Making bad decisions is as much a part of traveling as packing your suitcase and losing followers on Instagram (really, we get it, you're having fun on vacation). When you’re visiting a place you know nothing about, you’re bound to get some stuff wrong. But that doesn’t mean every decision you make has to be a bad one.
And to help ensure that you at least have a smooth stay at your hotel, here are 16 decisions you should absolutely avoid.
Not tipping the bellman
The good people at Head and Shoulders taught us long ago that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Looking cheap from the get-go pretty much ensures that nobody on staff is gonna come rushing to your beck and call. Obviously, they're still gonna take care of you -- they're paid professionals -- but don't be surprised if room service takes forever and there's no chocolate on your pillow.
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Because you will 100% misplace it within 15 minutes of checking in. "Wait, I swear I put it right here on the desk! Where did it go?!?" Having to return to the front desk for a new one is only slightly more embarrassing than finding an “in-room feature” on your bill. Also, how you are gonna get into your room if you give your only key to that woman you met in the hotel bar? That happens in real life, right?
Assuming you can check in early
Because if it’s a hotel that anyone wants to stay at, your room is probably still dirty. The best they’ll do is let you check your bags at the front desk. Which is fine, just make sure you packed a change of clothes near the top or you’ll be smelling like an airplane until 4pm.
Ordering room service, at all
The novelty of getting whatever you want on demand is lost when you realize you just spent $18 for a Diet Coke.
Throwing a late night “get together”
Because you’re actually as quiet at 3am as you are funny.
Leaving anything incriminating out in the open
Unless you left an envelope with hush money for the maids (also known as: a tip), you can pretty much ensure whatever dirty little secret you left on the nightstand is now a picture being examined by hotel management. Don't believe us: watch this video.
Going to the “fitness center” early in the morning
You’d be surprised how many business travelers like to start their day with a vigorous half hour on an elliptical machine from 1999 and 15 sets of lat pulldowns.
Leaving the 'Do Not Disturb' sign up
That extra hour of sleep you got isn’t quite as special when you forget to take down that sign and are still sleeping on the same sheets you spilled Jaeger all over the night before.
Using a blacklight
Seriously, don't do it. You might think you're being slick going all John Stossel on your favorite hotel chain, but looking too closely at your room's cleanliness is kinda like trying to find out how many people your new significant other has, ummm, been with: don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to.
Giving anyone your last name and room number
Even if that sexy woman you met in the lobby who was soooooo into you wasn’t actually a pro, she may very well have been getting enough info on you to order $300 worth of pina coladas from the pool bar.
Heading to the pool after 11am
Tourists like to get a jump on their tanning, and if you decide nursing that hangover is more important than scoring a chaise lounge by the pool, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be spending the afternoon on your balcony enjoying a “Garden view” of the A/C unit.
Assuming you can get a late check-out
They may not come in and forcibly remove you, but remember that credit card you gave them for “incidentals"? That's where they're charging the fee for making them rush-clean your room, or possibly for an extra night.
Asking the front desk for recommendations
Restaurants don’t throw "Concierge Dinners" so those guys can send you to their favorite hidden gems. Ask the valets or the bellmen for their favorites instead, unless you enjoy eating at “local spots” that charge $19 for a hamburger.
Some hotels have an automated system for this. Some depend on the Mensa member working the overnight shift at the front desk. Neither is as dependable as your cell phone, so make sure you’ve got a backup.
Thinking you’ll get an upgrade
In hotels, much like in life and in strip clubs, you get what you pay for. Which means that booking a room with a “courtyard view” and assuming you can charm your way into a suite that doesn't overlook the parking lot is delusional.
Sleeping under the blankets
Even if you don't bring a blacklight, John Stossel, you should still know better.