Research Finds Glassware, Batteries, and Bulbs Commonly Taken from Hotels by British Holiday Makers

A new piece of research by a UK based online travel agency has determined the 10 most common things taken from a hotel room after British holiday makers go on a vacation abroad. It seems people regularly help themselves to crockery, cutlery, batteries, soft furnishings, and towels. Additionally, it was found that 14% of those who did this had actually been caught in the act.

It seems that some British people feel a need to take souvenirs from the hotels they stay in after a vacation abroad. This is according to a new piece of research completed by a UK based online travel agency. The study also determined what items were most commonly taken, with items such as home accessories, bedding, bulbs, and batteries all making the list.

Travel agency has been working on an ongoing study of the behaviors of British holiday makers. For this part of the research, they polled 2,623 people from a range of places within the country. All respondents were at least 18 years old and, in their adult life, had gone on at least six holidays abroad. Instructions to the research, which was completely anonymous, stated that people had to be as honest as possible. The results that were revealed suggest that people did indeed answer each question honestly.

The first questions people were asked was: ‘Have you ever stolen anything, however small, from a hotel during a holiday abroad?’. To this question, 56% of people answered that they had. Those who did admit to it were then asked whether they had ever been caught while taking something out of the room, and 14% stated that they had. Those who did take any items, whether caught or not, were then asked what they had taken with them. The top 10 answers were revealed as being:

  1. 31% of people had taken pool towels.
  2. 27% of people had taken room towels.
  3. 22% had taken soft furnishings such as cushions.
  4. 20% had taken batteries.
  5. 18% had taken glassware, crockery, or cutlery.
  6. 12% had taken slippers.
  7. 9% had taken a robe.
  8. 8% had taken light bulbs
  9. 4% had taken bedding such as blankets, pillow cases, and duvet covers.
  10. 2% had taken decorative accessories like vases.

The research also revealed that 1% of people took full electrical items, which included remote controls, music players, and alarm clocks. Out of all the respondents, two said that they had managed to take a television with them, while just one person had admitted that they took the free bible provided to them in the room. It was not clear what people had been caught with, however.

The 56% of people who admitted that they had taken items during their vacations abroad were then asked why they did this. The two top answers were:

  1. Believing that the ‘hotel would have plenty more spare’ was the answer in 47% of cases.
  2. Feeling that people were entitled to getting their ‘money’s worth’ was the answer in 28% of cases.


Chris Clarkson, Managing Director of, and responsible officer behind the study, said:

“Stealing is wrong on many levels and unfortunately I think many people don’t consider taking from hotels to be theft. The truth of the matter is that taking anything that doesn’t belong to you is stealing. Hotel guests need to respect the fact that the items in rooms they stay in aren’t just there for the taking, but rather are there to enjoy during their stay.”

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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