advertisement

Housekeepers at hotels see everything from outright theft (stolen comforters and blankets) to guests who forget to retrieve valuables from the hotel safe. The next time you check into a hotel, here is how to be the perfect hotel guest.

Put garbage where it belongs. If it's trash, throw it in the trashcan. Leaving garbage elsewhere in the room can be confusing to housekeepers, especially when your trash includes items such as folded papers and half-full bottles. If you haven't checked out, your housekeeper will likely leave items in place. But after you've left, business papers and cosmetics left behind may end up taking up space in the lost and found, when you really intended for housekeepers to throw the items away.

Hang up your clothes. Leaving items on the bed during the day may be more convenient for you, but it can be a burden on the person cleaning your room. Some guests don't mind having their belongings moved, while others react unfavorably. When in doubt, housekeepers leave personal items in place; so if you want your room cleaned to its fullest potential, make sure clothing is placed in the closet, in your suitcase, or in a drawer.

Leave a tip. Hotel housekeepers are often paid more than restaurant employees, but unlike a restaurant worker whose income is based mostly on tips, housekeepers are often overlooked when it comes to tipping. If you tip your hotel porter, consider leaving a tip behind for your housekeeper each day as well. One dollar per person per day should do the trick, though greater amounts are always appreciated.

Write a note. If you don't leave a tip (or even if you do), writing a thank-you note to your housekeeper is one way of sharing your appreciation. "You have no idea how much a note means to them," says Ed Bell, director of housekeeping at a Westin near Chicago. "A thank-you note goes so far, because their job is thankless for what they do."

Check out. Many business travelers leave hotels hours before checkout time without returning keys or stopping by the front desk. Placing a call to the operator or stopping by the front desk can free up your room sooner for arriving guests. This also allows housekeepers to get to work while waiting for other guests to leave. The few seconds it takes to make the call can end up making someone else's day.

Having visited nearly 30 countries on 5 continents in the last decade, Zach Honig's fascination with travel has clearly become an obsession. A Senior Associate Editor at Engadget (www.engadget.com), Honig updates his latest adventures on Twitter (@ZachHonig).