How I Snuck into a Hotel Room and Stayed for 2 Nights

The other day I did the unimaginable. I snuck past the front desk attendant at a hotel, got on an elevator and checked into a hotel room for the next few nights. How in the world did I do it? Well I wish I could say there was some sort of magic trick or invisible superhero shield that I used, but unfortunately that would just be way too unbelievable. Well, any guesses? Okay, I won’t leave you on the edge of your seat anymore. Here’s how I was able to go straight to the hotel room without checking in at the front desk. First, I downloaded the hotel’s app (the name will remain anonymous). Then I booked the reservation. Then I was given the choice to receive what is called a “Digital Key” which would allow me to check into and open the room door along with gain access to the other hotel amenities (such as the fitness center, door entrances, business center, etc.).

Photo Credit: Hilton In App Screenshot

How did it feel you ask? Well to be honest, a little weird. I’m on the fence about this new technology as I experienced both positives and negatives surrounding its use. On the upside, I was able to bypass waiting at the desk for both check-in and departure. However, on the downside having an “electronic” key on my phone was oftentimes incredibly inconvenient when I exited and entered the room as I had to unlock my phone, pull up the app, wait for the app to load, then touch the screen to “unlock the room” door (which took several seconds longer than a standard access card due to its sensors trying to read and connect to the phone signal). Additionally, I ended up having to go to the front desk anyways to get a hard copy key as the “digital key” did not open the laundry room. While I never got a phone call in the middle of trying to open the room door, I’m sure that would have posed a safety issue.

It also just felt weird not speaking to the front desk receptionist upon my initial arrival as it felt like I was sneaking into the hotel as a squatter of some sorts just rummaging through rooms and randomly popping up for the continental breakfast. Not having that rapport or at least initial acknowledgement that I was a guest in the hotel seemed a bit odd.

After this experience, it really got me thinking about the future of travel in regards to positions such as the front desk receptionist. How much longer will these positions exist? Will “digital key” be the future? If so, how will that affect the travel experience? With so much moving towards “diy” without the human interaction how will hotels retain the “service” experience?

No matter how cool and convenient that “digital key” seemed, I couldn’t help but think about the ripple effects of its potentially ubiquitous usage. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to smile and make conversation while walking past the front desk 🙂

Travel- Asset or liability?

When deciding whether or not to travel you can take the age old financially-based approach and look at the outcome based on overall value: will the upcoming trip be an asset or liability in your life?

To quickly review for all the non-financial gurus out there, an asset is an investment that you have acquired that brings more long-term value in your life than a liability.  That is really the short end of it. We could get into more particulars and define these terms more specifically but for the purposes of this post, we will use this definition.

With that said, lets get back to the question at hand- is travel an asset or a liability? Well, in my eyes, travel is an asset! Here is why I put travel in the asset category. First, any money that is spent on travel is a long-term investment in the overall value of your life. I have said this to many people after returning from my travels overseas, “anyone can steal your material possessions but no one can take the experiences and memories you create while traveling.” It is true, you can lose a souvenir, photos, or money but you will never lose the life-changing moments of entering into new territory. Exploration provides a unique sense of “roi” that other investments simply don’t compare to. When you engage with new people in a new environment with new smells, sounds and sights your body is never the same. Not providing your senses with this development is truly a disservice to yourself. Travel, whether locally or abroad is truly an asset that is worth the monetary investment.
You don’t have to go thousands of miles away to acquire these assets. If you’ve never explored your city to the max or even your state for that matter there are untapped reservoirs of travel assets awaiting!

Get out and travel!