Checking out of a hotel seems like a simple enough process, but it can sometimes trip up even experienced travelers. I’m going to give you a few tips to avoid the common mistakes that many people make at check out.

Review your bill

Hotels are notorious for adding on hidden fees. While some are unavoidable, you’ll want to scan your bill for anything that looks out of the ordinary—such as snacks or drinks when you didn’t touch the minibar, or a dinner in the hotel restaurant that you didn’t eat at. Be sure to dispute these charges and get an updated copy of the receipt before you check out.

Double check you have everything

It isn’t uncommon to make it all the way to the airport, only to find you’ve left your passport in the hotel safe. Travelers also often forget about toiletries in the shower and phone chargers behind beds. Pack as much as you can the night before, when you’re not stressed for time, and then right before you checkout, do one last sweep of your room. Peek under the bed, pull back the shower curtain, check all the outlets, and open up the safe.

 Leave a tip

Don’t forget about your hardworking and often underpaid housekeepers just because you may not see them. If you don’t have small bills handy, the front desk can make change for you. Consider leaving the equivalent of $2 to $5 each night of your stay, depending on local tipping norms and how messy you are. Read more about vacation tipping customs here.

Call your own airport transportation

It can be convenient to have the hotel call you a cab, but travelers on a budget should order themselves an Uber or Lyft instead. Not only will the fare likely be cheaper and you can see exactly when your driver will be outside, you’ll also save a few bucks on tips for the hotel staff.

Reserve a Spot on the Airport Shuttle

On the other hand, many properties offer a free or low-cost airport shuttle—but don’t assume you can just show up and hop on. Shuttle spots can be limited, and many hotels recommend (or even require) that you reserve your place the night before. Make a reservation and then arrive on time, with other passengers in a hurry to make their flights, the shuttle probably won’t wait long.

Request a late check out in advance

If you ever need a little extra time checking out, call the front desk as far in advance as possible and see if they can extend your checkout time. But don’t just stay in the room beyond the checkout time; you will disrupt the housekeeping schedule and could face extra fees.

If you follow these tips though, you shouldn’t need to be scrambling for a late checkout anyway!

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