In normal times I spend about 120 nights a year in hotels or rented flats. The only downside to that amount of time away is that it’s not enough.
Part of being a frequent traveler is learning odd lessons that less-traveled folks might never encounter.
It’s best to start every hotel stay with at least two keys. The likelihood of a programming error is higher than you think. Having two in hand reduces an inopportune return to the front desk.
High floors are quieter than low floors. Never take a room near the elevator or ice machine.
Trust your instincts when you enter a room and something seems off. Don’t overthink it, just immediately swap it out for a new one. If you’re told that no rooms are available, ask about the room they’re holding in reserve in the unlikely event that the president might show up needing a place to stay. Expect to be reminded that you’re not the president. Just tell the desk clerk that you’ll gladly surrender the room the minute Air Force One lands.
Putting the “do not disturb” sign on the doorknob has a greater benefit beyond keeping random door-knockers at bay. It also acts as a reminder of where you’re room is located.
The most important advice I have is to lock the door when you’re luxuriating in your room. Not so much for safety, but for preventing accidental entries.
Avoiding some surprising moments benefits more than yourself.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.