What do after check-out when your sunny holiday is drawing to a close, your plane doesn’t fly out till midnight, and you have to check out of your hotel room in the morning? With these 10 tips, you can make the last day of your trip its own holiday.
Before you decide what you want to do, you should ask the hotel if a late check-out is possible. Sometimes you can use the room a few hours longer, oftentimes for free. You may also be able to use the late departure option for a fee, like with the all-inclusive offer, for example. If that doesn’t work, there’s a Farewell Lounge in some hotels, such as the TUI BLUE Palm Garden, the TUI BLUE Sarigerme Park, and the TUI BLUE Jadran. In these rooms, you can store your valuables and use fully equipped bathrooms with changing facilities, so you can change into fresh clothes and evoke the gratitude of whomever sits next to you on the plane.
So what about the last day of your holiday? Here are my tips:
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If you’re in an all-inclusive hotel and not on a diet, you can sleep well after a long, final holiday night and go to a lazy breakfast or even straight to lunch. Try everything you didn’t order during your holiday. Additionally, there’s cake in the afternoon, an evening buffet… with the all the meal options, you could just eat the day away after check-out. Or maybe try that restaurant on the promenade that you always walked by and said, “Oh, we’ll try it tomorrow”. You might end up having to book an XL seat on the plane!
Or you could get up early and get the most out of your last few hours before check-out! Your hotel will certainly offer various excursions, or you could organise something on your own. Culture, rafting, local wildlife, wine tasting… you’re spoiled for choices. Just make sure that you put in a time buffer so you don’t miss your return flight. If you spent your holiday lounging by the pool, this is your chance to see some of the environment around your destination.
3. Sunbathing / Swimming
Are you still white as mozzarella by the end of your holiday, but want to look like you actually saw the sun? Then sunbathing is the option for you ahead of check-out . Don’t be so determined that you end up getting barbecued. Always use sun cream and avoid the midday sun! You can get a tan in the shade, and even underwater. You could also get in a few laps in the ocean or the pool. How about stand-up paddleboarding or snorkelling? These are all activities where you can automatically replenish your vitamin D. My tip: Make sure you leave enough time for drying off your swimwear. If your stuff is still damp, you can blow-dry it in the Farewell Lounge. If that doesn’t work, you can put the well-wrung things in a plastic bag. It’s not ideal, but a few hours in a bag won’t kill your bikini.
4. Make Yourself Beautiful
Women know this. With all the sun, salt water, and chlorine in the pool, your hair gets brittle and shaggy. To make sure you don’t return home as a scarecrow, I recommend a visit to the salon on the day you check out. If you have a lot of time, maybe you could even have the hotel hairdresser fulfill some more unusual requests. Men, do you shave on while on holiday? Do you want to avoid being asked if you spent the whole time out in the wilderness when you go home? Let’s visit a barber. He’ll give you a smooth baby-face (“You look ten years younger!”) or shape that unkempt mass into a hipster-lumberjack beard. If you have more time and money left, you should visit the spa beforehand and let yourself be kneaded or treat your face to a cosmetic treatment until check-out. I’ll bet you get all kinds of compliments when you go home about how beautiful and recuperated you look after your holiday.
Do you still have holiday cash, but no gifts or souvenirs? After check-out is your last chance to bring your loved ones at home something useful, superfluous, nice, or kitschy from the hotel store or shops in the area. It’s fun to relax in the shops, stroll through the markets, and buy a cheap handbag (“No fake, just copy!”), addictive local sweets, or a beautiful silk scarf for your favourite people. I’ve also taken delicious tropical fruits on the plane that I can’t buy at home with that kind of flavour. But first you should inquire which objects and food can be exported or imported. Otherwise, your holiday might involuntarily extend a little beyond the planned period at the airport.
Maybe – despite your best intentions – you were too busy during your holiday to take care of your body and are now looking like the Michelin Man. If your hotel has extensive fitness programme like BLUEf!t, you should take advantage of it. All of it! At the heart of it are classes like tabata, which boost fat burning above all else. Additionally, there’s stretching to keep you limber. There are probably more fitness activities than you made time for: yoga, zumba, fascia training, functional training, and so on. Now you have no excuse! After a busy last day, you can take a shower in the Farewell Lounge before check-out, collapse – ready and proud of yourself – in your seat on the plane, and sleep until you land.
7. Physical and Digital Holiday Greetings
Postcards are threatened with extinction in the age of Facebook & Co., but let’s be honest: when we find a postcard in the mailbox, we get ecstatic that someone had thought of us and put in the effort to pick a card and pay for a stamp. So keep an eye out for stamps at the next souvenir stand. If you can’t find a mailbox, you can send the postcards from the hotel reception desk. And then you just have to be patient. My postcards from the Dominican Republic took six weeks to arrive, but the recipient was so surprised. If you’re too insecure about your handwriting or impatient with the wait time, you can design a card yourself with various apps, using your own holiday photos; these cards are cheap to print and are sent from your home country, so they take less time to arrive. I used “MyPostcard” and found the app self-explanatory. The app is available for free on Google Play and the Apple Store.
8. Take Photos
Maybe every time you walked past a picturesque scene, you just didn’t happen to have your camera or phone handy to capture the moment. After checking out on your day of departure, you have the perfect opportunity to organise some extensive photo shooting! You would also have plenty of time to edit the pictures. Of course, you’ll make everyone back home and on social media green with envy. This could be a great way to get material for point #7. Take a look at the photos by the hotel photographers. Don’t they all look like the covers of romance novels? My mother loves these photos. You could either use the styles of the hotel photographers, or you could have your travelling companion take cliche photos of you in front of the sunset. I use photos like that to make calendars for my mother for Christmas. Totally cheesy, but mums love things like that!
In many hotels, and even some beach bars, there are daybeds, Bali beds, and whatever else these outdoor beds are called these days. A little kingdom just for you and your honey to relax, laze, or doze off by the pool or beach ahead of check-out. But don’t do anything dirty! The daybeds aren’t that private. Let yourself be pampered with snacks and drinks and simply dream away your last hours at your destination. It’ll feel like you’re in a Travel & Leisure ad!
10. Do Your Laundry
So you have dirty laundry that should be washed before you depart. “But I’ll be home soon!” True, but you could also do your laundry before heading home, so all you have to do when you get back is unpack. You can inquire at the hotel or a laundry service in the area to see what is offered and how long the wait time is. If you’re lucky, you could hand over your dirty laundry after check-out and get it back, ironed and smelling fresh, after just a few hours. You deserve a holiday, right?