I’ve stayed in hundreds, if not thousands, of hotels around the world. I’ve written dozens of tips about my experiences, ranging from hotel safety to how much to tip hotel housekeepers and how to make sure they actually get it. You can read more hotel tips at the bottom of this article.
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About a third of the hotels I’ve stayed in have been with my wife, who I rarely argue with. But one topic that often sparks a feisty debate between us is whether or not to have our hotel room cleaned. When I travel, I rarely ever have housekeepers come in and clean. For one, I don’t want to risk having anything stolen. Of course, I realize that this is extremely rare and most hotel housekeepers are hardworking and just doing their job but there are some bad apples (as evidenced in the video) and they ruin it for everyone. Other reasons include:
1. I’m not a messy person and don’t need clean sheets or towels every day.
2. I don’t want to give the already overworked hotel housekeepers more work than they already have.
3. With Covid still around, I don’t want anyone coughing or sneezing in my room; I’ve seen it happen in the past year and would just rather not have people in my room.
TIP: Pack an anti-theft portable safe like this one to keep your valuables safe when you travel.
To avoid having housekeeping come in to clean, I leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door and if I have garbage from takeout dinners, I will either find a trash can near the elevator or call down and let the front desk know that I left the bag outside of my room.
On the flip side, I can understand Natalie’s desire to have a clean room, especially when we’re with our kids, which is all the time, as we don’t travel without them. No doubt they are messy and despite our best efforts to keep things clean, they leave a trail of Cheerios and other crumbs all over the place. If we’re at a beach destination, you can add sand to the mix, no matter how hard we try to get it all off of them.
However, I do know the old adage, ‘happy wife, happy life’ so when we do have housekeepers come in, I usually leave a tip under the pillow with a thank you note or make friends with the housekeepers in the hallway and let them know where the money is.
I’ve met some incredible housekeepers over the years and I’ve never had a bad one (that I can remember) but I don’t secretly record them so I really don’t know. I’m sure you’ve seen the video of housekeepers cleaning drinking glasses with the same rag they used to clean the toilet, which is why I NEVER use the drinking glasses in hotels. But one traveler DID set up a hidden hotel room camera and … well, you’ll have to watch the video below to see:
@arturbo86 Our vacation got weird. I won’t be naming the hotel because they handled this situation very well. Just be careful out there and use technology to your advantage. I’m honestly surprised he didn’t see the green light on my webcam. Next time, I will be blacking it out. Again the app is called iSentry. There are others in the app store but this one was able to send me email notifications when it detected motion. 10/10 would recommend. #mexico #resort #cancun #traveltiktok #traveltips #travelhack #catchapredator #caughtoncamera #messedup #busted ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
A traveler to Cancun, Mexico recently secretly recorded his hotel housekeeper for the very first time and he was shocked and disturbed by the footage that was captured. Arturo Brunello posted this video on TikTok with the caption: “Our vacation got weird. I won’t be naming the hotel because they handled this situation very well. Just be careful out there and use technology to your advantage. I’m honestly surprised he didn’t see the green light on my webcam. Next time, I will be blacking it out. Again the app is called iSentry. There are others in the app store but this one was able to send me email notifications when it detected motion. 10/10 would recommend. #mexico #resort #cancun #traveltiktok #traveltips #travelhack #catchapredator #caughtoncamera #messedup #busted
If you watch the video, no doubt you will get a chuckle that the housekeeper grabbed a beer from the fridge and drank while at work. But you will also be disturbed by the way he checked his drawers and suitcases.
I’ve already given my reasons above for not having housekeeping come into my room but if you are going to get your room cleaned, I suggest the following:
1. Have the cleaning staff come in while you’re there and keep the door open.
2. Keep your valuables locked in the hotel safe or in your own portable safe.
3. Photograph your belongings so that you know if anything is missing.
4. Don’t leave cash or jewelry out in the open.
5. I sometimes close my computer bag and leave the zippers together on one corner so I can tell if anyone opened the bag as it’s unlikely that someone would close it back the same way I left it.
6. Make friends with the housekeepers and leave daily tips since you might not have the same housekeeper every day.
HOTEL TRAVEL TIPS:
–The Grossest Thing in Your Hotel Room Isn’t What You Think … And Might Even Be Dirtier Than the Toilet
–My Terrifying Hotel Fire Experience and What I Learned from It
–This Portable Safe Helps Keep Your Valuables Safe
–How Much to Tip Housekeeping & Make Sure They Get It
–Think Before Leaving Your Toothbrush out in Your Hotel Room
–Why You Should Always Lock The Deadbolt While In A Hotel Room