Yes, I Take the Toiletries From My Hotel Room

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Yes, I Take the Toiletries From My Hotel Room

Million Mile SecretsYes, I Take the Toiletries From My Hotel RoomMillion Mile Secrets Team

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One of the benefits of the InterContinental Royal Ambassador elite status level is that you don’t get charged for drinks in your room’s minibar.  Many folks were emptying out the minibar during their stay and taking drinks with them so some InterContinental hotels placed a limit on the amount you could get for free.

But I do help myself to all the toiletries that I can – soap, shampoo, toothbrushes etc.

Stealing Hotel Toiletries 1
Our Stash of Toiletries

Whenever we visit hotels, Emily hides both the used and unused toiletries in her bag so that the maid replaces them each day.  And sometimes we get even more toiletries  if there is afternoon or evening turndown service (where the maid makes the bed and stocks up on the toiletries).

What do we do with our stash of toiletries?

We combine them with clothes to create little care packages and distribute them when we visit India.  A few years ago, we were stopped at a traffic light in India and a mom and 5-year-old came up to the side of the car to ask for money.  We gave an airline amenity kit to the girl, and she ran off and immediately opened it.

Care Packets
Care Packages

Her whole face lit up when she opened the comb and started brushing her hair with a big smile.  I don’t think I’ve seen anyone get so happy with a plastic comb.  Ever since then, we (Emily mostly) go out of our way to collect the toiletries from hotels and distribute them during our visits to India.

I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with deliberately hiding the toiletries and getting a new supply each day, but Emily convinced me that it was for a good cause.  She said that we pay for the room each day, and that the toiletries are covered in that rate

I’m not sure why I felt uncomfortable with hiding the toiletries, since I don’t feel uncomfortable with some of the more creative ways to earn miles and points which I’ve written about previously.

My employer also encourages business travelers to collect hotel amenities and bring them to work where they are then distributed to local shelters.

I was doing some research, and I came across this long running thread on FlyerTalk where folks admit to either taking hotel amenities back for themselves or to donate to shelters.

So I guess this is much more common than I thought!

Do you take hotel amenities with you?  Vote in the poll below!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I always take the toiletries, but several years ago, I briefly considered quitting (i.e. not hiding them anymore like Emily does), then this happened… The very first day I decdied to quit taking the soaps, I left the room for the day. In the bathroom was the partially used shampoo, soap etc. it was only the first day, so there was plenty left in the bottle and obviously a bar of soap at a Hilton can be used more than once. When I returned they were gone, and replaced by brand new ones! I assume they’d been thrown away (unless the housekeeping staff were taking them home – unlikely). So, now I always hide them, because I can’t stand the possibility that they might just get thrown away.

I really hate the idea of all of that plastic for such tiny bits of shampoo, though. So, I leave them sitting out at Hampton Inn type places, where I’m sure they’re not going to throw away partially used ones and replace them with new when they clean my room.

The Ronald McDonald House provides parents and families of critically injured or sick children a place of refuge – showers, laundry services, places to sleep, etc. Recently our family needed to use the services offered. I went to take a shower and was given hotel toiletries donated. I was very grateful. To be honest, I had never thought of donating the items to the Ronald McDonald House. From now on my extra toiletries will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

Million Mile Secrets

@Miles Momma – You’re so right. We have so much to be thankful for, and sometimes we have to take a trip to realize that.

@Charles – Nice!

@Clyde– I agree that there is a cost, but is it really likely to result in a significant increase in hotel rates?

@Love2Travel – That’s a great idea, and I hope all is good with you now!

I’m not the biggest fan of this for true travel deal seekers… eventually these additional “costs” of the extra shampoo, soap, etc. will end up in our rates at the hotels, so encouraging the taking of this stuff is simply going to drive the rates up over the long term… that’s simple economics… the hotels are always going to look to increase the profits, so they’re not going to take the loss in the long run and frequent travelers are going to be the ones that pay the most for it.

Great article, just stocked up on some Aveda goodies while loungin’ it at the Z Ocean Hotel!

I love this pic! This is such an awesome idea! You have totally inspired me. I’m going to start collecting too Thanks for sharing! I do remember as similar experience when I gave a small bottle of lotion to a little girl in Mexico and rubbed her cracked bleeding hands. The look on her face melted my heart. The feelings are indescribable. I’ll never forget it. We take our “beautiful life” for granted so much. Thanks for the reminder how blessed we are.

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