The Clever First Step Many Frequent Travelers Take After Settling Into Their Hotel Room

Some of us had to learn it the hard way, but a thorough inspection of your hotel room must be conducted before you settle in to avert potential inconveniences or outright disasters. From the threat of bed bugs to issues like faulty air conditioning, various blunders await those who fail to perform an exhaustive scrutiny of their suite. Among these considerations, there is one thing that many tend to forget to include in their routine checks — double-checking if the alarm clock is off, a crucial element in ensuring a restful shut-eye.

If you don't want to be disturbed by the blaring sound of an old-school alarm clock in the wee hours of the morning, then take a moment to verify whether there's a pre-set alarm from the previous occupant. Sometimes housekeepers may overlook this detail, so it's on you to ensure that it won't disturb your slumber.

If the alarm clock is particularly hard to operate, all you need to do is unplug it. And if you need to set an alarm for any reason, hotel expert Brandon Berkson advises that you use your trusty phone instead. "Sometimes I'll try to set an alarm clock at the hotel I'm staying at; but to my despair, it won't go off at all, not even at the hour I set it to," he told BestLife. "I'm now a big believer in using my phone as an alarm clock — it's always dependable."

Other things to inspect upon checking in

Beyond verifying that the alarm is turned off, there are several crucial checks to enhance the quality and safety of your hotel stay. Among these, it is essential to ensure that the door locks securely. Just because the lock is electronic doesn't mean that it's foolproof. "A lot of people don't think about this. The first thing you should do is make sure the door is closing all the way, both when you are entering and exiting," Dennis P. Gemberling, president of a hotel management consultancy company, told NerdWallet. "If there is a security chain or glide, then use it; if not, use the deadbolt."

It's also important to check drawers and cabinets in the suite to see if there are items left behind by previous guests. If you do find anything, you may want to take it as a sign that the room was not cleaned thoroughly. In that case, ask the front desk if the housekeeping team can take another pass at the room, or opt for a transfer.

While it might sound odd, it's also a must that you flush the toilet before using it. Per a survey with hotel staff conducted by a travel firm and shared with Metro, hotels may have pests lurking inside the toilets, especially in warmer regions. To preempt any unwelcome surprises, make it a habit to flush first after checking in. It's always better to be safe than sorry.