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May 26, 2009

Make Yourself at Home at a Hotel

Staying at a hotel is a great experience. However, most people feel very out of place in the unfamiliar rooms. Where's your special pink bath towel? These are yellow. Where's your firm pillow? These are feather soft. The rooms here were not built to fit your specific needs.

1. Inspect the room prior to unpacking. Make sure everything works, and there are no signs of insects and everything is clean enough for your comfort. Inform the hotel immediately (before unpacking) if something is wrong so they may fix it and/or move you to a better room.
2. Unpack upon arrival. If you are living out of a suitcase the whole time, you will not feel at home. Put clothes in drawers or closets. Set your utilities and cosmetics in the bathroom. Put personal items on the bedside table.
3. Call home. If you are on, say, a business trip, and the rest of your family is at home, call them and tell them that you've arrived safely. Tell them how nice the hotel is and joke about how you passed it twice before finding it. You can do this if you ever start to feel lonely.
4. Take some time to look around and see where everything is. Make sure you know where to find:
* The exit (in case of emergency)
* Restaurants
* The ice machine
* Snack machines
* The service desk
This will make you feel like you know what you're doing, and can save some time later.
5. Talk to some of the other guests. If you find that you eat breakfast at the same time as another family, walk over and say "hi". Maybe you'll meet a friend or pen pal for life.
6. Visit the weight room, the pool, or the lounge. You can have fun, meet friends, and kill some time. Just enjoy yourself.

If you have to wake up at a certain time, use your own alarm clock from home. Don't use the provided one or order a wake-up call -- the phone ringing or strange noise in the morning will be a quick reminder that you are not at home. If you are used to firmer pillows or you use a special bath towel or shampoo, bring these things from home. Most hotels offer soft pillows (some offer both kinds), and you can almost guarantee that they will not have your special towels or shampoos. Try to avoid visiting the front desk. Going up there every ten minutes is not only annoying an time consuming, but it is also another reminder that you are in a strange place, and desk clerks are very busy. If anything IS wrong with your hotel room, however (unclean, missing promised amenities), the sooner you let someone know about it the faster it will get fixed. It's easier to settle into a clean room that is functioning properly. Take a candle with you for a familiar smell.

If you have a "card key" (has a magnetic strip) and have anything that operates electrically, i.e. car keys, beeper, pager, cell phone, anything that has an electronic signature, do not get it near your room key. This may erase your key, and you will have to Handle-Being-Locked-out-of-Your-Hotel-Room.Since you are unpacking all of your belongings and putting them into unknown closets and drawers, you may accidentally forget something.


Daniel said...

Hey Great! Very useful tips! Now you can feel yourself at home while you are at a hotel.

May 27, 2009 at 12:45 AM