Elnur /ShutterstockStaying budget-savvy on vacation often means booking a cheap hotel room or skimping on the cost of airfare. But on rare occasions, the more rebellious travelers like to take a small memento home—from their own hotel rooms.
“People will steal just about anything they can,” David Elton, partner of Home Grown Hotels in the U.K., told the Telegraph. “Bathrobes, coat hangers, bed linen, mattress covers, towels, pillows, toilet-seat covers—pretty much everything in a room.”
Just because you can take it doesn’t mean you should, of course. According to Travel+Leisure, it’s perfectly OK to bring certain items—such as shampoo/conditioner, lotion, coffee pods, pads of paper, pens, and even the occasional coffee mug—home with you. Find out more secrets hotels don’t want you to know.
But beware of stealing sheets, artwork, electronics, or those incredibly comfy robes. While you probably won’t get arrested, it’s likely that the hotel will charge you for the item. Some will even put you on a “no stay” list, which will prevent you from booking a room there again. In fact, most major hotels now log sticky-fingered clients in a computer database, and many chains share that data with others, NBC reports.
It’s easy to see why they do it. Although a small theft may seem like no big deal, they can certainly add up over time. Stolen items can cost hotels an estimated $100 million a year, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
So the next time you’re itching to “steal” a few extra items from your room, stick to the complimentary items like toilet paper, soap, and travel-sized bottles of shampoo. Besides, this is what happens to that half-used bar of soap, anyway.