Checking Out of Your Hotel Room? Don’t Do This Before You Go

by SharonKurheg

The vacation or business trip is over and it’s time to leave your hotel for the final time. Your bags are packed. You’ve done a visual sweep of the bed, drawers, closet and bathroom to make sure you didn’t leave anything. You’ve had a “pee for the road.”

Did you make your bed?


Two reasons…

To help housekeeping

It’s easier and faster to pull everything up from the bed if it’s not made. That’s especially true if your definition of “making the bed” includes tucking the covers in and replacing those stupid show pillows. So you’re saving the housekeeper a few seconds in time, as well as a little less strain on his/her back.

Want to really be nice? Move the blanket and show pillows to the side, strip the bed, throw all the towels on top and leave the whole thing as a ball of linens and towels on the bed. It saves her/him a full minute or two (which doesn’t sound like much but multiply that by however many rooms (s)he has to service for new guests that day), and leaving them on the bed (as opposed to the floor) is safer for their back when they go to pick the bundle up.

To help your fellow travelers


I’m not suggesting that hotel housekeepers will often shirk their duties. But I’m also not naive enough to think that it never happens. If a housekeeper sees a bed that looks made, (s)he may just not change it.

Other things to not do when you check out

  • Leave the TV on – if it’s too loud, housekeeping may not be able to tell if there’s a reply or not when they knock on the door to change the room. And really, why would you leave the TV on if you’re not only not in the room, but aren’t going to return to it?
  • Leave the Do Not Disturb sign on the door – again, it just causes confusion for the housekeeping staff. Are you in the room and just sleeping?

Either way, it causes a slowdown. Housekeeping may need to contact the front desk to see if you’ve checked out or not (and if your bill is already paid, some people might not even check out; they just leave), or they may leave that room “for last,” in case you’re actually still in there.

With the availability of early check-in, it’s always a little disappointing when you ask for it and can’t get it. When it happens to us, we always wonder if they’re short-staffed or…what. Sometimes it could be because of the actions of the guest that’s been in the room before you. So now that you know, don’t be that person.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Jason January 7, 2020 - 7:13 pm

Bed sheet idea made me laugh and also cringe a little. Seen too many documentarys on hotel staff and their cleaning practices….ugh.

David Miller August 15, 2021 - 2:23 pm

So apparently it is now the “job” of the guest to do the housekeepers job – don’t forget to tip yourself…

joeheg August 15, 2021 - 10:51 pm

No, it’s simply “being nice” to people…both the housekeeper and the next person who will stay in the room. Personally, I enjoy doing little things like that to help my fellow man.

Glorybee Resto August 15, 2021 - 6:43 pm

I’m a housekeeper at a posh hotel in NY and our policy is to change sheets everyday and we also have floor supervisors to check behind us too. So not all hotels have lazy employees

Tex Hooper March 14, 2022 - 5:26 pm

You make a great point about turning off the TV for housekeeping. I need to book a hotel in Berlin this summer. I’ll have to consider booking something with a king-sized bed.


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