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A wedding sari worth more than $14,000, a replica of Kate Middleton’s bridal gown, and a Shetland pony are among the weird and wonderful items that hotel guests have left in their rooms after checking out. While you might not be irresponsible enough to leave behind a living, breathing animal when vacating a short term rental, performing a final walk-through before you hand back the keys could save you a lot of hassle. Here’s a check-out checklist that will guarantee you don’t forget your belongings and keep your chances of receiving a positive guest review.
Clothes, underwear and, yes, false teeth are among the top 10 most common items left behind in hotel rooms; however, mobile phone chargers are the most frequently lost item among travelers. If you’ve overslept and are in a mad rush to vacate a property before checkout time, small phone and games console chargers are easy to miss. Remember to check all electrical outlets, including those next to beds or positioned near desks. Unlike hotels, short-term rentals might have outlets in strange places — behind a cupboard or underneath a table, hidden from view — so take a few minutes to walk through the property and reclaim any chargers still attached to the wall.
Soap, shampoo, and shower gels are easy to forget if 11 a.m. is fast approaching on the morning of your checkout and you still have plenty to do. Take a tour of the bathroom: Pull back the shower curtain and hunt for toothbrushes and travel miniatures. Forgetting to pack toiletries won’t necessarily garner a poor rating from a host on your HomeAway or Airbnb profile, but making a mess of a property might, so ensure soaking towels are hung on the provided racks or hooks and give the bathroom sink a quick rinse before you vacate. Even if a host didn’t charge you a fee for a cleaning service, leaving your rental in a dirty state is just bad etiquette.
One of the biggest perks to vacation rentals are kitchens. Picking up Ben & Jerry’s from the corner store, ordering a late-night pizza, or buying tequila, ice and margarita mix for a day by the pool are great ways to indulge on your vacation. Just remember to clean up before you go. Food is often overlooked as you dash out the door and our Pillow Pro cleaning partners regularly find leftovers. A quick check for perishable items in the fridge, freezer and cupboards is always appreciated.
If you’re staying in a pet-friendly property, remember to pack or dispose of any toys or bones before you go. Pets can lose their prized possessions in vacation rentals with dark corners and nooks and crannies. Don’t forget to also check behind drawers and under sofas for pet-related items. If you manage to locate a valuable left by a previous guest while you’re at it, leave it with a note for your host for when he or she inspects the property.
Lost property in a British hotel chain amounted to nearly $4 million in 2009, with unusual items, such as an inflatable sheep and a Gucci watch, carelessly left behind by guests. While your valuables might not be as strange or luxurious, performing a final walk-through of your rental once everything’s been packed can prove to be a good idea, especially if you manage to spot a passport, wallet or pair of eyeglasses. Don’t forget to look underneath beds and beneath sheets, two popular hiding places for underwear and socks. If a rental has a yard, remember to go outside and have one last look before you leave.
Leaving behind a valuable in your rental isn’t the end of the world. Once you’ve realized what you’re missing, contact your host immediately and ask if he or she would be able to send the item to you in the mail. When you receive your valuable, mention how helpful your host was in your rental review. However, taking a few minutes to walk through the property will save you money on shipping and a great deal of panic.
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