It’s no secret that some travelers have a serious case of sticky fingers. While they might not be crooks in the night, people still feel the need to take a few things home from a memorable vacation that they didn’t purchase in the gift shop. No one knows this better than hotel management. 

According to a recent study by Passport-Photo.Online, 87 percent of guests surveyed admitted to stealing from a hotel at least once in their lifetime. Some travelers are legit kleptomaniacs, while others simply want a little something extra to bring home to remember their trip. Either way, hotels worldwide are taking a hit. 

Theft costs hotel brands approximately $1 million dollars every year, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. More and more hotels are taking action to defend themselves against traveling criminals in disguise as moms on vacations with their families. According to NBC, many major hotel chains have implemented digital “no-stay” lists banning select guests who have been identified as theft culprits. 

“Get in trouble at a Hilton in Miami, for example, and you may find it hard to get a reservation at a Holiday Inn in Seattle,” NBC wrote. “That’s because extensive databases of individual hotels’ blacklists are being systematically centralized.”

No matter the reason behind it, stealing from hotels is a crime. But what exactly are travelers more likely to swipe during a stay at their favorite hotel? Here are the top items stolen from hotel rooms.

Photo credit: Pixabay


Believe it or not, travelers between the ages of 35 and older are more likely to steal from hotels than younger people. One of the items they are most likely to steal is towels.

Everyone knows hotel towels are some of the best towels you can find, depending on where you’re staying. They’re always the perfect size, excellent level of thickness, and are soft on the skin. It’s no wonder folks want to take them home. According to Lodging Magazine, 100,000 to 200,000 towels are stolen from hotels each year.

Soap Dishes

While it may seem perplexing for someone to steal a soap dish, this is the perfect souvenir for someone wanting a trinket after a memorable getaway. According to the survey, American travelers steal from hotels because they believe they deserve it. Whether it’s the cost they’ve spent on the room or the stolen items that hold sentimental value, Americans have a sense of entitlement that leads them to believe that the soap dish in the hotel room would look much better in their own homes. 

Tissue Boxes

Most people like to keep a few pieces of tissue handy just in case they need it. Others, however, need the whole box. Boxes of tissue are one of the top items stolen from hotel rooms.

Some travelers admitted in the survey that they stole from hotels purely for the adrenaline rush. However, 30 percent of guests say they steal intentionally because they received poor service during their stay. 

Bathroom Toiletries

Clearly, the bathroom is the thieving traveler’s favorite playground. Bathroom toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, and lotion are some of the most common items stolen from hotels. Of course, they are complimentary and most feel like if they don’t use them, they’ll be used by the next guest. 

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