The Traveler’s Guide To Surviving A Bad Hotel

I started traveling when I was barely 21 years old. So now that I’m 29, I am practically a seasoned professional at traveling. At first, I didn’t really care what hotel I stayed in. It was a dream come true to be 21 years old, traveling the world. Of course I wouldn’t like to stay in a bug-infested hotel but I also didn’t need a 5-star resort either. Here is my guide to surviving a bad hotel.

A little ways into my first year of traveling, I started second guessing hotels. Not everyone uses hotels the way I did. I would check in, sleep, have breakfast, shower, and get ready. Working as a promotional model, companies would fly us in on a Friday, we would work all day Saturday, and then fly home Sunday. So we quite literally used the hotel for the bare necessities.

But once it clicked in my head that hotels were extremely germ-y and frequently used by all sorts of people; my perception on hotels changed a little. Also, being a young girl traveling alone, I learned a lot along the way as far as safety goes.

Here are some of my tried and true hotel hacks

1. Always check to see if the door to your hotel room is closed.

I can’t tell you how many times I rushed out of my room, thought to myself, “I didn’t hear the door close”, and sure enough it wasn’t closed. Also, make sure you close the door immediately behind you when you’re walking into your room. Avoid being on your phone when you’re entering your room because there have been some crazy stories of traveler’s getting blindsided after entering their room.

I remember one time I was staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. I was with a few of my fellow Monster Energy girls waiting for our flight out on Sunday Morning. The Hard Rock Hotel is known for their wild Sunday pool parties; there were drunk people everywhere. Turns out we were a target for a couple drunk guys leaving the pool party. They knew where we were and knocked on our door.

One of the girls failed to look and see who it was and they tried barging in on us. That was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. All four of us girls ran to combat them at the door and keep them out of our room; four sober women against two inebriated men. I even bit the guy’s arm inside our hotel room. We succeeded and kept them out of our room. However, if we weren’t on guard, things might have turned out for the worst.

2. Sanitize your room properly.

You might think housekeeping treats your hotel like it’s your home; but no such luck. The duvet cover on top of the sheets rarely gets washed. Immediately take it off your bed.

Another one to sanitize is the remote control. You might not typically watch TV and scratch your balls but there’s a good chance the occupant before you did. The remote is the most unsanitary thing in a hotel room. Grab the complimentary shower cap and place it over the remote before you use it.

Lastly, you’re gonna want to use the ice bucket liner when you get ice. Most people will grab the ice bucket if they need to puke. Gross.

3. Bring your own pillowcase.

Hotel sheets are usually cleaned with so much bleach they are scratchy and well, smell like bleach. Bring your own pillowcase to protect your delicate face from such harsh chemicals.

4. Always wear your socks.

I’m not 1000% sure the person before me didn’t have athletes foot or another common foot fungus, but I am 1000% sure that the hotel doesn’t disinfect the carpet.

5. Don’t be rude to the hotel staff!

This one should just be common knowledge. I learned very early on, don’t be rude to people who control your moment. I’m talking taxi drivers, servers, bartenders, bell hops, front desk managers, etc. A kind person always gets treated better and a rude person gets what’s coming to them.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask.

This comes after you’ve been a kind person but if you need something, don’t be afraid to ask. There have been countless times where I forgot q-tips or my toothbrush and needed the hotel to help a sister out and they did. I have also stayed at great hotels, like the W Dallas, where they offer Bliss products. So when I leave for the day, I’ll write a nice note with a nice little tip, to housekeeping for some extra toiletries, and they always over deliver with the goodies.

7. Rely on housekeeping as little as possible.

Yes, I know I just said don’t be afraid to ask but do you really need a new towel every day? I reuse my towels to help with the environment AND I don’t really like strangers in my room. Most hotel stays, I’ll clean up after myself (like I would normally do at home) and keep the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on my door for the duration of my stay. I stayed at the Aria and had $100 bill taken from my purse. I’d like to think it wasn’t housekeeping but there’s no way of knowing for sure.

8. Check the seals on the mini fridge.

Some people will do crazy things to avoid a mini bar charge. So if the seal is broken, it’s probably not the alcohol you’re expecting.

9. Buy your water elsewhere.

Hotels jack up the prices of water hoping that you’ll be desperate enough to buy it when you need it. While you’re out, stock up on some regularly priced water before you return to your hotel room.

10. Stay eating healthy on the go.

Most hotels charge for the use of a refrigerator but if you say you need it for your medication, your baby food, or breastmilk, they will give it to you complimentary. Being a woman can suck sometimes but if I can mention the word “period” or breastmilk” and I won’t be second guessed, you better believe I’m gonna use it to my advantage! aha

Katelynn Ansari

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