Real picture submitted by unknown (and clearly horrified traveler)

The disappointment of arriving in a hotel room that looks nothing like you were told (or worse saw on their website) can really put a damper on your trip. There is nothing worse that checking in and finding your “cozy and comfortable room” is nothing more than an old mattress and a ripped shower curtain.

In this era of instant public shaming via social media channels, a reputable hotel will look for quick a solutions but that’s not always the case when you are traveling abroad. That’s why you need to have some conversational skills to get you into a space that you can manage.

Real picture submitted by unknown (and clearly horrified traveler)

Real picture submitted by unknown (and clearly horrified traveler)

The room has one single bed, but you’re a group of 2 or more

If you are traveling with friends that you are not in “couples” type relationship with, checking into a hotel room that has one bed might be a bit uncomfortable. There are a few things that you can do if this happens to you:

Have the hotel bring in portable beds for you- don’t be afraid to ask for them to do this. If they told you that it was two double beds or that the room sleeps 4 but in reality it barely sleeps one, you need to ask them to move you to a room that can work for you group.

If they cannot provide you with other sleeping arrangements, you might have to go as far as asking them to book you at a different hotel.

But what if all the other hotels in the area are also full? You might have to ask for extra comforters, pillows and bed linens and make your own bed and sleep on the floor.

The room looks nothing like the photo

Photos on the internet can be deceptive. It is so easy to adjust the color, size, lighting and more in a photo for free these days. What looks just perfect on a hotel website can sometimes turn out to be a musty, mildewy, or even downright nasty hotel room.

Changing rooms does no good in this situation, because all the rooms are of this caliber. If you’ve already paid the first night and can deal with it for a night then do that and cancel the remainder of the stay immediately (usually, you can get a full refund with 24 hours’ notice). Then switch hotels the next day.

The bed is harder than a rock

In some parts of the world, like the Asia-Pacific region, they have their own idea of what a comfortable bed is.  Generally it’s something similar to sleeping on a slab of concrete. If you can’t handle it them a quick in-room solution is employing the spare comforter in the closet as a mattress cover, folded over for doubled thickness. If that doesn’t do the trick then ask additional comforters from housekeeping to soften up the bed.

It's clear that this room has been busted into more than once

It’s clear that this room has been busted into more than once

The hotel is fine, but the neighborhood is pretty sketchy

This one seems to happen to me a lot. The hotel is nice and new but in a neighborhood you feel a less than confident about. This is can be a particular problem in bigger cities and it’s important that you are aware of your surroundings. You should avoid staggering back to the room really late or worse drunk. Even if you’re part of a group that does not protect you.

Take a taxi back to the hotel and have them drop you right at the entrance. Avoid walking any place. Also leave behind or really conceal nice jewelry, any electronics and mobile devices. For added in-room security, use a chair to bar your door or if you can grab one a rubber doorstop will prevent unwanted visitors from opening the door once you are inside. Don’t trust the locks on the room either.

“Run for your life” situations

If you ever come into a room and find bed bugs, blood stained linen (or blood stained anything else), dead rodents, excessive amounts of dead bugs (or alive ones), serious personal safety concerns (bullet holes in the walls?) then you need to just leave.

My guess is you did not pay a whole heck of a lot for the room so there is no real loss their. Your safety is more important. Not only are these things really scary and possibly something that can make you ill, you just don’t want to accept something like that. Try and get your money back, citing your “findings” but when all else fails leave.

In the end, it’s important to remember you need to be concerned with your personal health and safety at all times.

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