Cruising Alaska with kids
❄ Erin Bender gives you 5 reasons to take your kids on a cruise to Alaska ❄ Think glaciers, grizzlies and... ...KEEP READING
Whether you’re staying in an Airbnb close to home or holidaying in a hotel across the ocean, thoughtful travellers are universally appreciated. Kindness costs nothing when it comes to accommodation etiquette, but to workers doing their best to please it can mean an awful lot.
It can be a welcome relief to get to your hotel when you’ve endured a long flight and navigated taxis or public transport with luggage in tow. When you arrive to find there’s a line of people waiting to check in or out at reception, it can really test your patience.
Before you pat yourself on the back for not complaining or pushing to the front of the line, check your body language. If you’re looking repeatedly at your watch or phone, tapping your foot impatiently or muttering to your travel companion, you may as well be shouting at hotel staff that you’re in no mood to wait around and that you wish they’d hurry the heck up.
Instead, take a breath, be grateful you made it and get excited about the days ahead. You’re here! You’re on holidays! Refocusing on the positive means that by the time you get to the front of the line, you’ll find yourself greeting staff with a smile. A little good cheer might mean the difference in them having a good day, and one they go home complaining about.
By all means enjoy your hotel room during your stay – you’ve paid for it, after all. But if your hotel offers a turn-down service and you’re heading out for dinner, try not to leave your clothes and toiletries strewn about. Hotel workers who can come in, turn down your bed, and leave a mint on your pillow have a far easier time of it if that’s all they have to do. And remember how many rooms they have to attend to in a short window of time – the more cleaning up they have to do, the more stressful and rushed their shift.
When you leave the next day to go off and explore, do a quick tidy up before you go. Putting rubbish in the bin, hanging up towels that don’t need washing, and corralling all your things back into your suitcase (or at least the closet) shows housekeeping staff you’ve thought of them, and you respect their time. We’re all equals, after all, and how you treat others says a lot about you. What kind of traveller would you like to be?
Have a smile and a thank you ready for everyone who helps you during your stay, from the bartender to the pool cleaner to the person carrying your bags. If you run into housekeeping staff as you’re coming or going from the pool or breakfast buffet (life is rough!), you’ve just been presented with a prime opportunity to show a little kindness.
Asking a staff member’s name and thanking them for looking after you is a great first step. The second is to jot down their name in your phone so you don’t forget it. Fill out the hotel questionnaire on checkout and mention their good work, along with any other staff members who’ve shown you great service. Really impressed? Go one step further and mention them by name in a glowing online review.
Leave a tip in your room with a note to say thanks when you leave your room for the last time, and return everything to its rightful place (TV remote, I’m looking at you).
Renting an Airbnb can not only save you money, it’s also a good way of staying in a place that feels like a home away from home. If the host lives on site, be mindful that they may hope guests keep to themselves. Read the property description and any emails you’ve received carefully for clues on how the host would like to engage. Some may enjoy the company of guests, but for others it’s the opposite – they may prefer to be texted or emailed if any issues arise.
If you forgot your toothbrush, be mindful that you’re not staying in a hotel. Few hosts would appreciate a late-night knock on the door asking if they have a spare.
Look after the property as if it were your own and follow the rules when it comes to guests, parties and pets. If they do allow pets, resist having Fido sit on the furniture or sleep with you. Pet-friendly doesn’t mean living as you might back home.
Remove all rubbish when you go, wash any dishes, and wipe down the benches. If you enjoyed your experience, be sure to take the time to write a review. The more five-star reviews a host receives, the more often their property is likely to be occupied – and that’s a fine way of saying thanks.
Something unexpected happen and you can’t make it to your accommodation? Unfortunately, this may happen and it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered.