Most 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!