Working in the hotel business has its advantages. We have seen and encountered so many things, we know what to look for when we travel ourselves. Considering I am a kind human being, I am going to let you in on a few tips most Hoteliers will never give out.
Before we get started on this journey together, I will warn you some details are a little off-putting and gross, so if you do not think you can handle the gritty details, stick to the bold points and avoid the descriptions.
- Check For Bedbugs- I am certain you have once in your life heard a horror story about Bed Bugs. They are jerks, they are blood thirsty, and they are expensive to get rid of. There are a few things I am certain you don’t know about bed bugs.
- Bed Bugs are more commonly found in high-end resort hotels, not the old run down motels with cockroaches running up the walls. The reason for this is, when travelers come over from another country, they tend to stay in the ritzy hotels. The adventurous travelers from somewhere I am sure is the “best country to come from,” check in their stunning wife, hyper children, and a few extra visitors in their luggage that are willing to stay.
- You can see bed bugs. There is this strange myth floating around that you cannot see bed bugs. That is almost completely wrong. The majority of bed bugs can be sighted, you just need to know where to look. Unfortunately it is possible for bedbugs to become dormant up to a year. During this time, they have not eaten in a very long time so they are almost impossible to find. Don’t worry, most hotels do regular bed bug checks through their extermination company and if this is the case, they will be found.
So now I will answer the question you are eagerly waiting for: How do I check for bed bugs? Instead of reading about it, how about you watch this video that nails it.
Last, if you were in a room and you experienced bed bugs over night (you will know, they bite and leave marks), throw everything away. This is not the time to be cheap and say “I’ll wash it when I get home.” Those little jerks are hard and expensive to get rid of in your home. Throw.It.All.Away.
2. Do Not Use the In-Room Jacuzzi Tub- Yes, you read that right. I just crushed your dreams of renting a hotel room, having a romantic evening in the tub drinking champagne and partaking in inappropriate touching. Let’s go on a visual journey together shall we? It’s your anniversary, you want to do something romantic with your significant other so you book a nice room at a great hotel. When you arrive, the kind front desk person realizes its your anniversary and does you a favor by upgrading you to a suite with a Jacuzzi tub. SCORE!! You light some candles, grab some bubble bath and a bottle of champagne and jump into the warm bubbly water. The photo below says it all. Now, blink from our visual journey and snap out of it. This journey I just took you on is what everyone does in a Jacuzzi tub (a.k.a. soak and poke), score some sweet action in a bubbly swamp of someone else’s filth.
Let’s discuss how a Jacuzzi tub works. First you fill the tub up with water. Then you turn on the jets. The jets are sucking in the water in the tub and blowing it back out into the water you are sitting in. The last couple’s grime from starting a family, was sucked up and not released through the jets. As soon as you turn those jets on, its like your bathing alongside 10 other couples and their regret.
3. Best Times to Book a Hotel– You’re welcome, I am giving you a bit of a break from the hotel horrors and moving on to something to help your pocketbook. The best time to travel and book a hotel room is November-January. The majority of travelers these days are business professionals. They travel most of the year, but when the Holidays start to come around, they travel a lot less meaning hotels now have a lot of rooms to fill and they only way to do it is lower the rate. I feel that is the only explanation you need for this. The same goes for airlines. They begin to suffer when business travelers are taking a break for the holidays and lower the rates and even offer great deals. Next time you want to go on a family vacation, pull the kids out of school for a long weekend between November-January and safe some cash.
4. Wear Socks or Flip Flops in your Room- This is the same type of situation as Jacuzzi tubs. There have been numerous people in your room, spreading their athletes foot and rubbing back sweat on the carpet after some late night crunches. Hotel room carpets do not get shampooed often unless it is a dog friendly room. The housekeepers vacuum the room after a guest checks out and that’s it until the low season (November – January) when they have extra time to deep clean every room. Save yourself the scratchy, peeling foot and wear some socks.
5. Make Friends with the Front Desk Staff- We work in a very difficult environment. Sometimes things do not go as planned. There was a glitch (usually human error) and your reservation wasn’t in the system, your toilet over flowed, or the room you booked wasn’t as awesome as you thought it would be. Who do you speak to first when this happens? The front desk agent. If you are patient and kind to your front desk agent, they will more than likely go above and beyond to make everything right again. This is not a lack of training in the hospitality business, it is human nature. Think about it. When was the last time someone yelled at you to do something, did it make you want to really help them out to the best of your ability, or do just enough to get them off your back. This is the way a lot of front desk staff works. The manager is not always on duty, they have lives like you and I. When you arrive at a hotel with a smile on your face regardless of a problem arising or everything is smooth, the front desk agent usually does the best they can to upgrade your room or give you a little something extra for being a decent human being.
Now you can see why us hoteliers don’t really want the common public to know the dirty little secrets. We have a huge potential to lose money and make our guests paranoid. Yes bed bugs do happen in hotels, but nine times out of ten it is not from the hotel’s cleanliness. Take these tips and apply them the next time you check in to a hotel and I assure you, you will sleep a lot better in your upgraded room knowing there are not blood sucking creatures or someone else’s skin cells in your hair.