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5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Checking Out of a Hotel

September 16, 2013 at 4:39 PM | by | Comments (13)

For some of you, checking out of a hotel may merely involve packing your suitcase, ordering up an Uber ride to the airport and then slipping out the front door without anyone noticing, except perhaps the doorman who will tell you to "stay with us again next time."

Other folks might take a little longer to get ready for check-out, often staying past the designated check-out hour only finally exiting after housekeeping (and sometimes, security) have told them that it's time to go.

But no matter what kind of checker-outer you are, here are 5 Things You Should Do Before You Check-Out.

1. Do a sweep of the room. Lift the blankets, look under the bed, pull out the drawers, check the bathroom (even in the shower) and peep in the closets (don't forget the safe too!) Our experience has been if you leave it behind, you will likely never see it again.

2. Grab your chargers. While you may sweep the room for obvious belongings--toiletries, clothing, jewelry, books--don't forget to check the outlets for all your chargers whether it be for a phone, tablet or computer. Fortunately, more and more hotels are putting outlets above desks and next to the nightstand so we no longer have to unplug a random floor lamp in the corner just to charge our phone. And having more visible outlets will mean we're less likely of leaving behind our chargers.

3. Collect your souvenirs. We're not being cheap by grabbing everything that's available to take in the hotel room. No, not at all. Rather, it's a way for us to remember our hotel stay (ok, and maybe go a little longer without having to buy new lotion.) Notepads, stationary, pencils, pens, slippers (but not the robes or they will charge you), toiletries, room keys and even the plastic laundry bags are all ways to "remember" a hotel stay, even a crappy one.

4. Review your expenses. If you bought something in your hotel room--WiFi, minibar snacks, or room service-you should always review your charges. Hotels make "mistakes" all the time, usually in the form of double-billing. For instance, you ordered a movie on-demand but the hotel charged you twice. You used the WiFi for one day, the hotel dinged you for two days. You grabbed a Snickers from the minibar, the hotel charged you for the Snickers and the Peanut M&Ms that were next to it. (Darn, sensor-operated minibars!) If you're leaving early in the morning, review the charges with the front desk the night before. It's a bit of a pain but resolving bill charges after you check-out is even more annoying.

5. Tip your housekeeper. If a housekeeper came by and made your bed, replaced your towels and generally straightened up your sh*t, they deserve a tip, especially if they did it a few days in a row. The general rule of thumb is a couple of dollars each day. And you should leave that tip out each day, in a clearly marked spot (perhaps with a note), so that the housekeeper cleaning your room on that very day gets it. But we've also been known to drop a fiver before checking out to make up for the days when we didn't have cash. We also like to gather up all the towels and put them in a pile near the door to help out the housekeeper. But that may also be because we've have strange neat freak tendencies.

Optional: Chuck Deuces, as suggested by a commenter.

Got any other tips for guests before checking-out? Share them in comments below!

[All photos: HotelChatter]

Comments (13)

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Ask For More Time, Captain!

We know housekeeping starts early for those checking out at daybreak. While they're busy cleaning those departure rooms, there may be a 30-60 min grace period for you. That means..a few more minutes at breakfast, the gym or that last dip in the ocean or pool. If check out is at 11 (still unreasonable, IMO) ask for 12. If it's for 12, ask for 12:30 or 1pm. A hotel that's a little lenient is likely to get my repeat biz.

Tips, tips & more tips

It's ridiculous expecting guests to constantly tip for every act!  From the moment you arrive to when you depart, not forgetting you've already paid & tipped the taxi driver.

The question is why are we then paying for the room if housekeeping requires additional tips? Poorly paid workers is not the guests problems - it's the hotel operator &  the workers.

This is why I stopped going to the US - I found the tipping culture beyond a joke.
I get  better treatment in other countries.

The quandary of tipping

I agree with you @birdcagewalking. Recently, I found myself so stressed out about not having enough bills to tip the bellman, the housekeeper and the valet. This was also in Vegas, where I do feel a bit more pressure to tip. But I so wish it wasn't like this. Sadly, hotel employees, esp. the housekeeping are not paid very well as hotel owners and operators are always looking at their bottom line. We need a better solution but it may mean having to pay more per night. And maybe guests would be ok with that. But it's a risk.


We need a better solution but it may mean having to pay more per night. And maybe guests would be ok with that

I would not be ok with that. We are already paying well over $150 per night.

realize the setting before Tipping

In North America, the housekeepers in almost all hotel chains are unionized so they are being paid adequately. You don't tip unionized people. Restaurant workers are not unionized so tipping is expected.

In most of Europe, all of Asia and South America, people do not tip the housekeeper.  Housekeeper are like residential maids, which is common in their cultures have.

#6 - Leave a Review or Fill out a Comment

Most travelers these days do not understand how important a  guest review is to the hotel they are staying at. The feedback they leave directly impacts the hotel's revenues.  It also informs the hotel about any issues they need to  fix ... such as a leaky facet or musty room.  This feedback help improve the hotel's overall operations, the guest's future stay and informs future new guests.
Always leave a review.

Rupesh Patel
Improving Guest Experience and Online Presence.

Rule # 1 Tip only what is worth tipping.

Rule 2, not everything is worth tipping. A polite thankyou, yes always, but not always a tip. I have to travel a lot for my business, mostly in Europe, but often in the States. I used to use sites like Travelocity, but I quickly found a better way to find deals is to go to the second level - those sites www.hotelscombinedgo.com who compare the hundreds of different booking sites in one single search. So you not only see trivago and expedia deals but ALL of them in one place. I agree, just using one of the top booking sites is not the best idea.

Taking everything.

Do take the items in the bathroom home with you. If you leave them, housekeeping will just throw them away. They can't take the chance that someone will put something in the shampoo or mouth wash that will make the next guest sick.

About tipping, a couple bucks a won't kill you. You might need extra towels or something a day down the road.

Checking out from Home

Checking out from hotel is like that we are shifting from one home to another. Your tips really shows that a gentle way to exit from hotel which really shows a good class of you. http://goo.gl/d0YSwG also check appliances you have in your room.

put simply..

use common sense, in general.

always request early and late check out; you are paying a fortune per night, eek the most of it.  give yourself the max time allowed, duh.

regarding tipping topic: tip as generously as you can afford; it's not your duty to check each country/hotel name's policies regarding how they pay their employees; this is an internal issue and as a guest paying upwards of a thousand dollars p/n, should not really be your responsibility to figure out.  

in addition, which was not on this list of to do's, is TIP UPFRONT.  hello, unless you are a known repeat guest they will not give special treatment b/ c they don't know you're going to tip them well.  get full benefit for your generosity UPFRONT, not til after you've checked out, hello?

last point, in short: always idiot proof your room.  no narcotic paraphernalia (especially in say mexico, the middle east, you get my point).

end of advice.

Worth Printing Out

These five tips are a valuable checklist so maybe a tip to add to the list would be to print this list to have on hand at checkout.  Just so that none are forgotten or overlooked because its easy to do when you are in a hurry  


In response to those people who feel they should not have to tip because in other countries it's not the norm, well, stay in those other countries. Your hotel doormen, bellmen, valet, and housekeepers provide a plethora of services on a daily basis. And here in the good old U S OF A, tipping is expected, especially when you receive good service. If you want to be cheap, then go stay at a red roof inn, or a motel 6. When you eat at a restaurant, tipping is expected. Hotel workers despise the likes of you who are too cheap to tip, yet expect great service.

Room charges

A good idea to make sure you aren't overcharged for incidentals, especially that minibar where their is an increased room for error, is to make a note of what you have purchased there so you are sure you are being charged correctly.

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