Turn off the alarm!

alarmA few weeks ago the Home Warrior and I took the kids to north Texas to visit family. We stayed in a two-bedroom suite, with us and the 4-year-old in one room and the twins in the other. We turned it relatively early, as we were  all pretty tired after a long drive and hours of playing. The monitor was set up so we could hear if the babies cried, but they slept quietly.

Until 3:30, when a horrible, hideous beeping noise started screeching. The Home Warrior and I shot upright, trying to figure out where it was coming from. I started slapping at the alarm clock next to me while he fumbled with his phone. After about ten seconds–which felt like eternity–we were coherent enough to realize the noise wasn’t coming from our room, it was coming from the babies’ room through the monitor. The wailing that soon followed confirmed it.

In my mind, I raced to the other bedroom and got the alarm turned off in three seconds flat. In reality I jumped out of bed, tripped over some toys, ran into a wall, fumbled with the unfamiliar doorknob, and finally staggered into the babies’ room to slap the bedside clock into silence.

There are not many things more jarring than being rudely awoken in the wee hours of the night by a screaming alarm. It never even occurs to me to use the hotel alarm anymore–I just use my cell phone with the occasional wake-up call as backup.  However, if you need to set the alarm in your hotel room, especially if it’s for sometime incredibly early, please do your fellow travelers a favor and turn it off before you leave. On the flip side, it’s not a bad idea to check the alarm in your hotel room before going to bed to make sure that it’s off.

Readers, do you use the hotel alarm clock? Do you ever check to make sure it’s off before going to bed?


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  1. There are few things as irritating as this. This is why we just unplug all alarm clocks and phones when we check in to a room. Hotels really should have alarm clocks that reset after each guest leaves or something like that.

  2. One of many travel pet peeves. I was sound asleep one night when the alarm clock in the NEXT ROOM started going off at some ungodly hour. The room was apparently vacant, as it continued on and on incessantly. I called the front desk, and after what seemed like an alarm-clock eternity they sent someone up to turn it off.

    FINALLY – silence. I re-squished my pillow and made an attempt to pick up where I left off.

    For a whole nine minutes – because of COURSE the hotel staff only hit SNOOZE and not OFF.

    Here’s to continuing to debunk the theory that travel is always luxurious 🙂

  3. I never use the hotel clock and always unplug or put into a drawer. Ditto with hotel phone. Good in an emergency but always use my own phone as alarm.
    Travel a lot and so far never had the alarm go off but you can bet I will now check it on the off chance I forget to unplug the thing! YIKES. Getting kids to sleep can be challenging enough in a hotel room!

  4. I was living in a hotel for a month and this was happening in the vacant room below mine. The first night I managed to get back to sleep through it, the second had me prowling the floor below to find out which room it was and then going downstairs and banging on the desk, insisting that they go up to turn it off.

    And yes, I currently unplug the clocks in the room if the alarm goes off. They don’t get a second chance to get it right.

  5. I check them Now because yes, I’ve had this happen too. I now have a checklist of things I do in hotel rooms – check the alarm, wipe down the remote, check the sheets for cleanliness etc.

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