Yes, I Take the Toiletries From My Hotel Room
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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.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.
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!
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