Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A thrifty confession




I started collecting hotel toiletries when I was a poor rookie in my field. I reasoned that if the seals are broken, they'd be thrown away, so I might as well take them home and save a little money on my end by not having to purchase as much shampoo and conditioner. I only stayed in Hilton hotels back then, so my supply of Neutrogena products was impressive. Now, I stay where I can get the best rate while being close to my appointments, so my collection has diversified.

In the last week, I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom trying to work on my tile sealing project and I realized that I have a whole drawer of little toiletries. I don't know why I was saving them...I'm not the rookie anymore, but I still pick up the bottles when I'm about to leave a hotel room.

So, out came a few bottles. I feel like I've been splurging, but I haven't spent any money at all. What's more, some of the bottles remind me of specific trips. The Bulgari bottle, for example, is from the time I found a $110 rate at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton, Missouri. I had been stranded by a canceled flight, missed an important event in Oklahoma City as a result, and sat on my laptop in a Panera Bread (St. Louis Bread Company, pardon me) frantically looking for a place to stay that would give me a last minute rate that was under my per diem. Someone decided I needed a break that day and I got that amazing room at the Ritz.

Do you take the little toiletry bottles home with you after a hotel stay or do you leave them in the room?
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14 comments:

  1. Are you kidding? I've been collecting those little babes for decades...they're perfect for houseguests, so I just pile them up in a bowl - I've seen people help themselves to the housekeeping cart parked outside hotel rooms during cleaning, but I would never do that...I always, however, gather as many in-room bottles, soaps, etc. as I can. BTW, why is there a Ritz in Clayton, MO? Is Clayton part of St. Louis?

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  2. The best hotel toiletries I've seen recently were organic shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc. at a hotel in Quebec City. Normally, I pack my own toiletries (including soap) when I travel, so as to reduce my eco footprint and not cause more waste. However, while in QC, I must confess to trying some of the hotel's soaps because they smelled so good and were completely free of parabens and other yucky stuff.

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  3. Ha! What a great idea, Sharon! I don't really have house guests in my little place, but I will tuck away your practice for my future home...which still may not be big enough for house guests!

    Jen, you are so good! I try not to check my bags to 1) save the office a little money and 2) prevent myself from being stranded without my belongings, which has happened quite a few times for me. I can barely get a week's worth of contact supplies, toothpaste, and make up in to the FSA approved zip lock back I have (and I use Bare Minerals, so I don't have all that much liquid make-up). I don't think I could also bring shampoo and soap along.

    I guess part of the deal with being a road warrior is having a big carbon footprint. Bummer.

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  4. I just realized that I didn't make much sense.

    I check my bags on the way home...at that point, I'm not under any deadlines. On to front end of a trip, I try to keep my bag with me in the cabin.

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  5. I have a bag so full I can barely lift it. I take them all the time and never ever use them once I get home. How crazy.

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  6. yes.. I've always taken the toiletries from the hotel.
    yes.. I keep them for guests..
    or if I run out of my personal stuff, I know there is extras in the guest room...
    many times, we've put together care packages using these for nursing home shut-ins..
    warm sandy hugs..
    Loui♥

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  7. I try to leave them there, but if they are really good stuff I will take them with. I have so many of those things!

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  8. YES! I take them all, and keep them too. I have that Tarocco! Too funny

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  9. I always take them, and always use them for (a) gym bag and (b)for the kids' sleepover weekends and (c) We do a "mini toiletry drive" at my hospital around the holidays every year....we include them in care packages for patients and their families who are stuck in the Cancer Center for their holidays.

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  10. If I can fit them in my ziploc "liquids" bag for the airplane / carryon I definitely take them. Agree w/commenters - great for houseguests and for shelter and nursing home care packages.

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  11. Please don't take them if you are not going to use them. We collect them at work and donate them to a women's shelter.

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  12. Nah, I bring my own toiletries...few as they are. Shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant. That's it. I use the hotel soap, and I'm good to go.

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  13. We totally take them as well and have an entire tub of them in our bathroom so we started a "pledge" of sorts to not buy new shampoo, conditioner, or body wash until they were all gone! It is fun to have a new product every week or so!

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  14. I always take them too. They are perfect for when you're traveling (and not staying in a hotel)- they're well under the liquid limit. Confession: my dad went on tons of business trips when I was a kid, and we weren't the richest family on the block... he would always come home with the little hotel soaps. That's all that was ever in our shower, and I grew to hate the tiny little bars. Now though, I snag them the same way he did. :-)

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