Even if you love to travel, sharing a hotel room isn't usually the ideal way to do it. But when you're faced with sharing a room — even with those you don't know well — you can still make the best of it and help ensure everyone has a great time. How? Here are four simple room-sharing steps to take in advance.
Rent a Suite. If you have the shared budget, a suite solves many problems before they begin. Sleepers don't all have to be in the same room. It protects from listening to snorers. And it gives more space so you stay out of each other's way. Renting a hotel suite might also reduce costs because you can share it with three, four, or more people. If the rooming isn't exactly equal (such as if someone will use the sofa bed), negotiate a fair division of expenses so everyone wins.
Be Self-Sufficient. How can you reduce conflicts between roommates and make yourself less stressed? Arrive as self-contained and prepared as you can. Why fight over the bathroom mirror, for instance, when you can bring a lighted mirror of your own to do your hair or makeup anywhere in the room? Bring an extra phone battery, foam earplugs for sleeping, or your own soap or shampoo.
Assign Space Early. As you and your roommate(s) first enter and size up the room, take a few moments to plan its usage. Determine which beds everyone will take, which outlets will be used for charging what items, where suitcases will go, how to divide up the drawers or closet, and how to keep everyone's belongings separate in the bathroom.
Decide on Ground Rules. If you don't know your roommate well, don't assume that they will have the same schedule or habits as you do. Before your first big day of vacation, sit down briefly and agree on a few basic ground rules. How late do people like to stay up? How early do they get up? What should everyone do if they come back when someone is sleeping? How will amenities charges be divided? And how can each roommate make life a little more comfortable for each other?
Whether you'll spend a lot of time in your shared hotel room or you plan to be gone most of the days, making plans ahead of time will help keep everyone happy and keep the room drama-free.