As we approach the second half of the year and summer gradually rolls on, there is need to be cautious while on trips. As expected, most travellers are reserving and booking hotel accommodations ahead of their stay this summer, but the world is still fighting the pandemic and this calls for caution.
However, considering the new normal of doing business in the post Covid-19 era, guests are now more conscious of their health and safety in the hotels they intend to stay in. The competitiveness of the room rates and services are no longer reasons to choose a hotel, but how safe the hotel is, how strict safety and health protocols are observed by the guests and staff and facilities that enable contactless services.
While priority is given to health and safety now, there are other things hotel guests should be cautious of during their stay.
A cautious guest should not pay with cash or a debit card. If a guest pays with cash, the guest will have a much harder time disputing bills. Even paying with a debit card may make it difficult to dispute charges on your bill. Well, you may need to dispute charges on your bill because some hotel guests have often been targets of identity theft.
Another reason is that hotel bills often have hidden charges such as destination fee, resort fee for amenities even when guests are not staying at the resort.
As well, some charge an obnoxious restocking fee for the nuts and drinks you took from the minibar while enjoying the comfort of the room. To be on the safe side, pay with a credit card and research the hotel’s fees prior to booking your stay.
Also, a cautious guest should not use the hotel Wi-fi to send sensitive information. Sending sensitive information over a hotel’s Wi-fi is risky because it is very easy to hack public Wi-fi hotspots.
While using the hotel’s hotspots to send sensitive information, an unsuspecting guest may be exposing his/her passwords and bank details unknowingly to fraudsters.
Instead, use encryption to cover your online activity when you are logging into your bank account or sending other sensitive information. But if it is not something of utmost importance, you could wait until you get to a location with a more secure connection.
Like professional wrestling promoters would warn TV viewers, “Don’t try this at home, school or anywhere”, guests should not steal anything in the hotel, especially from the room.
It is absolutely fine to take certain things from a hotel room, the complimentary soaps, shampoos, lotions, among others. But do not be tempted to take other things, like the towels and bathrobes. No matter how plush and luxurious they are, it is not worth it. First of all, it is wrong and the hotel will find out about it, and that means that you could be embarrassed and charged extra. Again, a guest could end up getting banned for stealing from the room.
Now, most major hotels have a computer database with a no-stay list of patrons who have stolen from them. Those hotels are all too happy to share that information with other hotels. That could mean that even though you stole something from the Marriott, you could also end up getting banned from the Hilton. Moreover, stealing from a hotel is a crime, and a guest could end up getting locked up.
Following the do not steal warning; guests should not restock the minibar. Trying to fake the hotel staff out by replacing the liquor with a half-sipped bottle, or a similar brand of the one you drank earlier makes no sense. If you are caught, you would be charged extra for the embarrassing act.
Also, to be a cautious guest, do not use the “Please Clean Room” sign.
Sure you want your room cleaned, but do you really want to announce to the whole world–especially to the burglars–that your room full of valuable possessions is empty? No, hanging that sign up does not necessarily mean that the room is empty, but it most likely is–and thieves know that. So, if your room is in need of a good cleaning, call the front desk directly and ask them to send someone to clean your room.
For health and hygiene sake, do not use the throw pillows. Some hotel health experts advise that guests should not sleep on the throw pillows, rather, toss them off the bed. According to health experts, hotel throw pillows can harbor some really nasty germs.
“If you notice the throw pillows on the bed or the couch have no removable sleeves, you can be sure they are never thoroughly cleaned,” Kashlee Kucheran, seasoned traveler and co-owner of traveloffpath. com,said. The hotel will replace them after the stains and smells get to be too much. But, steer clear of them in the meantime because “you can bet there have been many faces, bottoms, and other things lounging on those pillows,” Kucheran added.
To be on a safe side, guests are advised to call ahead and ask that the throw pillows be removed from the room prior to their arrival.
As well, security experts also advise that it is not sleep on the ground or top floor. According to some detectives, it is best to avoid sleeping in ground and top-floor hotel bedrooms. That is because you are the most vulnerable in these rooms if by chance a terror attack occurs. The ground floor, according to them, is readily accessible to intruders and the top floor does not allow any maneuvering room. They also recommend that guests should request a copy of the fire escape plan at check-in time and keep a small “escape bag” packed at all times.