At the end of The Hotel Room (Part 1 of 2) I promised to continue the topic. In the first part, I wrote about selecting a hotel and acquiring a room/checking in. In this part, I'll be discussing paying for the room and some other things your should consider.
Paying for the Room
This is the part of the process that most folks are concerned about most. Obviously, if you can pay cash at a hotel that does not require that you provide a credit card for security, you should. I'll talk more about cash in a moment.
The whole credit card thing is tricky and there are many things to consider. First and most important, do not use a credit card that is not secure. If your spouse has any way to access the bills, you're putting yourself at risk. You may think she never looks at the bill or that the bill is online and she never accesses it so you're safe, but you wouldn't believe the lengths a suspicious spouse will go to to find evidence (or maybe you would).
You might think that a debit card would be the answer because you plan to pay cash anyway, but many hotels will charge a security deposit on the card. They say it will be removed when you pay cash upon leaving, but often it takes between one and five days for the charge to come off. Some hotels even leave the charge and put through a separate credit so you have two listings on the account for the hotel. If your spouse is following the finances closely (as mine does now), this would be a disaster.
I know some men who have secret credit cards that their wives know nothing about. If you have a PayPal account that is known only to you, getting a PayPal debit card could work, too.
I used to recommend pre-paid credit cards. You can get them at most drug stores and Walmart. You buy the card with cash (checks and other credit cards are not allowed) and then you can reload it as often as you want. You can send in your information and have one printed with your name on it sent back to you, but only do that if you have a completely secure place to send it to. If not, just use the blank one. The hotel will scan it and use the balance of cash you put on the card for the security deposit. Be careful, though. It can take even longer to refund the deposit on these types of cards than for regular ones. I have no idea why, but that's just the way it is. Because of the hassle of getting a printed card, the fact that the refund takes so long, and the danger of your spouse finding an unknown credit card in your wallet, this is no longer my favorite choice if you need a credit card.
Now I recommend gift cards. Yes, you can purchase AmEx, VISA, and Mastercard gift cards at the same places you can get a pre-paid credit card. You purchase them with cash in the amount you need (or get several smaller denominations). They are easy to explain to a spouse who finds them ("Oh, Dave, that guy at the office, is having a birthday and I didn't know what to get him." or "I was planning to surprise fill in the name here." Get it?). You can also use them to pay for the hotel and ditch them when you're done with them. You'll get a new one next time anyway. Most hotels will take those gift cards, but that's something to check out when you're doing your initial research to select a place.
About cash - Paying with cash isn't the easiest thing for some people. It's most difficult if your spouse manages all the money in the family and watches the cash closely. That's the situation I'm in. As you know, Hubby caught me (twice) so he is now hyper-vigilant. I used to have exclusive access to my business accounts and I could move money around as I needed to and pull out a portion of my pay (legally, of course) before Hubby saw it. Those days are over. Hubby now manages and monitors all of the bank accounts on a daily basis. If something comes through that he wasn't expecting, he asks about it. He also knows exactly how much cash I have at all times and he doles out what I need. So, what do I do? I hide away a little at a time - $10, $2, etc. If my nails cost $20, he thinks they cost $25. It's the long, slow way to save cash, but it works. JJ pulls cash from the ATM to buy gas. He pulls extra every time and hides it away.
Saving up the cash like that is difficult, but it can be done.
Other Things to Consider
I won't write about tipping here because I already wrote an entire post on the topic that you should read (To Tip or Not to Tip?). The answer about tipping is "Yes." You should leave a tip in the room for the maid. How much? Read the post on tipping.
Should you clean up the room a little before you leave? That depends on how much of a mess you made. If you made a big mess, you may want to straighten it up a little. Just remember this - If you are planning go back to that hotel again, they will definitely remember you if you left a mess and that could affect the deposit and how long they hold onto it, what room they give you, and/or the rate they charge. I'm not talking about doing a full scale cleaning of the room, but how hard is it to pick the sheets up off the floor and put them on the bed?
Managing your belongings is another thing to consider. You may think this is silly. Why wouldn't someone keep track of their belongings? I thought it was silly, too.....until I left my cell phone in a room. This is particularly important if this is your first time cheating or your first time with someone new. You'll be excited and nervous and not thinking clearly. So, try to put your belongings all together in the same place. I now always put my cellphone with my jewelry. The odds that I'll forget both are very slim. If I'm thinking clearly enough to put all my clothes together in the same spot, it's much easier when it's time to go. I may be mistaken, but I don't think I'm at my sexiest or most alluring when I'm running around a hotel room naked looking for my bra.
Checking out is easier than you might think. In most places, you can just leave. You can either drop the key off at the front desk or leave it in the room. However, some places require a formal check out and won't take your cash until check out, and some of the prowlers I know choose to always check out to ensure that their credit card is handled properly and to pay with cash. Frankly, I prefer to just leave.
What about using the room in the afternoon and coming back in the morning and using it again? Why not? You paid for it and it's yours until check-out time the next day. I know folks who always go back the next morning to check out because they don't want anyone there to think they only stayed for a few hours. That might matter more in a small town than in a larger city. As long as they don't tell Hubby what I'm doing, I really don't care what they think.
What about using the room with one playmate in the afternoon and with another the next morning? Again, Why not? I'll admit that I've done that. Once. A long time ago. If you do, you need to make the bed, re-hang towels, etc. That room needs to look new. Better yet, ask housekeeping to change the sheets and give you fresh towels (giving a big tip as you ask, of course). Your a.m. fuck buddy deserves clean sheets.
The most important thing to take away from this discussion about hotel rooms is that you must plan ahead.
Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
Do you have any other hotel room tips? Please share them in the comments.