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‘Hotel Habits’ Survey Reveals Americans’ Sneaky Vacation Behavior

We throw our towels on the
floor, we eat in bed and we leave the television blaring when we’re not in
the room. We sneak things into—and out of—our rooms, and we don’t
always tip. No, we’re not rude houseguests, we’re Americans on vacation,
as revealed in a recent survey by the popular travel website Orbitz on
what we do in hotels when no one’s looking. This summer, nearly three out
of five of people who have ever stayed in a hotel for leisure (59%) plan
to do so again. What will we be doing behind closed doors? According to the Orbitz “Hotel Habits” Survey, 52% of adult Americans who
have stayed in a hotel for leisure do things in a hotel that they don’t
normally do at home, like throwing towels on the floor (25%), using more
towels than necessary since they don’t have to do the laundry (24%),
eating in bed (19%) or leaving the television on when not in the room
(13%). Other hotel-specific activities included ordering pay-per-view
movies (10%), taking a bath (7%) and other miscellaneous activities they
reserve for out-of-their- home behavior (10%).

On Orbitz, consumers can choose from more than 45,000 lodging properties
and when they book one of the 14,000 OrbitzSaver hotels, they can save up
to 70 percent off retail rates. Orbitz also is the only site with the
Hotel Matrix(TM) Display that makes it easy to research, compare and book
hotels online.

“People vacationing in a hotel want to escape from every-day
responsibilities whether they’re staying in a five star hotel or a motor
inn,” said John Samuel, Orbitz Executive Vice President for Consumer
Travel. “Orbitz makes it easy for consumers to find the hotel that has
what’s important for their stay, from a pool for the kids, to room service
for couples, or even a business center on site so they can stay in touch
with the office.”

As for sneaking things out of hotel rooms, it’s no surprise that 61% of
people nab the toiletries, but almost 20% of respondents have or have
considered taking the toiletries off the housekeeping cart when the
housekeeper isn’t looking. Seems as though males ages 18 - 35 confuse the
housekeeping cart with the shopping cart, as 32% of this demographic—
almost one in three—admitted to taking or considering taking toiletries
off the housekeeping cart. Other “souvenirs” include towels (18%),
ashtrays (14%), bathrobes (2%) and bathmats (2%).

The survey also reveals what Americans have snuck into hotel rooms,
including extra people (29%), cigarettes in a non-smoking room (12%) and
pets (11%). How many people can you fit in one bed? Ask the 52% of 18 - 34
year olds who have snuck extra people into their hotel rooms. Some hotel
guests are less likely to pull the sheets over the check-in desk’s eyes—
such as married people; only 19% of whom have snuck extra people in as
compared to 48% of singles.


Other Key Findings from the Orbitz “Hotel Habits” Survey:—Who’s
poolhopping on the prowl? 30% of males ages 18 - 34 are, and admitted to
sneaking or considering sneaking into the pool at another hotel to check
out the scene.—Hungry? 68% of respondents never touch the minibar.—
One in three (33%) of respondents have brought their own alarm clocks to a
hotel because they don’t trust that the wake-up call will get them out of
bed.—They trust the staff to let them back in their room, though, as
almost the same percentage (31%) admitted to locking themselves out of
their hotel room, and needing assistance to get back in. Back to the
question, did they tip for that assistance?

Between now and June 14, consumers are invited to find and search for
their perfect hotel online. Go to for the
chance to win a trip or air travel for two!


Harris Interactive(R) fielded the ten-question study from April 8-12,
2004, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing a
nationwide sample of 2,745 U.S. adults (aged 18+), of whom 2,494 have ever
stayed in a hotel for a leisure trip. In theory, with a probability sample
of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have
a statistical precision of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they
would be if the entire population of adults who have ever stayed in a
hotel for a leisure trip had been polled with complete accuracy. This is
not a probability sample. Data were weighted to be representative of the
total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender,
education, household income, race/ethnicity and for their propensity to be