Five things to do in your hotel room

You’ve flown halfway across the world, taken a taxi from one side of the city to the other and, after a brief battle of wills with your hotel receptionist, you’ve finally made it to your hotel door. The swipe card actually works and you’re in your room, but wait!!

Before you unpack your bags, kick off your shoes and throw yourself onto that plush-looking bed, there are five things you should do first …

1. Check for bed bugs
These nasty, little creepy crawlies may be occupying your room, so before you unpack your bags and give them free transport back to your house, check for bed bugs. Without going into too much detail (because you can read all about that here), put your bags in the bathroom, pull back your bed covers (to the mattress) and look for little black or dark red spots. Then check all the furniture, curtains and behind any framed artwork. If you see these signs, run down to reception and request a room change.

2. Remove the bedspread
This is one I only learned recently and I’m happy to share it with you. Hotel staff have no probs washing pillow cases and sheets, after all, they’re easy to remove and take little effort to put back on again. But that bedspread and doona cover – forget about it! Quite often, staff are asked to ‘eyeball’ the bedding before removing it. If it looks clean, it doesn’t get washed. And if the bedding is multi-coloured, the more likely it’ll be dirty. It’s the norm for many hotels to only wash bedspreads and doona covers about four times a year. Gross, I know. Better off asking for more clean sheets, unless of course, you’re in one of those pricey pensiones.

3. Clean common surfaces
Pull out those antiseptic wipes you (hopefully) brought along with you and give your light switches, phones, lamps, remote controls and doorknobs a quick wipe. Your room may look clean when you arrive, but this will ensure you don’t fall afoul of the flu on your four-day weekend.

4. Check the alarm clock
This one I’ve learned the hard way. Imagine (unless of course this has happened to you), falling asleep on your first night on holiday to be rudely and abruptly awoken at 6am in the morning by some obnoxious klaxon. Hmmm … So, take my advice, reset the alarm clock or, better still, pull it out of the wall altogether.

5. Let ‘em know you’re in
It happens all the time. You unpack your bags and halfway through slipping into something more comfortable, the door opens and a hotel staff member sees you in your unmentionables – or less. So, let ‘em know you’re in by popping the ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door.

The room is now officially yours to do with as you will, so unpack, slip into your comfy clothes, relax and enjoy!

Do you have any pre-unpacking hotel room tips for our members? Why not share them?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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