21 Things You Should NEVER Do in a Hotel Room (Even if You’re Allowed to)

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We’ve all experienced those moments in a hotel room – a “brilliant idea” gone wrong, a small oversight, or concerns about cleanliness, but no matter the situation, there are things you should never (ever_ do in a hotel room.

Bring Home ‘Souvenirs’


Those comfy hotel bathrobes might be tempting souvenirs, but resist the urge to stash one in your suitcase. Sneaking things out is stealing, plain and simple. Plus, hotels will likely charge you for missing items.  

Don’t forget that hotels have your credit card details, so they can easily add the cost of a missing robe to your bill. The same goes for towels, artwork, electronics, and anything else that isn’t clearly yours. If you’re unsure, leave it behind. (By the way, wearing the bathrobe outside the room, like to the pool, is another hotel etiquette no-no.)

Using the Mini-Bar (Unless You Can Afford it)

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Those tempting snacks and drinks in the mini-bar might seem like a lifesaver, but be warned: they come with a hefty price tag! We’re talking markups of up to 1300% compared to what you’d pay at a nearby store. 

To avoid a shocking bill at checkout, skip the mini-bar and stock up on drinks and snacks from a local shop, or bring your own ones from home.

Having ‘Fun’ Loudly

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Hotel rooms can be romantic getaways, and that’s perfectly fine. But you want to think of a hotel room like a shared apartment – you have neighbors. Keep things on the quieter side to avoid awkward moments with fellow guests, especially at breakfast the next morning.

Taking a Shower While Keeping the Bathroom Door Ajar


Everyone enjoys a hot shower after a long day of travel. But be mindful of the steam – it can get thick enough to set off the fire alarm.  

Another reason to keep the bathroom door closed: housekeeping might knock while you’re showering and assume the room is empty if you don’t answer.  Always close the door to avoid any awkward encounters.

Walking Barefoot


Ever walked barefoot across a hotel room carpet and felt that strange stickiness? Yeah, not so pleasant. Hotel carpets, similar to bedspreads, don’t always get deep cleaned. 

This means they can be a breeding ground for dust, germs, leftover food bits, and even worse – yuck!  Always pack a pair of flip flops or slippers  (some hotels might not provide them), and avoid sitting directly on the carpet.

Putting Your Suitcase on the Bed


Your suitcase travels far and wide – airports, sidewalks, who knows where else. It might pick up germs, dirt, or even hitchhikers like bedbugs along the way.  To keep those unwanted guests out of your bed, place your luggage on a luggage rack or a hard surface instead.

Using Mugs and Glasses without Cleaning


Those shiny glasses and mugs in your room might seem sparkling clean, but sometimes they’ve just been given a quick rinse before you arrive. To avoid an unclean sip of someone else’s germs or soap scum, wash them thoroughly with hot water and soap – just like you normally would at your house.

Connecting to Wi-Fi


Hopping on the hotel’s Wi-Fi is handy, but remember, it might not be super secure. If you’re on an unencrypted network, avoid sharing any personal info like passwords, credit card details, or anything else financially sensitive. When in doubt, play it safe and wait, or consider using a secure VPN for your internet browsing.

Using the Coffee Maker without Cleaning


Just like the other hotel items, the in-room coffee maker might not be as squeaky clean as you’d hope.  If you plan to use it for your morning cup of coffee, give it a quick rinse with hot water first. This will help flush out any lingering germs or that stale coffee taste.

Dyeing Your Hair 


Thinking of giving yourself a quick hair touch-up in the hotel room? Don’t!  Dyeing your hair is a recipe for disaster.  Staining towels or bathrobes is almost guaranteed, and that dye might not come out. You could even end up with a hefty cleaning fee.

Skip the in-room hair dyeing and ask the hotel to recommend a good local salon.  If you do get your hair dyed, avoid washing it at the hotel (or bring your own towel). You might even want to pack a pillowcase to prevent dye transfer while you sleep.

Leaving Valuables Unsecured


While hotels offer security, they can’t guarantee your belongings won’t go missing. To be on the safe side, stash your important things like passports, cash, and jewelry in the hotel safe. (Pro tip: Leaving a shoe in the safe is a clever trick to remind yourself to grab everything before checking out.)

Using the Bedspread


That fluffy bedspread might look inviting, but it probably doesn’t get washed as often as the sheets. Think of it as a cozy blanket for multiple guests – not exactly the cleanest situation. To avoid any unwanted germs during your stay, tuck that bedspread away in a corner.

Using the Remote Control Before Sanitizing it

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How many people flip through channels before you? You might be surprised. Remotes can harbor more germs than you think, just like doorknobs. To keep things hygienic, wipe down the remote with a disinfectant wipe before settling in for a movie marathon.

Forgetting to Use the Door Lock


This one might seem obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning. Always double-check that the deadbolt or clasp is engaged on your hotel room door. This extra layer of security makes it tougher for unwanted visitors to barge in. It’s especially important at night or if your room’s in a quieter part of the hotel.

Also, consider grabbing a portable doorstop to ensure you’re extra safe during your stay (they’re cheap online!). Some even have alarms that blare if someone tries to force entry, adding another layer of defense against sneaky ‘visitors.’

Lying about Breaking Stuff


We’ve all had accidents. But if you damage something in your room, don’t keep it a secret. It’s not just bad manners, it could be a safety risk for staff or future guests.  

So, if you break a glass, clean it up and let housekeeping know so they can do a proper check-up.  For pricier items like TVs or tablets, report it to the front desk, even if it means paying for the damage. This is why it’s a good idea to check the room thoroughly when you check in. See something broken already? Report it right away.

Trying to Cook 


Forget those wild social media ideas about using the kettle to cook noodles or the iron to make a sandwich. You’ll risk damaging the appliances (and getting charged for them), not to mention creating a fire hazard.

We all love to save money on travel, but unless your room has a proper kitchen area, stick to cold meals or grab some takeout – already cooked, of course!  Bringing your own hot plates or other cooking gadgets is a no-go too.  The smells and sparks could set off the fire alarm or, even worse, cause a real fire. 

Smoking in Non-smoking Rooms


This one’s a no-brainer. Non-smoking rooms are exactly that – no smoking allowed. A quick cigarette on the balcony can land you with a hefty fine. Trying to be smart by airing out the room or messing with the smoke alarm is a bad idea. Messing with the alarm is dangerous, not to mention against the rules.

If smoking is a must,  book a room that allows it. This applies to vaping and e-cigarettes too, as they can set off alarms. And marijuana, legal or not, is a big no-no in non-smoking rooms.

Sneaking Pets In

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Bringing your furry friend along? Make sure the hotel allows pets before you try to sneak them in. Some places have strict rules about animals, and if they catch you, you could face hefty fines or even get kicked out. 

Plus, hidden pets can trigger allergies for future guests and staff. To avoid any hassles, search for pet-friendly hotels or ask the front desk if they can accommodate your pet for a fee.

Getting Cozy Before Inspecting the Bed 


Even fancy hotels can have unwelcome guests – bedbugs! To avoid a dirty stay,  travel expert Mitch Krayton recommends putting your luggage in the bathtub until you check the bed. Look closely at the mattress seams and corners for any signs of creepy crawlies.  

If you find something suspicious, take pictures, alert the hotel management immediately, and request a different room (which you should also inspect thoroughly).

Touching the Decorative Pillows


Those decorative throw pillows might look inviting, but resist the urge to snuggle up with them. Seasoned traveler Kashlee Kucheran says if the pillows don’t have removable covers, they likely aren’t cleaned regularly.  Think about how many people have used those pillows before you – best to keep your distance!

Not Tipping for Top Service


Tipping hotel staff is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work, especially if they’ve gone the extra mile. This includes housekeepers who keep your room tidy, bellhops who help with your luggage, and concierge services that assist with bookings or recommendations.

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.