10 things you should do in your next hotel room

Arriving in a new hotel room can result in a mixture of emotions. Maybe you're at the start of a holiday adventure in a new place and bursting with excitement, or maybe you're on yet another work trip and wish you were at home. Either way, you'll want to make your hotel room as welcoming as possible. A soothing oasis of calm where you can relax and get a really good night's sleep before hitting the next day running.

Taking along one of the packs from our Arrivals Collection (The Welcome and The Welcome Man) is a really good start, because they're full of all the things you need to make you feel a little bit more at home. But there are some other things you can do, so here are our tips for simple little ways you can tweak your room to make it more enjoyable:

  1. Don’t settle

The first thing you need to remember is that you’re paying for your hotel room, so you need to make sure you’re happy with it (within reason, of course). If you’re not happy with the room you’ve been given, don’t be afraid to politely ask to see other options available in the same or similar price range. Think particularly about location, and if noise is an issue then avoid a room close to the lifts, as this is a popular spot for people to stop and chat (not to mention the constant dinging as people call the lift).

  1. Avoid interruptions

It’s amazing how often housekeeping will barge into your room after just a cursory knock, so you should make full use of the “Do not disturb” sign on the door from the moment you enter if you want to avoid unwelcome visitors. It’s also a good idea to leave it on the door when you’re out for security (although remember to remove it when you want your room serviced).

  1. Make a clean start

As you’re settling into your room, it’s a smart idea to give the phone and the television remote a quick swipe with a cleansing wipe (we include some great ones in our Welcome packs). These items are often forgotten by housekeeping and can be covered in germs.

  1. Lights out

A little blob of Blu Tack is a good thing to pack if the little electronic lights in a hotel room (on, for example, the television or air-conditioning unit) make it hard for you to fall asleep. Just put a small and easy to remove piece on top of the lights in question and enjoy blissful darkness.

  1. Clip away

Curtains that don’t fully close can also be an impediment to a much-needed night’s sleep when travelling – but this can easily be fixed by using one of the trouser coat hangers that can be found in most hotels. Just turn the hanger sideways and use the clip to pinch the curtain edges together. A hair clip can also work or even the back of a chair.

  1. Create a barrier

Another place light and sound can creep in is under the door of your room but this is also easily fixed. Just roll up a spare towel from the bathroom and lay it along the base of the door, making sure you cover the gap all the way along.

  1. Embrace white noise

If you’re staying in a noisy city (we’re looking at you, NYC) or a hotel with poor sound insulation, then it can be really hard to nod off at night. A simple white noise app on your phone or device can make a huge difference – and it’s much more pleasant drifting off to sleep listening to restful ocean sounds or even a cat purring than the honking of car horns in the street below.

  1. Up the humidity

Hotel rooms are notoriously dry, especially during winter when heaters are turned up high, and it’s easy to wake up in the morning feeling like a desiccated prune. A clever DIY solution is to make your own humidifier by draping a damp towel across a chair or luggage stool and placing it close to the heater.

  1. Keep your caps

Though most hotels offer a pretty limited collection of free items in their bathrooms these days, one common item that is worth holding onto is the shower caps. They make super handy covers for dirty shoes when you’re heading home and don’t want to get dirt through your suitcase.

  1. Explore the extras

It’s always worth finding out if your hotel has any special offerings for their visitors (such as a pillow menu, yoga mats or game consoles for the kids) – don’t be afraid to ask questions at reception to find out what’s available to you. Even fairly basic hotels can have some great additional services available only on request.