Welcome to a regular feature on Eye of the Flyer! This blog series covers “rookie” topics pertaining to either a Delta or other travel-related theme (sometimes both!) and attempts to break down each topic to a basic level. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this featured subject!
As with my Global Entry and passport post, I’m going to make an example of myself.
Though this is slightly more embarrassing than a technical oversight.
How I Learned My Lesson
Approximately eight years ago — several years before we were parents — my wife and I were on vacation in Las Vegas.
My wife was tired after our day at the pool, followed by a big dinner we enjoyed at the legendary Hugo’s Cellar in downtown Vegas. I was thirsty for a cocktail and some blackjack. So while she hit the sack, I hit the casino.
A couple of hours — and a few beverages later — I took the elevator back to our floor.
At least, I thought it was our floor.
We ARE staying in room 15822 — right? I thought while I was meandering the hallway, unable to find 15822. Or is it 15228?
I called my wife. In her sleepy haze, she said we were in 12258.
Since then, I always use my cell phone to photograph the room number scribbled down on my key packet before leaving the front desk. But besides your occasional tipsy night, there are a few more reasons to take pictures of your hotel room number.
See also: Hotel and Travel Rewards Cards
Some of us bounce from city to city, hotel room to hotel room. (Road warriors, I see you nodding at your screen!)
For example, I sometimes cover concerts for a client. We’ll hit four cities in six days. The days, nights, and travel are fun — but also busy and exhausting. Flight numbers, hotel room numbers, call times, set times, and addresses become a jumble of, well, numbers.
Taking a picture of my hotel room number helps. It’s one less thing to remember.
I work several times a year in Las Vegas. My client usually puts me at one of the mega-resorts — you know, the ones with five-digit hotel room numbers and different towers. (MGM Grand Hotel & Casino has almost 6,900 rooms.) It’s easy to get lost.
“Well, idiot,” you might say, “why not just carry the key packet with you?”
I am glad you asked!
Carrying your keycard in the packet invites trouble to your hotel room door. Almost literally.
Say you’re digging around in your pockets or purse, and the full key packet tumbles out without your recognizing it? If that room number information and key fall into the wrong hands, an uninvited visitor may help him- or herself to your hotel room and everything in it.
While this is a fairly unlikely scenario, it certainly is possible. But why risk it?
“What an idiot!” you may say now. “Why doesn’t he just separate the key from the packet? Carry them in separate pockets or something?”
Well, this is the method I usually used before the whole Forgetting-My-Room-Number-After-Drinks-and-Blackjack incident.
But if like me, you have a habit of misplacing things. That little envelope can easily get lost. (And I lost a few.) Or you may forget it all together back in your room — you know, the hotel room whose number you don’t remember.
Check-in kiosks print out little scraps of paper with your room number. (Like the below from my stay at Park MGM née Monte Carlo in Las Vegas a few years ago.)
These look a lot like receipts. Hence, they’re easy to lose in your clutter and accidentally throw away.
3. Makes Room Charges Easier
This is sort of related to the security issue above.
When taking advantage of a hotel’s restaurant and bar (which clearly I do), I charge everything to my room so I can earn more points. But in crowded settings, I’m not a huge fan of announcing “ROOM 938, LAST NAME IS CARLEY!”
Many staff are good about checking photo ID to confirm this information. But I don’t need everyone around me hearing my room information and name. Next thing I know, I’ll be responsible for several bar tabs and gosh-knows-what-else.
Instead, I show my ID and picture of my room number to the staff member. Never has one of them said, “Can you just say it instead?”
Is This a Key to Easier, Safer Travels?
Do you practice any of these tips? Or do I simply have a horrible memory and lose everything? 😉 Tell me in the Comment section below! — Chris
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