Anybody who’s ever stayed in a hotel knows that bad behavior on the part of other travelers can ruin a stay. It should come as no surprise, then, that lazy parents, “hallway hell-raisers,” and loud neighbors are the three least favorite types of hotel guests in America, at least according to data from the 2016 Expedia Hotel Etiquette Study.
The study is an annual exercise that seeks to identify the features and amenities travelers prioritize when booking a hotel, the guest behaviors people find most aggravating, and other basic courtesies travelers deem to be appropriate.
This year’s iteration was released today, and includes feedback from more than 1,000 respondents.
Don’t be one of these guests
Considering I spend about a quarter of my year in hotel rooms, I have come to understand the downsides of problem hotel guests a little too well. It came as no surprise, then, that for the second straight year of our study, “inattentive parents” topped the list of people whose behavior aggravates their fellow guests.
Lazy moms and dads were cited by 72 percent of survey respondents, narrowly edging hallway hell-raisers (69 percent) on the list of inappropriate behaviors. In-room revelers (59 percent), complainers (53 percent) and bickerers (35 percent) rounded out the top five.
Another interesting tidbit: The etiquette study revealed that 18 percent of study respondents have asked to switch hotel rooms because of “noisy neighbors.” I admit it, people: I’ve done it once or twice. And I’m not ashamed.
A tip about tipping
I give gratuities to service professionals every time I travel. But according to data from the 2016 Expedia Hotel Etiquette Study, not everyone follows suit. According to our research, Americans are divided on whether to tip housekeeping—or whether to tip at all. A whopping 30 percent claim that don’t tip anyone during a hotel stay. Among those who tip, the most-tipped hotel employee is the housekeeper (46 percent), followed by the valet (30 percent) and the porter. Ten percent tip the concierge.
(Many respondents also said they tip the room service delivery person, which seems super-silly to me, since most hotels include gratuity on the bill.)
Viewfinder Tip: Tipping most service professionals at hotels is the right thing to do. The American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests leaving housekeepers anywhere from $1 to $5 per day.
Bad to the bone
I’m probably dating myself here, but remember back in 2001 when Wynona Ryder was caught shoplifting from Saks Fifth Avenue in Los Angeles? It turns out she’s not the only one to indulge a bad streak away from home—an almost unbelievable 24 percent of our study respondents admitted to “hoarding” toiletries from hotels to take home with them. What’s more, 11 percent have let multiple people sleep in their rooms without notifying the hotel, and 10 percent have taken items from their hotel room without permission.
Surprisingly, only 4 percent of respondents reported smoking in a non-smoking room, and only 3 percent admitted to having “deliberately eavesdropped on a neighboring room.” At the same time, 2 percent said they have attended a hotel party that left the room in disarray.
Call me crazy but these last few numbers seem super-low; everybody does crazy stuff when they’re younger and I can’t help but wonder if some respondents didn’t tell the whole truth.
(Oh, and ICYW, I am not commenting on whether I’ve committed any of these faux pas. You’ll just have to use your imagination!)
Wild about Wi-Fi
Finally, every year our study investigates factors that are “very important” to travelers in choosing a hotel, and this year’s findings were very similar to last year’s. Price remains the top consideration, selected by 73 percent of respondents. Complimentary Wi-Fi ranks second (63 percent), followed by “location” (61 percent), “reviews” (43 percent) and “parking options” (38 percent).
Wi-Fi was also selected as the top hotel amenity, deemed very/somewhat important by 88 percent of respondents. A full 97 percent of respondents said they believe Wi-Fi should be provided by the hotel at no charge—the highest this number has ever been.
An in-room fridge (81 percent), complimentary toiletries (80 percent) and a pool (59 percent) rounded out the top four preferred amenities.
What factors are important to me? I like reliable Wi-Fi as much as the next person, but because I travel so much, I also seek out comfy sheets and a quiet room—a place I can treat as a safe haven from my busy life. Perhaps this is why the bad behaviors leave such an impression; when I travel, I just want to get away. This, more than anything, is why etiquette is so important for all of us.
What factors are important to you in choosing a hotel?