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10 Ways to Ruin your Hotel Room

10 Ways to Ruin your Hotel Room

There are many things you should just simply not do while staying at a hotel. Some reasons are unhygienic, some can cost you unexpected bills, and others are just downright disrespectful to hotel employees. Whatever the reason, here are the top 10 ways to ruin your hotel room.

Speaking of unhygienic, take a look at our list of the grossest places in your hotel room! Yuck! You’ll never look at a hotel room the same again, sorry! At least you’ll be clean and healthy!

By avoiding the items on our list, you won’t find yourself in any unwanted situations!

Nothing ruins a vacation more than getting kicked out of your hotel or getting charged extra for something you didn’t need.

Sometimes you don’t even realize you are doing anything wrong (like grabbing that bag of chips they temptingly leave out), only to be left with regret!

Continue reading for more on the top 10 ways to ruin your hotel room

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Dont do this in your hotel room

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Pssst… Check out these discounted hotels to help save you some money on your next trip! We rarely spend over $100 per night on a 4 star hotel room, and this is how!

1. DON'T Touch the Mini-Bar

opened mini fridge inside hotel room

Unless your mini-bar is included in your nightly hotel cost, or you are prepared to spend mass amounts of money on overpriced food and drink, don’t touch the minibar! 

Most all-inclusive hotel rooms have free mini-bars, so you can enjoy the beverages and snacks for free!

Of course, check with your hotel to double-check before indulging. Read more about our all-inclusive vacation tips!

I get it, you might want to peek inside to see what goodies are in there. Try to resist though, as many mini-bars have sensors inside them that can detect when items are moved or touched. This could cost you in the future if you are not careful. 

If you have children, try to keep the mini-fridge out of site, especially if it is hidden in a cabinet like the photo above.

If it is out in the open, try placing your suitcase or bags in front of it, to resist temptations to open!

Also, make sure you bring lots of their favorite snacks, so if they are tempted, you are already stocked up!

“But, I only touched it, I didn’t eat anything!”- Said every hotel guest ever. Hotel employees hear this all the time! Which leads me to another mini-bar mistake:

Don’t try to restock the mini-bar with the items you bought from the store. They will know.

If you are that hungry, order room service, or just pay the price of the candy bar! 

This is just one of the 10 ways to ruin your hotel room!

Check out these things you MUST do before you do any unpacking in your hotel room!

2. DON'T Keep your Hotel Key by your Phone

Person Standing While Using Phone

How many times have you gone to swipe into your hotel room with your key card, only to have it denied? Annoying right?

Come to find out, due to some scientific reasoning that is beyond the span of my knowledge, your cell phone can actually make your key card deactivate. Pretty annoying, like we’re in the 21st-century guys, come on! 

However, older key cards can also deactivate just because they are getting worn out, not because they are next to your cell phone. 

Regardless, try to keep your key card and cell phone separate, to save the potential hassle of having to go all the way back down to the front desk to get a new card. 

Put your key somewhere safe in the hotel room, such as in a dresser drawer, or in a safe pocket in your purse. This is one thing to do immediately after entering your hotel room, so you don’t forget and lose it! 

Some hotel rooms even make you use your key card to turn the lights on, which is very helpful since you’ll always know where your room key is!

3. DON'T Expect Upgrades If...

Another top 10 DONT in a hotel room is to ask for upgrades, if you used a 3rd party booking site like Expedia, Hotwire, etc. 

3rd party booking sites are amazing and are where I do all my hotel bookings. We rarely spend over $100 on a 4 star hotel because of this secret hotel booking weapon! Hint- check out the hot rate hotels!

However, hotel employees can see where you booked your hotel from, and how much you got it for.

If you spend under $100 on a nice hotel room, chances are they aren’t going to upgrade you for free. 

You can try, and maybe even slip them a tip as a bribe, but don’t get your hopes up.

If you are hoping to get an upgrade, consider booking directly through the hotel’s website. Otherwise, be happy you got a hotel for such a great price! 

Learn how to get the CHEAPEST hotel possible! 

4. DON'T Take What's Not Yours!

This one might be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people try to take things from the hotel room

To sum it up, don’t try to take the towels, robes, sheets, pillows, TV, COUCH? I don’t know. I’m sure someone has done it somewhere…

Stick to only taking the complimentary items like the shampoo and soaps, coffees and teas, or the notepad and pen. Taking anything else (within reason), could cost you a hefty fine.

I know the towels and robes can be soft and nice, but think about how many people have used them besides you. Do you really want to take it home now? 

Hotels will be glad you enjoyed their products, so if you really want to purchase one, ask the reception and they can give you some information on how to purchase your own! 

Or, simply remember these items you enjoyed as a nice treat on your vacation. If you had them everyday, they wouldn’t be as special, right?!

5. Use WiFi Incorrectly

Person Using Laptop Computer

Hotel WiFi is a great amenity, especially if you are traveling internationally, and I am in no way saying not to use it. However, one of the top 10 DON’TS in a hotel room is using the WiFi incorrectly. 

Go ahead and use the public hotel WiFi to post your cute vacation pictures on Facebook, scroll through the latest news on Twitter, or check out Google Maps of the area.

Be cautious, however, of using WiFi to conduct important or personal information.

This includes online banking, sending money, and sending emails with important information.

Anything that you wouldn’t want the public knowing (social security number, credit card numbers, etc.) don’t even pull it up on your screen.

Why? Hackers love public WiFi, and hotels are a giant hot spot. It is easier for them to get into, and steal your information. Err on the side of caution if you need to conduct important matters online.

Use your personal data plan if you need to do any of these things. You can always use a hot spot on your phone if you need to use a laptop. Use an international data plan if you need to do so. 

6. DON'T Touch the Remote...

Close-up of hand holding remote control

One of the dirtiest, germiest, grossest parts of the hotel room is the TV remote. It makes sense, really, when you think about how many people touch it, and how little they get cleaned. 

My advice is to not touch the remote until you sanitize or cover it. Make sure you sanitize this item thoroughly so you don’t get sick!

Give the remote a good cleaning before you use it. If you forgot the wipes or ran out, place the remote in a zip lock bag, or in the hair cap in the bathroom.

You can always use the bag from the ice bucket if you can’t find anything else to use.

Or, try not to use the TV at all! You’re on vacation, after all, maybe try to find a new idea for entertainment instead of watching the same old shows over and over. 

Read more about the grossest places in your hotel room so you can stay away from those germs!

NEVER touch these nasty places in your hotel room (& How to clean them!)

7. DON'T Leave Food Trays Inside

Vegetable Sandwich on Plate

This might seem unnatural or rude, but it is considered good hotel etiquette for guests to leave their empty trays and dishes outside of the hotel room. 

When you are finished eating, simply place your tray full of dirty dishes just outside your hotel room door. 

Think about it- If you leave trays in your room, no one will know you are finished and could leave your room smelling for hours.

You may also wish to give the reception desk a call that you have left your trays by the door, for faster pick up. Plus, hotel staff will want to pick up dishes in the hallway as soon as possible, as it is unsightly. 

If you feel bad about doing this, you can always rinse off your dishes before putting them outside your door, and stack your plates and bowls nicely on the tray. The hotel staff will appreciate you!

8. DON'T Put Suitcase on the Bed

This is another top 10 ways to ruin your hotel room, that most people don’t think about.

Most people walk into the hotel room and throw all their bags onto the bed. This is a mistake! Read about things to do immediately after entering your hotel room

After you’ve done these things, avoid placing your suitcase on the bed. Think about all the dirty airport floors your suitcase has rolled on, all the parking lots and busses and grounds, and now you’re putting it where you will sleep?

Try to put your bags on the floor, or on a couch/chair in the hotel room. 

Many hotel rooms have fold-out stands for suitcases, so take advantage of these so your suitcase doesn’t have to lay on the floor.

These are usually in the closet if you can’t find it! If your room doesn’t have one, you can always put it on top of the dresser or desk. 

Additionally, if you haven’t inspected for bed bugs, one could easily crawl into your suitcase and come home with you. Yikes, that would be an unpleasant souvenir! 

9. DON'T Take a bath

White Bathtub on White Tile Bathroom Near Brown Framed Clear Glass Window

I mean… I get it if you have children. But just think about how gross it is.

You can’t be certain the bathtub is cleaned well, and now you’re going to bath in other people’s hairs, skin cells, and harsh cleaning chemicals? Gross.

Maybe I’m a germaphobe, but I think this one is especially gross.

Hotel showers are basically public showers, with the number of people who use them. Would you take a bath in a public shower?

If you must take a bath, make sure you rinse out the tub before getting in. Use a washcloth to wipe down the sides and bottom of the tub, just in case.

If you brought any disinfectant wipes, wipe down the tub with them. Otherwise, soap and water can’t hurt!

Plus, hotels typically have hot tubs, so use them instead! I’m sure they are not clean either, but at least they’re relaxing!

Creative ways to hack your hotel room for an EPIC stay!

10. DON'T Use the Throw Pillows

We’ve already discussed the grossest places in your hotel room, especially the pillowcases. Just think about how gross pillows without cases must be! You can imagine they don’t get cleaned much, because, how do you even clean a throw pillow?!

Think about how often you clean your own throw pillows- probably not a lot, so don’t expect hotels to!

Do yourself a favor and save your body from some germs by tossing the throw pillows to a corner of the room, and don’t touch them!

If you must use them, place your own pillowcase over them, or use a disinfectant spray. You can always ask the front desk for extra pillowcases if you wish to use the throw pillows!

Make sure to check the closet, as sometimes there are extra sheets and pillowcases up there!

Connect with Us!

Thanks for reading the 10 ways to ruin your hotel room! Make sure you read about these clever hotel hacks to improve your stay!

Have you ever made a horrible mistake in a hotel room? Let us know- make sure to leave a comment below! We would love to hear from you!

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C. Price

Saturday 28th of January 2023

You mentioned using the hotel hot tub if they have one - actually a bad idea - my husband has been going on business trips where he’s had to drive for 7 hours or longer - he decided to try using the hot tub for only 10 minutes and has had a type of hives ever since - he now has to be tested by scraping his skin and blood work The doctor said that you can never be sure if the proper chemicals have been used or possibly none at all I think I’d rather clean the tub!

Linda Smithers

Sunday 6th of June 2021

I recently stayed at casino hotel and had an incident with the bath in my room which cost me an extra 100.00 on my bill.We got up late to meet someone for breakfast so we didn’t shower and just brushed our teeth in the sink. We left for a full day and returned at 4:40 pm to find out carpet was wet near the bathroom. I called Housekeeping to inquire why and was told we left the tub running and they found it at 12:30pm. Cleaned it up and left. There was no notice of this happening and no message on phone to notify us. When I went to check out next morning there was a 100.00 extra charge for Damage to the room. I could not understand why this happened and why they didn’t notify us when it happened, as they had all our information. We were told someone forgot to call us. I asked to see the videos of the hallway and was denied and told if I didn’t pay it , I would be barred from using the hotel again. Is this standard practice in the hotel industry?

Linda Smithers

Sunday 6th of June 2021

@Linda Smithers,


Saturday 24th of April 2021

Another thing that goes with your statement about not getting upgrades if you book on travel websites and not the hotel itself is resort fees. Some Hotels have figured out that they can pretend to offer a low price and then charge say $30 pp as a "Resort Fee".

It is not ruining your hotel room but you had mentioned some things to avoid and this is another.Just another way to pad the price.


Saturday 24th of April 2021

Some very good tips and I had forgotten some of them.

Add the jar of nuts that hotels leave on the mini-bar. That will set you back $20.

Most hotels I have been to recently have gotten rid of the throw pillows and replaced them with regular ones with pillow cases. The first thing I do in a hotel room though is get rid of the throw that is on top of the duvet/comforter. I think that will usually be more disgusting than a throw pillow.

The other thing you see if you travel a lot is hotels putting price tags on thier robes saying you can buy it if you want. A not so subtle way of saying - if you take it, you bought it :)

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