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You’ve had your fun, enjoyed your stay at your hotel, and now it's time to leave. But how do you go about checking out of the property? Well, it depends on where you’re staying. Different hotels have different policies regarding checkout, and not all of them have to be complicated.
Let’s take a look at how to check out of a hotel and the easiest ways to do so.
How to check out of a hotel
You’ve probably seen those long lines at a hotel’s reception desk at 11 a.m. You’ve probably even stood in a few of them looking to check out. But did you know, for the most part, that you don’t have to?
Your alternate options for checking out will depend on the hotel in which you’re staying, especially when overseas. For example, a family-run bed and breakfast in Italy will likely have fewer options for checkout than hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriott.
That said, here are some of the easiest methods for checking out of your hotel.
» Learn more: How to get more flexible hotel check-in/out times
1. Walk out
Commonly available with large hotel chains, the first option is to simply walk out. At chains such as Hyatt, Hilton, IHG and Marriott, all your information is collected during check-in, including a deposit for your stay.
In most cases, you can just leave your room. The hotel will then check you out and send you the bill. You’ll want to make sure that they have your correct email address. The charges should also be available on the hotel’s website or app.
While this method is the easiest, it also has the most room for error. Accidentally move something on the minibar? Need a food and beverage credit added? Leaving without contacting the front desk means you’ll want to double-check the bill, and you may need to contact customer support if something is incorrect.
» Learn more: How to find and book a hotel
2. Use the mobile app
Some hotel chains, such as Hyatt, have developed robust mobile apps. These can do digital check-in and checkout, and act as digital keys.
When you’re ready to leave, you open the app. From there, you’ll be able to see your charges and select a time to check out. With Hyatt, you can even do so in advance; for example, you can complete these steps at 8 a.m. for a 12 p.m. checkout. Your room key will still work until the actual checkout takes place.
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3. Call the front desk
Another common method of checking out is using the in-room phone to conduct your checkout. This approach saves you the walk down to reception, though you may experience a longer wait time if they’re busy.
As with other methods, you’ll need to have your information already registered with the hotel in order to check out by phone. A staff member can go over your bill with you, then send you a digital copy.
4. Check out through the TV
Although this method is less common than it used to be, you can still use the TV to check out at certain properties. It’s always worth taking a look to see if your TV features this option.
If so, you’ll be able to view your charges on the TV and walk through the steps of checkout without needing to interact with anyone.
5. Head to the front desk early
Sometimes you can’t use technology to check out and will actually need to walk down to the front desk with your key in hand to end your hotel stay.
Checkout times can vary, but they’re usually anywhere from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is when you’ll see the longest lines and greatest crowds. To steer clear of the masses, consider going down early to complete your checkout.
Wondering how to check out of a hotel early? You may not need to leave as soon as you check out. Some hotels will allow you to check out and keep your keys until the actual checkout time. This way, you'll get the benefit of avoiding crowds without needing to give up your room.
6. Earn hotel elite status
This last method, earning elite status with a hotel, still requires you to check out in person, but it can help smooth any potential frustration. Hotel chains such as Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and IHG all offer separate desks for their elite members.
These desks exclusively handle the needs of elite members, so lines tend to be much shorter. Even if you don’t frequently stay in hotels, it’s possible to gain elite status from a wide variety of credit cards. These can then gain you access to the dedicated member desks.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
Some hotels will also have separate check-in and checkout locations available to elite members. The Hilton Puerto Vallarta, for example, maintains a dedicated check-in area for those with executive lounge access up in its club lounge.
If you want to check out easily
Checking out of a hotel doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. Although the different methods you can use will vary by property, there are plenty of ways to avoid complicated checkout procedures. This is true whether you’re simply walking out, using the mobile app or taking advantage of dedicated desks through hotel elite status.
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