The Consummate Traveler: The Checkout Checklist

BY Michele Goncalves TIMEMay 7, 2013 PRINT

Have you ever checked out of a hotel room in a hurry, only to find later that you forgot something? It is a bad feeling. I will never forget when I left behind a sapphire and diamond ring in a desk drawer at a Belgium hotel years ago. Thank goodness, I was able to call the hotel quickly and they were able to locate and ship back my beloved ring.

I happen to use a checklist to pack my suitcase when leaving for a trip, but ironically, I do not use one for leaving a hotel room at the end of my journey. Not doing so has led to the loss of many mobile phone chargers and electricity outlet adapters. This essentially results in throwing money out of the window to replace these items! To save us all money and heartache, I hope to share what I think is an essential checklist to use on departure.

D is for Drawers: I sometimes “hide” things in smaller drawers when housekeeping comes through to clean. Sometimes these hiding places are so effective that I forget about them altogether! Do a thorough review of all desk, nightstand, and dresser drawers to find those well-hidden treasures of yours.

O is for Outlets: Before you leave your room to check out, make one last sweep of all the outlets to find those pesky electronics chargers and electricity adapters that seem to magically disappear from sight! I am usually charging my electronics right before heading to the airport, and this is a typical mistake of mine!

C is for Closet: Besides the obvious hanging clothes, this is a notorious location where umbrellas or smaller goods may disappear on upper shelves or hooks.

B is for Bathroom: Check hooks behind the bathroom door for hanging pajamas or behind shower curtains if you store your favorite bath and body projects.

U is for Underneath the Bed: You will be surprised how easily your things can roll under the bed—especially if traveling with small children! Always take a peek beneath to see if anything is there.

S is for Safe: It may seem obvious to clean out the safe before leaving, but I have had the misfortune of forgetting to do this once or twice. You may want to get in the habit of starting with this spot, since this is the place where most people store their critical documents and goods. I actually store my passport and jewelry in my locked suitcase during the entire trip. 

This way it will always be with me, even if I still forget to unload the safe.

As always, I wish you all the happiest of travels!

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