Q: Is it tacky to do laundry in your hotel room? My hotel has laundry service, but they want $5 to wash and dry one pair of underwear! I’d like to buy detergent and do it myself in the sink, but I’m worried this is bad form.
A: I don’t think it’s bad form if no one else can see it and it doesn’t damage anything. Some hotels don’t want you hanging laundry out on your balcony, because it looks bad (and I concur—if I’m splurging on a swanky hotel, I don’t want the view from my balcony to include some dude’s smiley-face boxers). And some hotels have had guests who let wet clothes drip onto furniture or wooden floors, damaging them. But if you hand-wash a couple of small items in your sink, and hang them so they drip into the bathtub, I don’t see the harm.
Q: My mom wants me to go on vacation with her next winter. The problem is, she is obsessing over the details—what island, what hotel, what particular room in the hotel—and wants to talk about this all the time. I don’t care as long as it’s warm, there aren’t bedbugs, and it’s within our budget. Can I tell her to stop bothering me? I trust her.
A: Sure, as long as you do it nicely—e.g., don’t use the words “stop bothering me.” Say something like, “Mom, I can’t wait for our vacation, but I’ve never been keen on planning all the details. If you want to go to Aruba, that’s fine with me. And I trust that any hotel you like will be great.” However, there’s one big catch—if you let her do the planning, you are not allowed to complain if something isn’t to your taste. So if mom chooses a B&B with 12 resident cats instead of a cool beachside hotel, tough cookies.
Q: What do you do if your kid throws up in a hotel room—try to clean it up, or call housekeeping? And will they charge you extra?
A: If it didn’t ruin anything in the room, go ahead and do it yourself. There’s no need to get housekeeping involved if the baby just vomited in the bathtub because he thought the fruity-smelling soap was candy and ate a chunk of it. But if he throws up on a couch or carpet or something, then yes, I would ask for help. They might charge you if there’s significant damage, but that’s only fair. And they’d probably charge you less if you fess up immediately than if you check out without saying anything.
by Lesley Carlin
© 2010, originally published by Scripps Howard News Service