Generally, most hotels require guests to check out at 11:00 a.m.

But what happens if you want to check out of a hotel early?

Is it possible?

Will you receive any financial compensation?

You Might Be Able to Receive A Refund If You Check Out Early

Generally, if you want to check out early, many hotels will impose an early departure fee, so you will receive at least a partial refund for cutting your stay short and leaving early.

Other hotels will not refund you any money at all, especially if you prepaid for your stay.

This is because the hotel room was paid for the duration of the booking, with the room being considered yours for the duration of your entire stay.

If you have a good reason to leave, especially if the reason is to do with the standard of the accommodation, even more so if you believe you were falsely advertised to, you may be able to obtain a full refund.

In this day and age of social media, a hotel’s reputation can be damaged at the click of a button. So hotels tend to be more willing to reach a compromise than before.

Whatever the reason is for why you want to check out early, you should always check the hotel’s cancellation and early departure policy.

The Best Way of Checking Out of a Hotel Early

If you want to check out of a hotel early (also known as early departure), you should:

  • Check the hotel’s cancellation and early departure policy: Every hotel will usually have a cancellation and early departure policy, which can usually be found online
  • Inform staff that you plan to leave early: Besides good manners, this gives the hotel more time to fill your room, which could result in more money being refunded
  • Explain why you want to leave early: Having a good reason why you want to leave early may make the hotel more willing to refund you
  • Check your travel insurance policy: If you have one, check your travel insurance policy, as you may be covered if you have good reason to leave

It’s Possible to Check In and Out of a Hotel on the Same Day

Generally, when you book a hotel for the minimum amount of time, which is one night, it means that you must leave the next day – usually the next morning unless you request a late checkout.

You may check in at 11:00pm, but you will still be expected to leave the next morning in line with the hotel’s check-out policy, though some hotels can be booked for a few hours, in which you can check in and out on the same day.

The difference you will pay is usually not that great, though.

In the event that you booked and paid for a room for a longer duration, you can check in and leave on the same day.

But whether you are entitled to any form of refund will depend on the hotel’s cancellation policy.

You Might Be Able to Check in Early Too

Most hotels state that you can only check in in the early to mid-afternoon – approximately from 2pm to 4pm.

The reason for this is so housekeeping have enough time to clean the room between the last guests leaving and new arrivals.

Generally, the larger the hotel, the more likely you will be able to check in early, as larger hotels have more rooms, so there may be a clean room available.

Even in smaller and medium-sized hotels, if the hotel isn’t at full capacity, there may be a clean room available, so you can check in early.

Hilton Hotel
You’ll have more luck checking into larger hotels early

If you can’t check in early, then you should at least be able to leave your luggage at the hotel while you explore the city until your room is ready.

You Might Be Able to Check into a Hotel Late

Again, whether you can check into a hotel late or not will generally depend on the size of the hotel.

Larger hotels are more likely to have 24/7 front desks, which means that you can arrive at anytime.

Medium-sized hotels may have someone on call who will be able to check in later arrivals, though it is by no means guaranteed.

It’s generally unreasonable to expect to check into small hotels late, as they are usually run by just one or two people who won’t usually be willing to stay up until the early hours just to check you in.

In any case, regardless of the size of the hotel, it’s always best to call in advance and request a late check-in.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).