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If You Check Into A Hotel And THIS Happens, You Should Request A Room Change Right Away

Patrice J. Williams is a travel writer and on-air lifestyle expert, who recently went viral for sharing a simple travel tip that will make your hotel stay safer — especially if you're traveling solo.

Patrice J. Williams wearing a tie-dye top and orange skirt smiling on a city street
Courtesy of Patrice J. Williams

The Brooklyn-based content creator has captured the attention of over 840K viewers in a TikTok video that begins with an unexpected caution: "If you check into a hotel room, and they do this, change your room immediately."

Patrice holds a hotel room card to the camera in her TikTok video with the text, "If you check into a hotel room, and they do this, change your room immediately"
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

"When you’re checking into your hotel, you’re at the front desk, and if the front desk clerk says, 'Hey, here’s your key, here’s your room, you’re in Room 1125,' change your room," Patrice says in the clip. "The reason behind that is that the front desk attendant should never say your room number out loud. Never. Never. Never."

Patrice continues talking in the video with the text: "The front desk attendant should never say your room number out loud"
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

"Someone who works in hospitality will know that they made a major mistake." Patrice explains that instead, front desk employees should simply hand over your key with the room information, without sharing the number out loud, which could potentially make you a target for anyone overhearing the info nearby.

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BuzzFeed spoke to Patrice, who further explained why having your room shared out loud is a huge no-no in the hospitality world. "Hotel lobbies, especially the check-in area, can be pretty busy and packed with people. Some people are staying at the hotel, and others aren't even guests! So, having a front desk attendant announcing your exact room number can pose a safety risk," she said. "Anyone in earshot will know exactly where you'll be resting your head, whether that's for a single night or several days. This can especially be problematic for solo travelers."

Hotel receptionist handing a key card over the counter
Thelinke / Getty Images

"There's no need for strangers to know your room number, what hotel you're staying at, or any specific details when traveling," she added.

Hotel room door slightly ajar with key and tag labeled "206" hanging from the handle, room interior visible
Dragonimages / Getty Images / iStockphoto

So, if the mistake is made, Patrice recommends that you can politely request a room change, and they should change it without any issues. "You don’t have to make a big deal out of it," she says in the original TikTok. "'Hey, can I change my room? I would just prefer that my room number isn’t announced out loud.' That is it."

In her past travels, Patrice shared that she's had several instances where front desk attendants have announced her exact room number or the floor she was on and didn't think much of it — but the last time it happened, she decided to voice her concern. "I went back to the front desk and politely asked for my room to be changed as I didn't feel comfortable with my room number being announced. I was traveling alone, and the lobby was quite busy, so a lot of people were around, including guests or non-guests who could have overheard my room number."

Patrice in a fur cami top and satin pants seated at an outdoor cafe with a historic building in the background
@patricejwill / Via instagram.com

Since the TikTok went live, Patrice has gotten quite a positive response. Over 900 commenters shared their thoughts on the tip, with several expressing how helpful it was and that they had never realized the potential safety risk, especially for women who are traveling alone.

User Kristina Girod comments on a post, expressing gratitude for new solo travel information she found helpful
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

Multiple hospitality employees wholeheartedly agreed with the advice and confirmed that employees are trained to never say the room number out loud. A former hotel front office supervisor even shared that it's the "first thing" employees are trained on.

A comment that says, "I used to be a front office supervisor at a hotel and that is the first thing we train them on; never say the room number out loud"
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

One former hotel manager commented, "Please request a new room.... Because they should not say your room number out loud and make sure you report them to the nearest [manager]."

A comment regarding hotel privacy practices, advising to request a new room if confidentiality is breached
@patricejwill

A former front desk agent also said, "They should NEVER say your room number out loud. She's absolutely right, change it right then and there."

A comment advising to change hotel rooms if the room number is said aloud for security
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

One commenter even shared that when they repeated their number out loud at one hotel, the clerk immediately changed it (what an angel, TBH!).

A commenter recounting a hotel experience about changing a room number for privacy, wishing the clerk well
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

And while hotel employees will typically fulfill the request without any problem, some people had questions about what to do if they make it a big deal or charge you for the change. So, Patrice uploaded a second TikTok, explaining that you can ask to speak with a manager to get it sorted out. She also added that you're not asking for an upgrade, so there shouldn't be any extra fee, as the employee should know they made a mistake.

"It shouldn’t be a problem at all if you need to change your room. It’s nice, it’s easy, it’s simple. If someone makes you seem like you’re being difficult, you’re probably staying at the wrong hotel…but 90-plus percent of the time, it’s not a problem at all," she said in the follow-up video.

But with the positive responses, there were some comments from people who felt the extra step was unnecessary. "Of course, there have been a few people who remark this safety tip is just being 'extra' and living in fear. Even if it's 'extra,' so what?" According to Patrice, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Patrice in her TikTok video, talking to the camera
@patricejwill / Via tiktok.com

"I hope the video doesn't scare people, especially women, from traveling solo. But instead, just inspires them to be mindful of what info they or others share." As someone who is passionate about making travel content, especially for women traveling solo, Patrice shares the lessons and essential advice she's learned to help both seasoned and new travelers safely enjoy their time, wherever they are. She says it best: "Travel should be accessible, safe, and intimidation-free."

To keep up with Patrice's travel adventures as well as her tips and hacks, be sure to follow her TikTok @patricejwill and Instagram @patricejwill.