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Things to Do Before Hotel Check-Out

InterContinental MilwaukeeMost travelers have a story about lost items. Missing  luggage, cell phones, passports and glasses are a few things that come to mind, and often these things are left behind on planes, in gate areas or on hotel shuttles (personally, I’ve lost many phones this way). In fact, most hotel lost-and-found buckets see quite a bit of action. Just this summer, after my family returned home from Milwaukee, I searched high and low for my computer charger. Then, I realized that I never unplugged it from the outlet behind the corner chair and mini-fridge. Luckily, the InterContinental Hotel responded to my plea for help by finding my cord and shipping it to me asap. I have to say, being off-line for a few days was pretty nice but I had a lot of catching up to do when my charger returned. Luckily, I didn’t have any major deadlines that week, but some people aren’t that lucky.

You may have read my post about What to Check When you Check-in to a Hotel Room. (Pretty exciting post, huh?) Well this time, I’ve compiled a little checklist for things to check before you check-out. In other words, learn from my mistakes.

1. All outlets. While many new hotels have become quite savvy at outlet placements (next to beds, in lamps on desks), some older hotels still have outlets situated in odd places. This is especially important if you’re traveling with the family and the kids independently seek out outlets to charge their iTouch or Nintendo games.

2. Under the sheets and bed. Ah, the classic “check under the bed one more time” never gets old. But still, when I do that one last check I often something hiding within the bed – a shirt, socks, book, wallet, or toys. Actually, if you’re with the family have your spouse and/or kids double check, too.

3. Shower. Personal toiletries and razors are frequently left behind, because really who is thinking about packing their items as they’re stepping out of the shower dripping wet? No one. And let me tell you, leaving my razor and face wash behind really annoys me, especially when I still have many days of travel ahead.

4. Closet. Yeah, I pulled this one this past summer at TBEX, the travel blogging conference in Toronto. I left my dress hanging in the closet. Luckily, my dear friend Jen Miner, whom I was sharing a room with, was able to grab my never-worn dress and kindly send it to me. Whew. Close call. (I owe you big time, Jen!)

5. The bill. Besides leaving your belongings behind remember to always check the bill before you leave. I’ve had extra charges that were not mine added to the bill, such as room service or movies. It’s much easier to deal with mistakes in person than a month down the road when the bill arrives.

6. Tip. Don’t forget to tip your housekeepers. Actually, rather than leaving a large bill at the end of the stay, leave a few dollars daily so the correct person receives the tip.

I know, it seems pretty obvious how not to lose things (keep track of your stuff!), but when we’re out of our regular routine and in an unfamiliar place it’s easy to misplace things. Throw in the panic of a wake-up call that never comes or rambunctious children it seems leaving a trail of forgotten items can seem inevitable. Learn from me and check every nook and cranny before making hotel check-out official and rolling your suitcase out of the room one last time. Trust me, it can save you a lot of hassle!

13 Responses to “Things to Do Before Hotel Check-Out”

  1. 1
    Patrice says:

    Also, don’t forget the safe! I usually feel inside the safe too since they are not usually easy to see in.

    • 1.1
      Maria says:

      what i do is to write down ALL things i put in the hotel room (in the closet, safe, bathroom, etc)
      and tape the NOTE inside the door so i can check them the nite before or before i leave. and when you have kids, have them do the same (if they can already write in piece of paper). good luck next time!

  2. 2

    It’s funny to think of how many little things are commonly left behind, the power sockets are the worse especially the ones that are tucked away, makes life that bit more difficult. Generally packing everything the night before is good practice and failing that packing way ahead of checkout is always a solid plan to try and avoid lost items.

  3. 3

    Great advice. It’s much harder to check the hotel room when a little kid can go right behind you and put something under the sheets after you checked, but important all the same.

  4. 4
    micheal says:

    I totally agree to what you have said. I have lost so many things like this….my clips, clothes, chargers! The list goes on…..I must say that you have a mind-blowing blog here and some great pictures and videos too! If you ever visit Dubai contact Tours Dubai

  5. 5

    True on all these 6 things. We have been checking in and out of hotels for the past few months and we would definitely not want to lose anything while we are traveling! Thanks for the heads up

  6. 6
    ken Murika says:

    While it has almost obvious for us (my wife and I) to double check the closet, it hasn’t been so with the showers until my wife forgot her ring. I do appreciate the information especially checking the out all the outlets

  7. 7
    Jone Laxer says:

    I really agree with you that you said here. And, i must tell that these things are must consider to do before hotel check out , while on the travel. These are great advices for safe trip.

  8. 8
    J Hughes says:

    Why is it so difficult?

    Simply pack an extension cord with an octopus outlet on one end so you can plug all your goodies in together, then the other, single end, plugs in to an outlet. I’ve travelled for over 40 years and have only left one thing behind by accident.

    My wife owns two hotels in VietNam, in different cities, but both sit astride bus routes, so we simply ship anything left off to the next point on their journey.

    Our staff make it a point to (discretely) ask where departing guests are headed, and our reception makes accommodation recommendations – so we gain a little knowledge about our guests and where to send forgotten items.

    Of course, it is always wise for hotels to check out hotel rooms before guests leave, even if you don’t have mini-bars, for some guests think towels, sheets, pillows are memorabilia!

  9. 9
    Neil says:

    Great check list.. but this american crap of always trying to tip some-one, for no reason is senseless and mindless follow the leader… In most countries.. thank god.. the culture is automatic good service… not needing to pay extra for it..

    • 9.1
      Ruffy says:

      Few days back I left my ring in a Makati Hotel in the Philippines.
      I hope the finder sell it and be of help to him/her.
      These tips will be useful on my next hotel stays.

  10. 10
    Marko says:

    Also interesting current tip.

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  11. 11
    Gayle says:

    When you check the bathroom, don’t forget the back of the door. Many times there is a clothing hook and I’ve lost a couple of robes/cover-ups because the door was open while I cleaned up.

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