People are creatures of habits. I certainly picked up a few habits over the years when it comes to traveling and staying at hotels. These are the ones I have, what are some of yours?
1. Knock on the Room Door When First Entering
For some, there is a superstitious reason. I actually only first heard of it a couple of years ago, when I was traveling to Taiwan for the first time as part of a larger Asia trip. Apparently, the hotel I had been considering turned out to have a bit of a reputation for being haunted. The conversation veered off-course. It was then that someone mentioned to me that it is always a good idea to knock on the room door when first entering.
It seemed like a harmless thing to do, though I actually do it for a more practical reason. I tend to knock just to make sure that there’s no one inside. We’ve all heard of stories where people walked in on other guests. While I have not had that experience myself, I have been given rooms that were clearly occupied (i.e. the belongings of other guests were still in the room). These days, I tend to knock on the door just to be sure.
2. Check for Bed Bugs
Bugs. I really don’t like bugs. I wrote about bugs here and scorpions here. Whenever I check into any hotel room, one of the first things I do is to flip through pillows and the sheets. I’d scan the room for signs of pests before I settled in.
3. Check That Toilet Flushes
This one is self-explanatory. You can’t comfortably stay at a place if it doesn’t have its basic plumbing in order. I remembered one time, my family and I stayed at an older hotel in New York. It was an aging hotel but the hotel rated reasonably well. We checked into the room, and I thought there was a malfunctioning toilet. I contacted front desk who sent a maintenance staff up. He said knowingly, “It’s an old building. It’s not broken, it’s just the flushing pressure is really low”. He added that it’s the same way for all the toilets in the hotel, perhaps sensing that I might want to change rooms.
He then proceeded to demonstrate, “You need to hold this button down, and you have to keep holding it down for like 5-6 seconds”. We all watched as the the toilet made some really loud noises (I was half thinking, “is the toilet going to fall apart in front of us?”), and then the water really slowly swirled down the bowl. “There, it worked”, he added, triumphantly.
It was kind of a weird moment. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be my first hotel choice if I stay in the area again.
4. Check for Running Water
This one is also self-explanatory, and it goes with making sure that basic plumbing works. Given that one of the first things I usually do is to wash my hands once I settled in, this one is almost an afterthought.
5. Look for the Hotel Room Safe
If I am traveling internationally, I’d usually look for the hotel room safe when I get into a room and quickly test it before I put things in it. I like to put away my passport securely before heading out, though I usually carry other forms of ID.
People are creatures of habits. I’m not a stickler to the ones I have. If I’m running late to a meeting or have to head out immediately to another place, most of these go out the window.
Well, that is, until I get back anyway.
What are your habits? Do you have a certain set of routines you have to do when you check into a hotel room?