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Travel expert shares when solo travellers should ask for a hotel room change

A travel expert revealed when guests should request a hotel room change.

In a viral TikTok video, travel writer and content creator Patrice (@patricejwill) advised that solo travellers avoid staying in a hotel room that has been announced by a hotel clerk or front desk employee in the lobby – accidentally or not – for safety concerns. She said that it is best to request a room change just in case there will be unwanted visitors, especially for women who are travelling alone.

“The reason behind that is that the front desk attendant should never say your room number out loud,” she explained. “Never. You might think that’s really excessive, but hotel lobbies, even if it’s not busy, there are other travellers. Sometimes hotel lobbies even include people who aren’t guests at the hotel.”

“There is no reason at all for someone who works at the hotel to say your room number out loud,” she added. “They should just be able to slide you your key.”

Most experienced hotel personnel will be understanding about a room change, Patrice noted, given that the travel tip is common knowledge among frequent travellers and hospitality professionals.

“Politely let that person know,” she continued. “‘Hey, can I change my room?’ You don’t have to make a big deal out of it, it’s fine, but [say], ‘You know, hey, can I change my room? I would just prefer that my room number isn’t announced out loud.’ That is it.”

In the video’s comment section, many hospitality workers noted that they were trained not to say a guest’s hotel number out loud, and if they did, it was likely a slip-up. One wrote, “I worked at the front desk and we were trained never to say the room number.”

“I used to be a front office supervisor at a hotel and that is the first thing we train them on,” another person added. “NEVER say the room number out loud!”

However, despite some comments saying that it’s industry standard to respect guest privacy, quite a few users claimed that they had had their hotel room numbers announced out loud in the past.

“I’ve definitely been to hotels that said my room number out loud,” someone wrote. “I’ve never thought of this.”

“I think they’ve done that every hotel I’ve ever stayed at,” another person commented, while a third added: “I’ve overheard so much personal info for guests from front desk folks in lobbies. I was shocked.”

Travelling alone – especially as a woman – can come with its own set of trials and tribulations like fielding unwanted attention or having your safety at risk when that unwanted attention turns into something more sinister like trafficking. The National Consumers League advises that all travellers educate themselves on the “warning signs” of human trafficking and “register with the local US embassy” when travelling abroad.