I always make advance reservations with special instructions that I might arrive late. I always ask for keys equal to travelers plus one when I check in because I frequently leave my key in the room on an end table, dresser or in the bathroom. I keep the spare key in my wallet to avoid the embarrassment of returning to the front desk to admit I accidently locked my key in the room.
Here are my idiosyncrasies for checking out a room based on decades of traveling in third world countries and in lower class lodging: On entering the room, I always do the following:
- Look over the room for current occupancy. Check the bathroom and closet as I put my stuff away. On three occasions I have been checked into an already occupied room or had others checked into my room while I was out. It is better to fix this problem immediately.
- I also do a vermin check based on the many rather suspect locations I have stayed. First, I bounce the bed by pounding on it to see if ‘dust’ ejects into the air. On occasion I have found this dust to be fleas and small vermin. If I do see ‘dust’, I look closer with a small magnifier I carry in my wallet. If the dust is more than dust, and I don’t want to change the room, I sprinkle the bed with the flea and tick powder I usually carry and watch the abandon ship drill. If I have to sprinkle the bed, I pull out my small satin 2-person sleep sack to block the critters. I also lift the corner of the sheet to look at the mattress. If I see small black dots or tiny blood droplets, I immediately suspect bed-bugs, and drag out my magnifier. I then try to change rooms, change hotels or if I have to stay, I sleep in the tub or on the floor in my silk sack. I would never dream of staying at an infested hotel while traveling with Mary.
- I do a security check. I check the door lock, bar lock, and chain lock to ensure they are solid and functional. I also perform many other specialized checks based upon a rather extensive security background that can be summed up as ‘a little paranoia is not so bad’ and be ready for the worst.
- Unpack clothes. I usually roll clothes for each day and put into a Ziplock bag. I empty and place each plastic bag into the drawer as a liner then lay out socks, underwear, and shirts onto the bags in the drawer. I then hang my pants and coat in the closet. I have always felt better by organizing and unpacking my clothes rather than living out of a suitcase half filled with dirty clothes.
- Check the thermostat to ensure the temperature is comfortable, especially in hot weather.
- Lay out my grooming kit in the bathroom and plug in my phone charger.
- Make sure I have my key before leaving the room. Unfortunately, I do not always remember this, and have to use a spare key from my wallet to get back in.
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