you establish that the coast is clear.

  16. I check the alarm clock (if there is one) to make sure it’s correctly AM/PM (if I am going to use it) or it’s not pre-set turned on, in case I’m planning on sleeping in.

  17. I was bit surprised at the checking for cameras and listening devices too. Although if you are carrying confidential information like government or commercial secrets, it’s a good idea.

    Really paranoid people lay a towel across the bottom of the door before going to sleep. That way,a person on the opposite of the door doesn’t know when you’ve approached the door by the shadows of your feet, like if they plan on crashing the door into you to rob you.

    One of the first things I do is put my toiletries in the bathroom. Then by the bed I’ll put my personal travel alarm clock. Easy fix to waking up due to the previous guest’s alarm clock setting is to unplug the hotel alarm clock and use your own.

    I also put my eyeglass case on the nightstand by the bed. If you wear glasses, it can be annoying when you get into bed, take off your glasses, then realize the glasses case is still in your bag.

    If you’re really paranoid about the bed, bring a portable black light and do a sweep of the bed before lying down.

    Before I even go up to the room, I grab multiple hotel business cards. Essential for getting directions. I take more than one, because sometimes taxi drivers don’t give back the card, or I lose them in other ways. This is especially useful when abroad, where business cards will have the hotel address written in the local language.

    I liked the tip in your earlier article of taking a photo of the door with your room number on it.

  18. I always open up the hotel book in the room and read about the hotel. I never use the info but a habit I guess.

  19. For those that put the remote control on ziplock bag there is an App for smartphones called LodgeNet that controls almost any TV in a US hotel. LodgeNet is the company that provides most of US hotels entertainment and interactivity on the TV so with the app you can do everything you would with the remote control.

  20. I check the toilet and bathtub.

    Note I never ever use the bathtub for baths. Interstitial Cystitis is a nasty disease and difficult to treat. (it can be transmitted via Jacuzzis as well)

  21. I would love to know if anyone has ever found a hidden camera in their room? It seems odd that one would think to check for cameras behind the art… unless you had found that in a hotel room before…?

  22. @Nick I am with you though I don’t stay in hotels every week. I do walk in to the bathroom to get ready before heading out for dinner.

  23. From traveling and vacationing, we’ve had our share of both posh 5 star and oh-why-not Hotwire blind bookings (stateside and in SE Asia):

    Our (slightly OCD) Hotel Habit Routine
    1. The Stripper – the duvets, comforters, decorative crap all into the corner of the room, because we are almost sure they don’t wash those covers as much as they should. How often do you see comforters by the maid carts? Exactly.

    2. Ziploc that! – The remote gets dropped into one, even if there is a CleanMote in the room. I’m sorry but there is not enough bleach in the world to sanitize those disgusting remotes. That eco-friendly rag they use to clean? When was the last time it was changed out?

    3. Mr. Clean – Clorox travel wipes as we wipe surfaces (wall light plates, door knobs, alarm, fridge handle, phone, and anywhere we know hands usually land on) because maids might be crunched for time and overlook the tiny details, or just don’t give a damn.

    4. Bedbugs R Us – I can honestly say after traveling all over Asia & the US in upper tier to average/budget hotels, it wasn’t until a Days Inn Arlington Pentagon (Thank you Hotwiring!) where I saw my 1st bedbug in all my 42 years on this Earth! After that incident, I don’t care what level hotel I am at, I always check headboards, box spring edges, and the top mattress cover. And I keep all my secured luggage on tables and off the floor.

    5. Pillow Forcefield – we shudder to think how many people drooled and did God-knows-what on them (how many times do pillows get washed?!) so we just bring a tall kitchen size can plastic bag (13 gal or 18 gal size) and tie it up. Then, we use the extra towels to wrap around on top of the plastic bag.

    6. Trust no one – we never use the complimentary bath products unless they are factory sealed because you never know who might think it’s funny to [insert here] or contaminate just for the hell of it. Or the empty bottles are refilled after being dug out of trashbin or recycled. Believe me, it kills me to turn down free nice bath products.

    7. Big Brother – I admit, I also do a quick scan of the room (especially in public bathrooms) for anything that might resemble a camera. I am traumatized from watching too many crime shows where tiny hidden cameras can easily become entertainment for web sickos out there. One place I even put a sheet over the mirror because it was too close to the window curtains and hotel door for anyone to peek from the mirror’s reflection if anyone was in the room. And it was an adjoining room which I hate too.

    8. No Entry Allowed – the Do Not Disturb sign stays on the door and so does the Animal Planet on the TV for background noise. While in room, heavy duty bolts and security latches are on duty.

    9. The Germaphobe – After seeing that episode of MythBusters where you must close the toilet before flushing, we get grossed out thinking how many times do the hotel walls and shower curtains get cleaned. Which is why we always keep our toothbrushes out of the bathroom (when we leave) for fear of an underpaid or pissed off housekeeper spraying cleaning products nearby sink or her lack of a toilet brush nearby. Sorry for the visual.

    10. The PackerUpper – we know it might seem a pain to take a few minutes to lock up luggage and toiletries before you leave for breakfast or sightseeing, but we wonder that staff pops in while we are gone? Being prepacked helped us for when we had to vacate a hotel room very quickly (refer to #4. Bedbugs R Us)

    11. The Hoverer – wearing socks or slippers in the room is a must. Just like those who refuse to sit on public toilet seats or leave public bathrooms without washing their germ filled hands, same can be said for those who walk in rooms with their shoes on or leave any yucky biohazard material behind.

    12. The Expediter – before we get to the hotel, we pull off somewhere in a well lit lot or business to get our luggage situated that way we aren’t in the hotel lot struggling to get organized in full view of workers or people hanging out in their balconies. Get in and out of vehicle as effortless and painless as possible, especially with kids and their stuff in tow. If it just happens to be a quick overnight stay, you can situate a quick grab bag ahead so you don’t have to drag all your big bags to the room.

    We keep the room clean/tidy, but we always leave a tip for housekeeping with a notepad scribble (I sometimes wonder if the front desk staff/mini bar stocker rechecks room immediately after we checkout and take the tips instead).

    An extension cord or powerstrip for multiple devices, extra luggage locks for our carry-ons, duct tape, and a couple clothes pins (to close curtains tighter) are in my arsenal. We’ve been in hotels that have extra cords as a courtesy, but we fear that their cord might short out/defective and destroy our devices by accident.

    Personally, we prefer not having adjoining rooms for security reasons. Your room may be locked, but it is just as easy for staff/workers to enter through that adjoining room door too with a key.

    We’ve used the hotel business cards to give to taxi drivers in non-English speaking countries and taking photos of our hotel door# too. It has helped jog our memory after being on long, tiresome flights to where we can’t remember which country or time timezone we are in.

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