What’s your biggest stressor while on vacation? For me, its logistics. I always find myself rushing through the airport, out of hotel rooms, or off to a dinner reservation. But these are the times in which many things can be overlooked, lost, or forgotten. Taking a few extra minutes will help you keep everything organized and your stress levels down while on vacation. There is no reason to be checking out of your hotel room, finishing packing, searching for travel documents, and calling an Uber all at the same time. By focusing on one thing at a time, you’ll ultimately avoid some of the classic mistakes most travelers make.

When it comes to staying in a hotel, there are definitely dos and don’ts to follow that will make your travels more enjoyable. Below are my 7 biggest mistakes to avoid when checking in (and out of) a hotel.

1. Not Asking About Resort Fees

The last thing you want on vacation is to fall victim to “hidden fees”. But sometimes, the built-in additional costs, like resorts fees, are inevitable. The best thing you can do is ASK so that you can budget them into the cost of your room rate.


I always ask if resort fees are optional (especially when I know I won’t be using a particular service). Most often the answer is no, but I have been successful a handful of times.

2. Not Requesting an Early Check-In or Late Checkout

As any traveler can attest to, one of the most hated things about hotels is Check-in being 3 or 4pm and Checkout being 11am. I’m not sure how that makes any sense whatsoever – but that’s a conversation for another day. When requesting an early check-in or late checkout, a few factors will most certainly play a role:

  1. Time of Year
  2. Room Type

Unfortunately if the hotel is located in a place where it is “busy” season, the likelihood of the hotel being able to comply with your request is significantly reduced as hotels will be trying to prepare accommodations for their next guests. The same reasoning applies for room type. If the room is a highly coveted room (Presidential Suite), the hotel probably won’t be able to comply with your request either. So it’s important to keep those two factors in mind when making your request and be flexible with the time of year you’re traveling and a particular room type.

3. Not Asking for a Specific Room If You’re a Light Sleeper

We all go on vacation for many reasons and while I an adventure travel and not typically “relaxing” much, we can all agree that proper sleep is VITAL. So be cognizant of the location of your room. If you’re a light sleeper, you don’t want a room facing a busy street or near the pool where music can be heard blaring all night long. While there MAY be an additional fee for a more suitable room, if you ask nicely, they may make change for free.

4. Forgetting to Do a Final Sweep of Your Room

Before you leave the house, do you ever stop and say, “Wallet, phone, keys?” to yourself. If you don’t and can’t figure out why you’re constantly forgetting something, it may be a good time to start. The same principle applies to when you’re checking out of a hotel room. Go through a mental checking list and do a walk-through to ensure you haven’t forgotten any of your belongings.

5. Not Leaving a Tip for the Housekeeping Staff Before Checkout

I’ve been guilty of this many of times in my younger age but now it comes second nature to me. We instinctively tip servers, bartenders, food deliverers, and Uber drivers but why not the housekeeping staff? They truly do as much as anyone to make sure I had a great stay. If you don’t necessarily tip each day, leaving a tip on a nightstand with a small note of gratitude is sure to make their day by letting them know they are appreciated.

6. Waiting in Line to Check Out

With advances in technology, many places now allow for mobile check out. But what if you need a copy/want a copy of your receipt. Upon check-in, I always put my email on file and ask to have my folio emailed to me upon check out. That way, if I’m crunched for time, I can just leave and review in charges at a later time.

7. Not Asking for an Upgrade

I’m a firm believer that if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. When I check-in to a hotel, I always ask if there is a possibility for an upgrade. Typically upon arrival, it is at the discretion of the front desk staff what room you are assigned, so at minimum, you’ll receive the room you paid for, so you might as well ask.

*Remember, this doesn’t have to be the basic room to the Presidential Suite, anything nicer than what you paid for is an upgrade.

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