If you are like most people, you will probably take at least one vacation - or staycation this year. Before packing your bags and getting ready to check in to the hotel, read this blog to help prepare your family make the most of your vacation time and not be the annoying family everyone dreads.
Checking In: Make sure you are checking in at your scheduled time. If you decide to show up three hours early, and they are not ready for you yet, that's on you. Check in at the designated time or ask beforehand for an early check-in. If there is a queue, ensure you give the person in front of you ample space. You don't want to crowd someone in line, as that feels icky. Wait to be called up to the counter. When it's your turn to check in, greet the hotel staff with a warm smile, even if you just had the travels from hell. This is their first impression of you, and you want it to be a good one. This should go without saying, but use the phrases "please" and "thank you" when speaking to hotel staff. The nicer you are, the more you get. Facts. Have little ones? Please make sure they are not running a muck in the hotel lobby. It's a lobby, not a McDonald's playground. Other guests will silently thank you.
Bellhops: If a staff member brings your bags up to your room and unloads them for you, tip that person. The end.
Hallways: Do you kind of hate it when your hotel room is near the elevator? Know why? Because hotel walls are usually pretty thin. You can hear just about everything going on outside the door. Which brings me to my point: BE QUIET IN THE HALLS! See what I did there? But seriously, take a little extra consideration when returning to your room. Talk to children about the importance of walking quietly through the hallways. Most school-aged children should already be very familiar with this concept.
Elevators: Get in quick, get out quick. Always allow others to exit before you enter, though. If you are near the button panel, it's considered polite to ask new people entering what floor they are on. Stand so you are facing the door and not facing others (that's super creepy). If you are near the entrance of a packed elevator, get out and stand to the side to allow others to exit; then, you can get back in. Making small talk is unnecessary, but it's nice to say "Good morning" or the like to other patrons.
The Hotel Room: This is your home away from home for the next few days. Treat it with respect. Clean up after yourself and throw trash away. Hang towels after using them so you can use them again. If you have two beds but don't have to sleep in both, don't. Keep your consumption in check. Sure, the housekeeping cart might be right outside your door, but do you really need 52 paper cups? Remember, someone, a real live person, has to clean your room, so treat it with respect.
Other Guests: We don't have to love everyone we meet, but we do need to show respect to them. There is never an excuse to be rude intentionally to another person. Remember, they are paying guests too and are there for a nice vacation, just like you. Treat others how you would like to be treated.
Your Children: I was on vacation a week ago, and three tween-aged children were in the pool near me. Not only were they cursing and using totally inappropriate language, but they were also falling all over the place on top of me and my guest. Worst part? The parents were right there! Yes, a pool is a place to play and have fun, but you must be aware of your surroundings. Children running, screaming, and exploring the hotel unsupervised can lead to some significant annoyance from other hotel guests. Your kids are your responsibility. Read that again. Your kids are your responsibility.
Dress Code: Please do not walk through the hotel half-naked, or fully naked, for that matter. Going to the gym? Dress in gym clothes. Running up to the concierge? Put clothes and shoes on. Coming in from a long day at the pool or beach? Put on your flippy-floppies and wear a cover-up. You will need to pass through shared public spaces, so you should dress appropriately.
Valet Parking: If you are staying a few days and using the hotel's valet, it's perfectly acceptable to tip at the end of your stay. With that being said, actually, tip them at the end of your stay. Don't stiff hotel staff. Tip: If you want your car to be there by the time you come down to valet, call down a few minutes before you plan to leave your room.
Checking Out: Awe, vacation is over now. Sad face. When it's time to go, make sure you go. If you did not arrange for a late checkout, it is considered rude to linger in your room. The housekeeping needs ample time to clean and prepare that room for the next guest. Upon your departure, take a look around and make sure all trash is in the appropriate receptacles. Gather all used towels and place them in a heap somewhere in the bathroom. If you moved furniture, return it to the original position, this includes remote controls. Bonus: bring a little thank you card with you on vacation. Leave it for the housekeeping staff (tip inside optional). They will appreciate it.
By following these tips, you will be the superstar model example! Good for you! What other tips do you have for hotel stays? Let me know in the comments below. Happy travels!