Originally published in Comfort Zone Newsletter: May 2013
Keeping with the travel theme, I’ll share with you what I have learned about having a good hotel experience. Most of this is about noise. We’re usually light sleepers, so it’s a major consideration.
There are many, many websites on finding good hotels, especially at good prices. I found I learned quite a bit by reading them, and a few have tips that are relevant to us.
In particular, some suggest that you book your room by making contact with the place itself, not an 800 number or through a bargain travel website. That way you can begin to establish a good relationship with those in charge of assigning rooms and with the front desk. They know all the rooms–which ones are by the elevator or ice machine, which ones are remodeled–and can give you a good one or a horrible one, depending on how they feel about you. At the front desk you can be friendly, remembering how hard they work, or even give a tip, signaling that you are generous and thoughtful. In return, you often receive a better room or more helpfulness if you are not happy or need something.
- When choosing a hotel, think about what you really want. Consider spending a little more money, given that you are highly sensitive and your room will be the basis of your staying rested.
- Avoid those situated near busy roads, or ask ahead for a room not on the traffic-noise side.
- The newest hotels often do not allow you to open a window, so if you like fresh air, you may want to choose something a little less modern, or ask about it beforehand.
- Ask for a quiet room when you check in. Again, receptionists know which ones these are.
- Something they don’t always think of: You want a top floor room–you don’t want people walking around overhead.
- In addition, ask if there are any unusual events going on such as a wedding or college reunion so that you are not on the floor with them.
- You probably won’t sleep well the first night in a strange bed, so bring something to take to help you sleep. Tell yourself that even if you don’t sleep, you are safe in bed getting some rest.
- Run the fan to create “white noise” to mask things like the sound of water running in other rooms or people talking in the halls.
- If people are making too much noise, call the front desk and ask them to handle it.
- Don’t forget to shut the curtains tight and put on your eye shades.
- If you need something like a different pillow or a humidifier, try asking if they have one. Large hotels often do.
- Enjoy everything you can about your hotel–we HSPs gain more than others from pleasantries. Admire the décor of your room (and keep your things neat so it stays admirable). Sit in the lobby awhile if it is pleasant. Take a relaxing bath. Luxuriate in those clean sheets. Take a tour of the place to discover all that it offers. Use the pool if it’s a nice one.
- Consider tipping the person who cleans your room each day–just leave some money out with a note that it is for the maid. These people are usually really struggling financially, so it eases your guilt, and may get you better service if you need it. (Also, in one of the articles they said never drink from the glasses provided, as the cleaning people just polish them, often with the cloth they use for dusting!) Search the internet for how much to tip in the country you are in.