Do You Check Out Of Hotels Before Leaving? Here’s How To Save A Little Time

Did you know that you don’t have to check out of a hotel (most of the time) but that you still should anyway?

When I’m ready to leave most hotels in the United States, I don’t go down to the front desk, stand in line, and wait to check out. I just leave. But that doesn’t mean I don’t let them know I’m leaving.

I don’t waste time, but I still don’t quite endorse the idea that you should not have to check out at all.

Life pro tip: you don’t have to check out of hotels.

You can just leave. It is awesome

— How to Make Friends (@nickgraynews) December 30, 2022

There are two reasons to let the hotel know that you’re leaving your room and not returning:

  • It’s polite to the next guest so the room can be turned over for check-in. You want people to do this for you, as well, so that you do not have to wait on a room to be cleaned.

  • To check your folio for errors, and make sure you’re not being overcharged. (It may also be the easiest and surest way to get a receipt if you need to account for the stay for work.)
  • When hotels know you’ve left the room they can clean it in the most efficient order. That helps them make effective use of housekeeping staff, holds their housekeeping costs down, and makes it easier for them to… provide housekeeping, something you also want them to do.

    Nonetheless I find it is best to check out online when possible. You don’t have to check out, but it benefits the hotel when you do, so the hotel should make it as easy as possible for you to do so. I don’t even want to call down to the desk, often waiting interminably for someone to pick up, and then get transferred to someone else who doesn’t pick up.

    On a recent stay customer service was really effectively provided via text, with responses in moments. Online wasn’t an option but I texted that I was leaving and would they email a folio? The bill showed up in my inbox minutes later.

    Checking out should be a fast procedure, not a sit down give minute affair with reams of paper and re-running the same credit card. And in some parts of the world, notably Asia, hotel checkouts are both much more expected and more laborious. Life doesn’t have to be that way.

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