Here’s a list you’ll want to pass around
Here’s a list you’ll want to pass around
05 JULY 2018 7:08 AM

The Boston Globe recently published a tips list for airplane travelers. Today I adapt that for hotel guests.

I have a Google News alert set for the word “travel,” and nine times out of ten, the results it delivers are promotions, or bad news about travel warnings and trade tensions.

Recently though, my settings brought me to this story from The Boston Globe on “Six ways we can all be more civil and helpful to each other on planes.”

Let’s put those six ways to the side for just a quick minute first though, because what will really make you happy in this article is its news peg: It’s a recent story you may have already read about a teenager who stepped forward on an Alaska Air flight to assist a fellow traveler who is deaf and blind. She spent the trip communicating with him using sign language into his palms. It’s an absolutely lovely story about connection and kindness, and it underscores the six ways writer Christopher Muther points out that we can be more human under the often inhumane circumstance that is modern air travel.

Now put away your tissue (yes, I cried reading it) and let’s get back to the tips in this article. They’re just fantastic. They cover wearing headphones, helping each other with overhead bin issues, being mindful of when you should and shouldn’t recline your seat and so on.

They center on helping fellow travelers and also showing kindness and gratitude to the people doing the work.

Mind you, if I had written this article, I would have included a seventh tip, worded something like, “For God’s sake leave your shoes and socks on,” but I digress.

It got me thinking about how we can adapt these tips to hotels. So today I bring you (with acknowledgement to The Boston Globe’s copy desk for adapting their headline) “Five ways we can all be more civil and helpful to each other at hotels.”

1. Hold the elevator
There’s nothing more annoying than hustling to an elevator and having its occupants close the door in your face, almost like they meant to do it. Let’s take a cue from well-trained hotel employees who always hold the door in these situations with a smile, then ask how your day is going.

2. Tips matter
This is my attempt at getting the reminder out there to the traveling public that it’s polite and kind to acknowledge the services housekeepers, bell staff and others around the hotel do with cash tips. “Oh, I never carry cash” is a bad excuse I overhear all the time. There are still occasions in life that call for cash tips, and travel is one of them. Be prepared.

3. Wear appropriate clothes and footwear
This isn’t your house. Rolling to the breakfast area in jammies, no underwear and bare feet is impolite. You traveled here. You must have some real clothes in a bag somewhere. This is what they’re for.

4. That entire tray of bacon isn’t a single serving
The serving tools aren’t a mere suggestion. I stayed at a Hampton Inn once that was hosting a youth sports team, and I landed at the breakfast buffet behind a kid who helped himself to every piece of bacon in the warming pan with his fingers. I’m sure he faced the vigilante justice of his fellow team members when he got back to the table and ate all that bacon himself, but still.

5. It’s a hotel, and people sleep here
It’s not just rowdy kids who race through the halls at all hours. Obnoxious business people and wedding guests are annoying this way, too. I’m 100% sure I’ve been all three of these examples at some point in my own life. I don’t envy hotel employees who have to deal with noise complaints.

I know I will get emails from hoteliers who tell me these things don’t bother them and they don’t expect tips or bacon courtesies. And that proves how people in hospitality really are just the kindest and most hospitable people around. But my hope is that this blog gets into the hands of some of the travelers I encounter regularly who could stand a few reminders.

Maybe you have some items to add to the list? Comment below, email me at or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.

Also, don’t forget that our campaign to gather your best practices for all sorts of tasks in the hotel world is still open. We’re going to publish these in a special report this fall, and the process of submitting a best practice is super easy. Check it out and tell us your tip!

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