The holiday photo you should always take
Leaving a hotel room, especially a nice suite, can be a let-down.
It officially means the holiday is over and it's time to head back to the real world.
But before you let the guest room door close behind you, be sure to do these nine things that will save you stress and money in the immediate future.
1. PHOTOGRAPH THE MINIBAR
There's nothing worse than seeing an unexpected hotel charge on your credit card.
This is exactly what can happen if hotel management attributes room damages or minibar expenses to you.
To cover yourself, take a quick snap (or better yet, alert the front desk) of any major damage you might find.
The same goes for the minibar - before and after photos can prove that it was the guest before you who downed all the $100 Champagne.
2. TAKE YOUR SHOE OUT OF THE SAFE
If you're the type of person who always forgets something important in the hotel room safe (no judgment), here's a pro tip: put one of your shoes in there.
You won't be able to get out the door without your second shoe, and you'll be forced to remember your passport or other valuables you stashed away for safekeeping.
3. DON'T FORGET THE SHOWER
The shower is a place people often overlook when packing up their belongings. But leaving behind an expensive bottle of face wash or your favourite razor is easy to do - not to mention, mildly annoying when it come time to replace those products.
We also recommend checking under the bed and in the wardrobe for any items. Plus, be sure there are no chargers still plugged into the wall outlets.
4. GRAB THE FREEBIES
And while you're looking in the shower, there's no harm in grabbing the individual toiletries you only partially used (while you can.)
Don't forget any other freebies you might actually want, like bottled water, magazines, monogrammed pens or fresh fruit.
Just be sure that these items aren't part of the charged minibar, and of course, leave the big-ticket items, like robes and umbrellas, behind.
5. REVIEW THE BILL
For your convenience, hotel folios - or master bills for rooms - are usually available to review in the privacy of your room.
Check the TV for the electronic version or near the door for an envelope slipped underneath in the early morning hours.
You're much more likely to notice discrepancies while reading the bill in your quiet room, rather than in a busy and crowded lobby while the front desk agent watches you.
6. ASK TO STAY LONGER
At most hotels, the decision of whether or not you can check out later can't be made until the day you're supposed to leave. It's when the front desk has the most updated picture of how many guest rooms will be filled.
If it's a full house, housekeeping needs to clean your room ASAP so the next guests can get in.
If the hotel is partially empty, a later checkout is entirely possible. So before you leave, call the front desk and ask if you can stay a few more hours.
7. REQUEST A CAR
Ride-share services like Uber are usually the most affordable way to get to the airport.
Request a ride before you leave your room (if you know you're leaving the hotel immediately), and the car should be waiting for you at the kerb.
It's much less stressful than waiting for a taxi to be called or overpaying for a hotel car service.
8. TAKE ONE LAST PICTURE
Before you go, take one last snap of whatever made the hotel room special to you. It doesn't have to be Instagram-worthy, but a pretty view or a soaking bathtub can make for a memorable photo the next time you're mindlessly scrolling through your phone's camera roll. After all, remembering a blissful holiday is priceless.