January 22, 2018

8 Must-Do’s When You Check Your Family Into a Hotel Room


hotel roomI was surfing around Reddit yesterday and found this huge chain of comments about hotels and cleanliness. Of course, I had to scroll through all the comments since I’m going to be staying in a hotel next month with two of my girls and would like to remain free of germs, bed bugs, norovirus, etc.

Naturally, I had to then put together the following eight must-do’s to accomplish right when you check into a hotel room with your family. Take a look:  

1. Go to Your Room Without Your Luggage. Before you haul all of your luggage up to your hotel room, take a few minutes to inspect the room on your own to make sure it will work for you. It’s a lot less hassle to come back down alone than with your family and all your luggage in tow if you need to make a change. 

2. Wipe Down the TV Remote. There’s no question that the TV remote is probably one of the most touched items in your hotel room, so bring along some Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and wipe it down, along with the telephone, right when you check into your room. 

3. Check Seals & Expiration Dates in the Minibar. If you’re planning to grab a soda or a snack from the minibar, pay attention that the seals have not been broken and that the snacks are not past their expiration dates. I try to avoid giving used or old snacks to my kids. 

4. Look for Lip Prints on Glasses. From what I’ve read a number of times, the drinking glasses in hotel rooms are not often washed, or at least not washed to the standard you and I may expect (more often they are simply rinsed). Bring along a small bottle of dish soap to give them an extra wash, just in case. 

5. Take the Coverlet or Duvet Off Your Bed. Many people do not like to sleep with the coverlet or duvet that sits on top of the blankets. It may or may not be germy. It may or may not be washed. It often depends on your hotel chain, but some people just don’t like to take chances. 

6. Check for Bed Bugs. If you are concerned about bed bugs, inspect your room and look in the bed, sofa and chairs, where they most often like to reside. Adult bed bugs are oval, brown and less than ½ inch in size. Look for rusty or reddish stains on bed linens and mattresses. For more, check out this article: How to Check a Room for Bed Bugs. 

7. Don’t Be Shy About Switching Rooms. If you really feel like a room is not cleaned well or it smells funny, don’t be shy about letting the front desk now and asking to switch rooms. You’re paying good money to stay in the hotel and you deserve a room that meets your standard. 

8. Don’t Hesitate to Switch Hotels. Along the same lines as feeling okay about switching rooms, if you really feel like the hotel is just not going to work for you, don’t be shy about going to another hotel altogether. I did that last year in New York when I checked into a four-star hotel that smelled like smoke and was all-around run down. I pulled up the Expedia app on my phone and found a new room in a jiffy.

What do you do when you first check into a hotel room? Let me know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link. However, the views and opinions expressed here are my own.  

Photo Credit: Kelly Wright


  1. Lesli Peterson says:

    Wiping down the remote control – brilliant!

  2. The first thing I tend to check is the bathroom. That seems to hold the key to how well the entire room is cleaned. Maybe that’s not really true for most hotels but it always seems when I’m traveling if the bathroom is gross then the rest of the room is too. Or perhaps it’s just how my mindset changes. =)

    • I actually am in the hospitality business… I own a B&B.
      Keep a trial sized Lysol with you always. I use it in bathrooms all the time when I am traveling. I also recommend using the luggage racks for your suitcases. This saves the beds from dirt you have tracked in and potentially saves your luggage from critters that may be on the carpet. Most hotels have the luxury of having enough rooms to switch you if you let them know of your issue. B&B’s on the other hand are usually small so switching rooms isn’t quite as easy.

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