What are the silliest notices you've come across in hotels and boarding houses?
Just back from a three-week visit to New Zealand, in part to see my editor but mainly holiday, we've been making a collection of some of the more absurd signs that have greeted us in the various hostelries where we stayed. It's one of the small amusements open to a traveller, and can yield memories to treasure when you get home.
Some of these notices are gratuitous. Some are funny. Some are quite unconsciously rude. And some just merely pompous.
The environment, in particular, seems to bring out the worst (or you might think it the best) among certain proprietors, some of whom seem to compete to impress guests with their green consciousness.
One motel had little homilies printed on coloured paper perched on every rolled up towel. Fashion has caused more damage than war. Another advised that HERE, YOUR TOWELS PLANT TREES. What can it possibly mean? One large hotel had painted on our door In this room, the planet can sleep peacefully (though in our room the planet had to compete with a vast neon-lit frame around the imperial-sized bedhead, that must have contributed mightily to global warming).
But a particular favourite in one establishment's lengthy book of guest dos and don'ts, was a warning against putting our luggage on the bed in case we brought in bed bugs! Luggage had to be placed on the racks provided in the wardrobe – even though a doctor friend later advised that bugs are perfectly capable of crawling out of a suitcase, crossing the carpet, and creeping into a comfortable new bed.
There's no point getting irritated by these messages. Much better to have a laugh and let them lift the spirits amid the stress of a journey, and finding yourself in new places with unfamiliar customs. I'd be interested to hear of your own experiences and any favourite traveller's signs you may remember. We might be able to put a book together. It could be a winner with the hospitality industry!