Three Common Travel Mistakes to Avoid- According to Hotel Staff

Travel season is here, and recent figures show that it may be one of the busiest years of travel yet. A recent study by Economist Intelligence, shows that global tourism is expected to rise by 30% in 2023 alone. With a large majority of travel happening during summer, we thought it was the perfect time to reveal some of the biggest pet peeves of hotel staff. 

As service staff consultants to some of the biggest hotel groups globally, we’ve heard first hand what many hospitality personnel deem as bad manners. So why does it matter? According to many industry insiders we spoke with, they often prioritize guests with good hotel etiquette and strive to make their experience even better when they see a guest who shows them respect and gratitude. Remember working in hospitality is hard because not only can it be laborious and often include long weekend and evening hours, but also because staff are expected to be courteous at all times (even when they encounter a rude guest). 

While the list is long, we narrowed it down to 3 of the most common hotel mistakes guests make, so the next time you take a trip, you can travel knowing you are getting gold stars!

1. Leaving your hotel room like a pigsty (and doing one thing in particular with your linens): If you wouldn’t leave trash laying on the floor, then you shouldn’t do it at a hotel. Avoid leaving food and dirty dishes outside your door to smell the hallways and instead call in-room dining to come clear your trays. Lastly, remember that leaving dirty sheets, towels and linens in the wrong place all are considered bad guest manners too. Instead, leave soiled towels hanging on hooks if possible, and if there are no more hooks free, then in nice neat piles in the bathroom. Don’t leave dirty linens on the carpet or hanging over fabric chairs, where they could leave a wet stain.

2.   Not tipping key staff. In most western cultures, tipping hotel staff is a gesture of gratitude and a common courtesy done to show you are satisfied with the good service. We recommend carrying around a small amount of local currency when you are in a hotel to tip staff when and where needed, although there are also usually many opportunities to add more to a credit card bill. From valets and restaurant coat checks to tipping at the end of your stay for housekeeping, knowing who to tip and when will make you a VIP guest.

3.   Being Rude (hint: avoid the below list of gestures): Concierge staff, servers, reception staff and management seem to get the brunt of unhappy hotel guests’ complaints. Avoid raising your voice if there is an issue and instead remember to keep your cool and always treat people with kindness and respect. Never ask for attention of staff or servers by snapping, clapping or waving your arms dramatically, all of which can be seen as extremely disrespectful gestures. If you want better service, then make an extra effort to be friendly with staff, show gratitude and learn their names, and you’ll likely be very surprised how much more attention you get! 

To read more about the do’s and don’ts of hotel etiquette, check out Travel + Leisure’s article: 7 Most Annoying Hotel Guests- and How to Avoid Being That Person 

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