During a business trip a hotel is ideally where you go to relax and rest after a long day of travel or work. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. And in most cases it’s not the hotel’s fault, but is caused by the guests themselves. After all of the hotel etiquette issues that came up last week, I was inspired to write my top five recommendations for hotel etiquette.
Share the common areas. You’re not in your own living room. Spreading your stuff all over every available space is rude, but too common. Once, I came downstairs to the hotel lobby to get some work done, and found one person using three armchairs- one for him, one for his briefcase and one for his papers, with his laptop taking over the ottoman! It’s true that common areas are typically designed to be very comfortable but don’t forget to allow others to share the space with you. That being said, if you see a table that has stuff on it already, assume that it is taken and find yourself a different spot.
Be ready to check in. When you reach the front desk, try to have your credit card and ID ready, especially if there is a line. Often by the time you get to the hotel you have been traveling or working for a long time. It can be very frustrating to wait for someone to remove all of the contents of their purse, wallet or briefcase to find their itinerary.
Watch your noise level. Most of us know this one, but sometimes we can be loud without realizing it. I was guilty of this myself once. I was in a room next to a coworker, and she could hear my alarm through the wall. It wouldn’t have been a problem, except that I am a “snoozer.” I set my alarm 30 minutes early, and it goes off every five minutes. This could be very irritating for guests in rooms nearby. Same goes for the television. If you are watching TV super late or early you should turn it down. A good test to know if it’s too loud is to see if you can hear it through the door outside your room. Noise level shouldn’t just be limited to your room at a hotel. Watch your noise level in the lobby and hotel restaurant as well. Loud phone calls or loud groups of coworkers are bound to disturb somebody in these gathering areas.
Don’t slam the door. I am pretty sure that most people’s parents taught them not to slam doors in the house. Why should a hotel door be any different? I know these doors are very heavy, but that only makes it even more important to close them quietly.
Clean up after yourself. Leave your room in a reasonable fashion. Towels on the floor are one thing, since this often signals your desire for laundry service. But don’t leave trash lying around, and make sure to call room service to pick up your tray when you finish eating. This extends to the common areas as well! If you are enjoying breakfast at a busy time, clean up after yourself and throw items in either the trash or appropriate recycling containers so that someone else can use your table quickly. No need to wait for housekeeping.
Readers, what are your favorite hotel etiquette tips?
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