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Hotel Room Checklist: What to do IMMEDIATELY in a Hotel Room

Hotel Room Checklist: What to do IMMEDIATELY in a Hotel Room

It may be tempting after a long day of traveling to throw your stuff all over the hotel room and plop yourself down on the bed for a quick nap. Take a step back, and make sure you take note of the items on our hotel room checklist!

Your hotel room is extremely important for the overall success and happiness of your vacation. No one wants to start or end their day in a dirty or broken hotel room!

You are on vacation- your hotel room should be comfortable and accommodating to your needs! 

Even though you will only be in your hotel room for a small portion of your trip, it still effects how you feel beginning and ending your day!

This guide will give you a checklist of everything you should do before you begin unpacking your belongings and settling in!

If you don’t do these things, it might cost you! Make sure your room is up to your standards, and everything is in order before unloading your suitcase and getting comfortable.

If you find your hotel room is not suitable for your needs, and exchanging rooms is out of the question, follow these clever hotel hacks to improve your stay!

Continue reading for more on things to look for in a hotel room, immediately after entering!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

immediately enter hotel room

1. Inspect for Cleanliness

A Clean Kitchen Area

The first and most obvious thing on our hotel room checklist is to inspect for cleanliness. Quickly look around the room, and make sure there are no obvious stains or messes that may have been overlooked. 

Check the sheets for stains, the tub for stray hairs, and the floors for any cleanable stains. 

Once the major areas look suitable, move onto smaller areas such as the desk, inside the dresser drawers, and inside the closet.

During your inspection, if something seems off to you, or looks as if it hasn’t been cleaned, don’t hesitate to speak up!

Hotels are usually pretty good about meeting customer needs and switching you and your guests to a different room if needed. You might even get an upgrade! 

Additionally, take into consideration the amount you paid for the hotel and its star rating. You truly get what you pay for! If you are in a $20 hotel room, chances are it might be dirtier than you want.

With that being said, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice large problems such as bedbugs or dirty sheets, so speak up (within reason!)

There are plenty of discount hotels that maintain good quality! Hint- check the hot rates!!

2. Bedbug Check

unmade white bed with white pillows

When inspecting the sheets for cleanliness (the bed is actually one of the grossest places in your hotel room), do a quick check for any unwanted critters in your bed. 

Any signs of bugs in the bed should be an immediate phone call to the reception desk. There is no reason you should have to deal with bugs, even if there is just one or two.

Plus, bedbugs can travel with you and get into your suitcase. You don’t want to bring them home with you! Be careful not to open your suitcase or place it on your bed before doing a quick check!

Of all the things that can go wrong in your hotel room, this should be the number one deal breaker, even if it is a discounted hotel!

Here are some tips of things to do if your hotel has bed bugs

3. Sanitize

Hand using Sponge on White Surface

Hotel rooms are VERY dirty. If you are intrigued, check out our list of the grossest places in your hotel room!

Before unpacking your belongings, its time to get down to business and sanitize everything. Bring a pack of disinfecting wipes with you so you can kill those germs! 

Start with the doorknob, and make your way into the room, cleaning everything from the light switches, remote, bathroom counter, faucet, and other surfaces.

Anything you can imagine many people have touched, give it a good wipe. 

This is a great way to help prevent getting sick during your vacation. Hotels do not have a lot of time to deep clean each and every room, so quickly go through and clean things up a bit!

This doesn’t have to be a huge to-do, just take a couple of disinfectant wipes and quickly go over surfaces that are commonly touched. You’ll feel better knowing it is clean!

4. Test Light Switches

White Wall with light switch next to door

Another thing on our hotel room checklist is to test the light switches. This might sound silly, but imagine going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, only to find your lights don’t work! 

This only takes a few seconds, so make sure you will have light when it gets dark out! 

Test the bathroom, hall, and bedroom lights, along with all lamps in the room. Also, take this time to make sure the TV works.

Testing the light switches is an easy thing to do when disinfecting the room. When wiping the switches, do a quick check to see if the lights work. Simple and quick!

Avoid touching the remote, though, until you can sanitize it! You never know who was in the room before you or how well it was cleaned in between! Stay on the safe side and clean just in case!

Check out these hotel room hacks for an EPIC stay!

5. Check Alarm Clock

Analog Alarm Clock Displaying 07_00

This is a super important item on our hotel room checklist. The last thing you will want on your vacation is to wake up at 5 AM because the last guest had that alarm set!

If you will need to wake up at a certain time the next day, take this time to set the alarm so you don’t forget. If not, make sure the alarm is turned off so you can catch all the zzz’s tonight!

If you can’t figure out how to reset it, you can always just unplug the entire thing or take the batteries out. No one’s messing with your sleep on this trip!

You want to get the best sleep possible during your stay. If you have loud neighbors, check out this sleep hack!

6. Check the Thermostat

person touching thermostat on wall

Another item on our hotel room checklist is to check the thermostat. The last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night to a 90 degree or 50-degree room.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with how to use the thermostat, and make sure it turns on (and off!)

This should only take a few seconds, but can be a life saver if you are traveling somewhere really warm, or really cold!

Let the front desk know if it is not working correctly, or you are having difficulty using it. 

Sometimes they are set to ridiculous temperatures (whether it be high or low), so make sure you give it a quick look over!

7. Check the Mini-Bar

opened mini fridge inside hotel room

If your hotel room has a minibar, make sure to do a quick check to make sure it is stocked. 

Items in the minibar are often overpriced, so you want to make sure you don’t get charged for a drink or snack that wasn’t stocked, to begin with!

Make sure the minibar seems to have all the items it should. You can even take a picture, in case there are any questions in the future! 

Avoid touching any of the items during your check, as many minibar items have sensors on them. Do a quick visual scan and make sure it is fully stocked.

If you have children, try to keep them away from the minibar so they won’t be tempted! Have some of their favorite snacks and drinks prepared ahead of time to keep them satisfied. 

Maybe even find a hotel room that comes with a free mini bar stocked with items! Hey, they do exist, and for reasonable prices!

8. Take Comforter Off Bed

Black and Grey Bedspread on Bed and Pillow

Another important thing to do immediately after entering your hotel room is to take the comforter off the bed. 

You can read all about how hotel comforters are one of the grossest places in your hotel room. But, use your imagination. 

Taking the comforter completely off the bed will ensure you don’t touch it as much or put any of your belongings on it. 

You can place it on a chair or sofa if there is one in the room. Another option is to fold the comforter down towards the end of the bed if you don’t want to take it completely off. 

If you are too cold without the comforter, check the closet as there are often extra sheets, or call the front desk and ask for extra blankets.  If you get them from the front desk, you can be assured they are actually clean!

9. Check Amenities

Person Pouring Plastic Tube Bottle onto hand

Especially if you did not pack soap, shampoo, etc., make sure your hotel has provided you with new bottles of the amenities. However, make sure you check out our ultimate packing checklist for any vacation so you don’t forget anything! 

If a bottle looks low, or you realize you also forgot toothpaste, don’t hesitate to contact the front desk. Hotels always have these extra items (for free), so don’t be afraid to ask. 

It would not be fun to get into the shower in the morning and realize you have no shampoo! Additionally, make sure you have enough toilet paper!

Check ahead of time, so you don’t run into these problems! 

You may even want to consider bringing your own toiletries (most travelers do!) I recommend this kit which comes with practically everything you might need for your trip!

10. Put Do Not Disturb Sign on Door

do not disturb sign on door

The last item on our hotel room checklist is to place the do not disturb sign on your door. This will make sure you don’t have interruptions during your stay, or uninvited hotel guests entering your room! 

The do not disturb sign can also be used as a safety measure. If a room has the do not disturb sign on the door, people will assume someone is in the room, and will not enter. 

Here is another hotel safety tip for your stay! 

Contact Us!

Now, you can finally begin to unpack and relax! Thank you for reading our hotel room checklist! We hope you will find these tips useful. Leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you! 

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De Witte

Thursday 22nd of February 2024

Sorry hoor maar hier moet ik om lachen. Ik heb medelijden met degene die dit schreef. Die heeft volgens mij smetvrees en niet zomaar een beetje ook. Wat schoonmaak betreft worden juist de kleine dingen wel gedaan. Alles onder de 2 meter (handbereik) word gewoon schoongemaakt. En ja er worden wel eens dingen vergeten maar dat wil niet zeggen dat je er gelijk ziek van word. Je bouwt er eerder weerstand van op.


Saturday 10th of June 2023

YOU PEOPLE are nuckin' futz


Tuesday 8th of November 2022

The most disgusting thing I have found in hotels is pubic hairs in the bed. This occurs in mid price hotels during high season, particularly in Miami and California.


Sunday 6th of November 2022

Most times you don’t know there are bedbugs until you get bit. They are usually at the top half of the bed and pillows.

Bobbie Whitlow

Friday 24th of June 2022

That was very good information.


Thursday 23rd of May 2024

@Bobbie Whitlow,

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