You can definitely leave a hotel without checking out, but it is a good idea to do so, and it is courteous to the hotel staff. Yet still, in most cases, nothing bad will happen if you don’t check out.
If you have ever left a hotel in a hurry, you may have wondered whether you actually need to check out before you go, and the answer is there is no stipulation saying you must do so, but it’s still good practice.
Why Should I Check Out of My Hotel?
There are quite a few reasons to check out of a hotel properly, so let’s explore them.
Smaller Chance of Being Overcharged
The biggest reason people check out is to ensure the hotel charges them correctly for their stay. For instance, if the staff does not realize you left, they could theoretically charge you for an extra night.
And since you have no proof of when you ended your visit, not checking out can be problematic. Like, in some rare cases, people have had to pay more towards their bill because they left the hotel without checking out.
Plus, when you check out, you make a formal log of the fact that you have left and give up any right to the room or charges on it (except if the hotel charges your credit card for damages). So, if you fail to check out, the staff could charge your card for services you did not purchase.
For example, if the next guest orders room service, there is a slight chance the hotel could charge the money to your credit card if they never removed it from that room. This issue is most likely to occur if you extended your stay, booked for longer than you intended to, or made another reservation alteration, but it can happen regardless.
Additionally, some hotels require that you return your room key. Although most hotels today do not make you return electronic room keys, you should always ask when you check-in what you should do with the door key to avoid charges.
Checking Out Helps the Staff and Other Guests
The second reason for checking out is that it is courteous to the staff. Formally checking out lets housekeeping know that they can get the space cleaned and ready for the next guest. Since the cleaning staff often operates on a tight schedule, they appreciate it when they know they can clean the room early.
Checking out may also help the next guests if they arrive early because the staff may give them an early check-in if your room is already ready for them. This extra time can make a big difference to other travelers.
You Can Check the Charges
If you check out at the front desk in person, you also get an opportunity to review and contest any incorrect charges.
For example, if you handled any minibar items, staff may have charged you for them even if you put them back because bars often use weight sensors to check whether someone has taken something. And checking your bill before leaving the hotel makes it easier to rectify any errors.
There is also a possibility that the hotel could have charged items to the wrong room number, so you should look at the final bill to ensure everything looks correct. It might even be beneficial to ask for an itemized bill before moving to your next destination.
Lastly, you may need a receipt for tax purposes or company reimbursements.
You Can Get Back Deposits
It is a good idea to check out at the front desk in person if you have made any deposits. For instance, many hotels charge for towels, robes, or other amenities, so you should hand these over and get your deposit back in person.
Thus, checking out avoids any confusion about whether you have returned these objects. Plus, you can deal with disputes about the item’s condition personally and promptly.
You Will Make a Favorable Impression
Finally, if you stay in the hotel frequently and never bother to check out with the front desk clerk, staff might get an unfavorable impression of you. Although this will probably have minimal effect, it could result in them being less willing to do you favors in terms of room preferences, late check-outs, and other benefits.
Try instead to remain on good terms with the staff and show you appreciate them and want to make their lives easier by checking out as expected.
Also, if you are a frequent guest, you can ask if they have express check-out so you can avoid standing at the reception desk.
Plus, business travelers are often the ones who don’t formally leave, but they are usually the frequent customers that hotel staff remember.
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What Happens if I Don’t Check Out of My Hotel?
The only time something unfavorable will happen if you don’t leave properly is if the hotel automatically charged your card for items you didn’t buy.
But, if you booked your stay in advance, the hotel would simply assume that you left on the arranged day, and housekeeping will clean your room at the standard check-out time. They should also disassociate your room or rooms from your card at this point.
However, if they don’t, you may face surprise charges and payment problems. Therefore, if you haven’t checked out of your hotel room, it’s a good idea to double-check the charges on your credit card statement in the following days or even weeks.
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What if I Need to Leave Early and Don’t Have Time to Check Out?
If you plan to leave in the morning, it’s a good idea to formally check out at the front desk the night before or call on the phone rather than wait. You can let them know you will be leaving early, ask to settle the bill before going to bed, and see if there’s a drop box for your key.
Checking out even if you leave in the morning also increases the likelihood of you getting to depart on time and again allows you the opportunity to deal with any extra room charges or disputes while you have time on your hands.
Similarly, if you want to complete a late check-out, you should always warn hotels beforehand.
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You do not have to check out before leaving, but it is generally considered a good idea for your sake and that of the staff. But, if you don’t complete the check-out process, it’s wise to look at your credit card statement a few days after leaving to make sure you agree with what they have asked you to pay.
Table of Contents
- Why Should I Check Out of My Hotel?
- What Happens if I Don’t Check Out of My Hotel?
- What if I Need to Leave Early and Don’t Have Time to Check Out?