Get in a Routine of performing these 10 tasks:
If you travel often, you will likely have developed your own routine for arrival at your hotel. Which is perfectly fine, but you may want to re-evaluate your routine and make corrections where necessary. If you are new to traveling for business or do not travel as often, then you will want to read on and develop your own routine.
In either event, we highly suggest that you establish a “checklist” of routine tasks to be performed upon arrival at a hotel. These tasks, designed to keep you safe, keep you healthy and keep you from spending unnecessary money should become automatic once you are familiar with them.
Here are 10 steps that might be on your hotel arrival checklist:
Safety first and foremost: Many of the steps that we outline in this article are going to have safety as the primary reason for performing the task. We understand that safety may not be first on your list when you arrive, but it should be.
For example, It will only take a few seconds to look for the location of the emergency exits and fire extinguisher, and those two key pieces of information may save your life and the lives of others. So check for those safety features while you are walking to your room or ask the staff for the location.
Remember to have a hotel staff member assist you with each of the following…
Have the hotel staff “explain” the room: Keep in mind that you are paying good money to stay at this hotel and you should not waste your valuable time figuring out how the heat works. It is not unreasonable to have a staff member walk with to your room and perform a “walk through” of the room amenities.
Also, check the room for anyone who might be in there, check the bathroom and check the shower. It is better to be safe than sorry and check them while the staff member is with you.
Her are some common question you may ask during a hotel room “walk through”:
- How does the heating and air conditioning work?
- Where are the electrical outlets?
- Is the WiFi and if so, what is the password?
- How does the TV work and what are the local channels/weather channel?
- What are the minibar prices?
Check the cleanliness: One of the first tasks you should perform when entering a hotel room is to check the cleanliness of the room and if the room is obviously unacceptable, tell the staff immediately. Ask to be switched to another room if the rooms condition cannot be corrected immediately.
You should perform a quick scan of the floor, between the beds (if applicable), under the desk and behind chairs. Any items left on the floor are a clear sign that the housekeeping is not up to par. Make mention of any abnormalities you find and continue your assessment of the room.
Check the bedding and the carpet for any stains, excessive hair or any other foreign objects that may have been overlooked during cleaning. A hotel bed should be perfect with respect to cleanliness. Do not tolerate anything that doesn’t look right with respect to the bedding. As you look through the bedding, check for insects or insect dropping (may look like little black crumbs), and if possible take a bed bug trap to determine if bed bugs exist.
It is never a bad idea to carry “sanitizing” wipes with you when you travel. Be sure to wipe down common items in the room with the wipes. Items such as the telephone, door handles and faucets may not be routinely cleaned when housekeeping performs their cleaning.
Then check the bathroom for any signs of poor housekeeping there, check for mold, mildew or any signs of leaking water. Check the toilet and bathtub or shower for cleanliness and make sure all toiletry items – soaps, shampoos, shower caps – are sealed and not left over from a previous guest.
Let someone know where you are: Take this time to give your loved ones a call and let them know you are safely in the hotel. Give them the address, phone number and room number, if you haven’t already.
Start the unpacking process: We recommend that you unpack, regardless of the length of stay. Having that packed as little as possible, just like we explain in Business Travel Packing, there will not be much to unpack on shorter trips anyway.
Keep unpacking as organized as possible to help with the repacking process and to reduce the possibility of forgetting items. Keep electronics in one location, such as a desk or night stand. Spreading items out such as chargers will make them easy to forget.
Prepare for the evening and the next day as you unpack. You will not want to find out that there is an issue at the last minute. As you place items with hangers in the closet. check them to ensure they are not wrinkled. Inspect the clothes you plan to wear for the next 24 hours and stay ahead that way for the remainder of the trip.
Get the lay of the land: Now that you are starting to get relaxed, take a look around. Determine the location of the fitness center, pool, maybe a restaurant or lounge. Start with the lobby, since many hotels will have signs pointing you in the right direction and of course the staff will be glad to help you.