What do you enjoy the most about a hotel stay: Room service breakfast in the morning or having a fresh bed turned down at night? A hotel room can become the “home base” for your next vacation or the place to regroup on a business trip. Whether you’re staying over night or for several days, you want to make sure everything will be to your liking. It doesn’t have to be your “home away from home” but it can be very close. Here are five smart tips to put into action for your next hotel stay:

Be Proactive About Security

We often think that once we’re in our hotel room that we are safe; especially on a high up floor. For the majority of hotel guests that is absolutely true. However, there are plenty of unscrupulous characters out there that might try to take advantage of out of town visitors. Until you get into your room, be away of your surroundings especially getting off the elevator. This is the time to stay alert until you get to your room.

Once inside, don’t hesitate to slip on that deadbolt. It is there for a reason. If someone knocks on your door, regardless of the time of day, you don’t have to feel obligated to open it. If the person claims to have business with the hotel, then call down to the front desk to confirm. That is what they’re there for.

When leaving your room to go out, leave the television on. Anyone snooping around would be less apt to go into a room they think someone is occupying. If you are traveling alone and in an unfamiliar city, then leave a note with the front desk as to where you’re headed. Simple steps that can bring a lot of peace of mind.

Keep it Clean

The goal of any major hotel is to keep the rooms clean. The housekeeping staff has a finite amount of time that they can spend in each room. They often do a great job but there is nothing wrong with a little follow up. When you first check in, break out the alcohol wipes and clean every handle, knob, light switch and remote that you might come in contact with. That gives you a totally clean space to enjoy.

Check the Add Ons

A hotel room has a basic rate that includes taxes and in some places a holiday fee. However, there are a lot of little extras that can add onto your bill. If there is a stocked mini-bar or fridge, then you want to avoid that at all costs. Go to the nearest convenience store to stock up on drinks and snacks. Also, be sure you’re not getting charged for Wi-Fi or phone calls. If the hotel does charge for Wi-Fi, then you might want to see if your phone can be turned into a hot spot. You’re already paying for that!

Don’t Swipe

The little bars of soaps and shampoos provided by the hotel are yours for the taking. The same can’t be said for bathrobes and towels. If you decide to keep those as souvenir, then you’ll be charged for them. You might also get hit with a room key charge if you don’t return the key. That holds true for the access cards.

Do a Final Sweep

Before checking out, give yourself time to do a final sweep of the room. That means looking in every drawer, closet shelf and bathroom vanity. Check all the plugs and underneath the bed. At it takes is for one phone charger to be left behind to cause a ruined flight home!