Road Worrier: Motel Survival Tips

Before we check into our motel rooms while on the road, let’s take a look at the following suggestions to make us feel more comfortable while ensconced in this somewhat unnatural lifestyle.

Let’s start with keys. Since most hotels utilize key-cards, asking for two at check-in can save your keister (that’s right, I went there). As soon as you get them, put one in your wallet. Should you find yourself keyless in Seattle one night, you’ll save yourself a trip to the front desk, the rousing of the night clerk, the annoyingly suspicious scrutiny of staffers, and so on. Along these lines, make a genuine effort never to leave your room without photo ID. Without it, you’re subject to all the above, plus the odium of the clerk, who will now have to free himself up to walk you to your room, where upon unlocking your door, he or she will demand proper identification.

Now let’s talk locks. I recommend the deadbolt be employed while in the room to preclude unauthorized entry, accidental or otherwise. Here’s one you’ll really thank me for: Doors in hotels can have traditional round knobs, vertical handles, horizontal handles, and so on. Each of these requires a different type of “Do Not Disturb” sign. By simply asking your various housekeepers, you can gather a small collection of the different types you’ll need in your travels. The reason for this is that not all rooms have DND signs. If you don’t want your sleep disturbed by the chambermaid salute (vigorous knocking followed by the cry of “Housekeeping!”), you’ll do well to be prepared for every type of attachment for these essential tags. I keep mine displayed whether or not I’m in the room. I also leave at least one light on. I don’t know if it works, but it feels like a theft deterrent.

In the event you don’t use those lame instant coffee packs that come with the room, toss them in your bag anyway for that time an extra pot is called for (think crack-of-dawn departure). Another thing to hold onto are the lidded coffee cups you pick up on the road. Many hotels don’t supply to-go containers and, if like me, you sleep until you hear the motor turn over, you’ll definitely be wanting that paper cup.