Upgrade Your Stay: Hotel Hacks From Flight Attendants

A bedbug here, an unwashed pillow there ... the joys of a hotel stay. Staying in a hotel can be super fun, but it's usually not without its issues; how do you make sure you're safe in there? And why do you always forget something in the hotel safe? Luckily, flight attendants have come to the rescue with their top hotel hacks to solve all of your problems. Let's start with some general tips.

One TikTok user, who is a flight attendant, has two especially good recommendations. One: put one of your shoes in your safe to make sure you don't forget anything when you leave the hotel. And two: use the clips on a clothes hanger to shut out the light from curtains that don't close properly for a better sleep.

When it comes to tech, in the r/flightattendants forum on Reddit, one user recommends getting an Amazon Fire Stick and taking it along with you because cable services in hotels are not very good. Another user says to get a strip outlet with USB ports and a 6' cord to defeat the common problem of badly positioned outlets in hotel rooms.

Put safety first

Perhaps the most important hacks from flight attendants are about staying safe in your hotel. Flight attendant Kat Kamalani's top tips from her TikTok videos often focus on safety. One of her tips is to never say your room number out loud. There's always a chance that someone you don't want to will overhear it. If one of the hotel workers says your room number out loud, especially at reception, request a different room and tell them why to avoid a repeat mistake.

Connected to this, Kat says you should always ensure that there's no one following you when going into your room and, once you're inside, check there's no one in there. Look in the bathroom, behind curtains, and under the bed. Her final safety tip is to then lock the door, including the top lock. This point is backed up by confirmation that you can use almost any card—including a standard credit card — to open your hotel room door. It doesn't have to be the keycard issued at reception. So shoot the bolt across and stay safe in there.

Cleanliness tips from experts

With all of the foot traffic they see, it's no surprise that hotel rooms can be pretty grimy. Our TikTok-famous flight attendant Kat has some tips. Check the mattress for bedbugs, including on the corners. Next, she recommends taking all of the decorative items off the bed: throws, pillows, covers, etc., because they're rarely washed. Her final recommendation is to never put your suitcase on the bed. Instead use the luggage rack to hold it, as it's been outside and dragged through the airport and could be holding on to all sorts of nasties. Before you do that, make sure to check the canvas strips on the luggage rack for bedbugs, too. 

Another flight attendant and TikTok user has some innovative uses for the hotel shower cap. One is to use it to cover your dirty shoes before putting them in your suitcase. Or, put it over the hotel remote control to protect your hands from germs. 

Don't forget food and drinks

Kalamani's final TikTok tip was about food and drink: if you don't have a refrigerator in your hotel room, put your food in an ice bucket instead to keep it cool. This is great advice in the U.S., but you might struggle in Europe, where ice machines are not very common in hotels. As an alternative, a user in the r/flightattendants forum on Reddit recommends asking if you can use the staff fridge in the hotel, as there'll almost certainly be one.

If you want to keep your food warm rather than cool, several flight attendants in the same forum on Reddit sing the praises of the HotLogic, a portable food warmer. This is a money-saving tip we could all benefit from: pack your lunch or dinner and, when you get off your flight, put it in the HotLogic to keep warm (it's particularly loved by those coming off a red-eye.)