Have you ever taken stuff back from the hotel you were staying at? Don’t lie now! Is this considered smartly saving money or is this actually theft?


A video of a family getting caught attempting to steal stuff from a hotel in Bali went viral. They were caught after hotel staff checked their bags which they tried to throw over the villa wall.

Let’s not just pinpoint a particular country as travelers from all around the world regularly take stuff from hotels. Even some famous people and celebrities have admitted or been accused of taking stuff from their hotel rooms.

Taking Stuff Statistics

  • 73% hotel guests take home toiletries.
  • 35% hotel guests take home more than just toiletries.

Pros and Cons of Taking Hotel Stuff


  • You get free stuff; saving you (not much) money.
  • You get toiletries which are in useful travel sizes that can pass through airport security.
  • You get a memento of your wonderful stay.


  • You are a thief and should be ashamed of yourself. Extra points deducted if you did this in front of your children!
  • You may be asked to pay for the stuff you stole, get a criminal record, or worse – get jailed!
  • You can end up internet (in)famous as a thief.


OK or Not OK Guide

Don’t get arrested or publicly shamed! Know what’s ok, and what’s not ok to take from the hotel.


  • Soap, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, mouth wash, and other toiletries
  • Razor, toothbrush, sewing kit, shower cap, comb or other disposables
  • Bedroom slippers
  • Tissue paper or toilet roll
  • Stationery, pens, notepaper, postcards, and envelopes
  • Complimentary bottled water or coffee/tea/sugar sachets
  • Fruits or food (that you’ve paid for)
  • Key cards if not reused (as a collectible maybe?)
  • Do not disturb signs (yes, it’s ok to take it home and put in on your door to keep pesky people out)

Not OK

  • Electrical appliances, e.g. hair dryer, clock radio
  • Mirror
  • Iron or ironing board
  • Hangars or luggage rack
  • Coffee or tea makers
  • Kettle or water jug
  • Ash tray
  • Pillows, bedsheets, comforters, blankets
  • Towels (yes, even the smallest hand towels)
  • Rugs or tapestries
  • Artwork
  • Shower head or bidet (seriously?!)
  • Light bulbs or lamps (no, just no)

Maybe (usually no but depending on the hotel policy)

  • Holy books (i.e. Bible) are generally no but Gideon Bibles are ok
  • Umbrellas
  • Bath robes
  • Cups or mugs
  • Bath tub rubber ducky

The rule of thumb is you can take consumables or disposables which the hotel will throw after you leave.


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