Can I Check Out of a Hotel Early?

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Whether your travel plans have changed or you simply want to head home early, you may be wondering if it’s possible to check out of a hotel before your scheduled departure date.

The answer is generally yes, you can check out early, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind.

Can I Check Out of a Hotel Early?

Notifying the Hotel

The first step is informing the hotel staff that you need to check out early. You’ll want to provide notice at least 24 hours in advance if possible.

You can stop by the front desk in person to discuss adjusting your checkout date. Or call the hotel and speak with the front office to notify them.

Giving this heads-up allows the hotel to prepare your bill and room for early checkout. It also helps ensure you won’t be charged any cancellation fees.

Can I Check Out of a Hotel Early?

Your Responsibilities

When you decide to depart early, you remain responsible for paying the full reservation including:

  • All nights originally booked
  • Taxes and fees
  • Any incidentals incurred during the stay

There is usually no refund for unused room nights. This applies even if you only stayed one night of a 5-night booking.

However, some hotels may provide credit for the unused portion if notified far enough in advance.

Potential Early Departure Fees

While you’ve already paid for the room, checking out early may incur additional charges in some cases:

  • Loss of discounted rate: Prepaid nonrefundable rates or packages can be invalidated if you don’t stay the full reservation.
  • Early checkout fee: Hotels may charge a set fee for departing earlier than booked, such as $50.
  • Last night room rate: Some hotels will charge for the final night if you don’t stay it.

Be sure to review the rate details and hotel policies to understand the potential impacts of an early departure.

Returning Your Key

Don’t forget to return your room key or key card when checking out early.

You may need to drop it at the front desk or in a designated checkout box if leaving outside staffed hours.

Failing to return the key could result in a substantial fee being charged to your hotel bill for a replacement.

Can I Check Out of a Hotel Early?

Emptying Your Room

You’ll need to empty your room of all personal belongings by the early checkout time. If leaving very early, consider doing this the evening before.

Complete a final sweep to avoid forgetting items that could result in shipping or replacement charges. The hotel may inspect and lock the room immediately after you depart.

Review Your Bill

Always review your final bill at checkout to ensure accuracy and ask about any discrepancies. This avoids unexpected charges appearing later on your credit card.

Point out charges for remaining nights you won’t use or other fees you feel are unjustified based on an early departure. Politely discuss whether any adjustment is possible.

Hotel Checkout Time

Standard hotel checkout time is 11 am or 12 pm in most cases. If departing early, you still need to be fully moved out by this time at the latest.

You can’t stay late in the room just because you’re checking out a day or two early. The hotel needs that turnover time to prepare it for the next guest.

Impact on Refunds

Changing your checkout date often delays any refunds you might receive for unused nights, packages, or deposits.

With an early departure, refund processing doesn’t begin until after you have checked out and your actual stay details are finalized.

Cancellation vs Early Checkout

Canceling your remaining nights in advance is better than waiting until the day you want to leave early.

Cancellation gives the hotel more notice to resell the room. Early checkout means it goes unoccupied and unsold for the original reservation period.

Avoiding Charges

To avoid surprise charges from an early checkout:

  • Review hotel cancellation policies before booking
  • Provide as much advance notice as possible
  • Be ready to vacate the room by standard checkout time
  • Double-check your final bill for accuracy
  • Pick up any credits or refunds due

With proper planning and communication, you can depart your hotel early while minimizing any unnecessary fees.


Checking out of a hotel before your original departure date is usually possible by notifying the front desk in advance.

Just be ready to pay for the full stay booked and vacate the room on time. With some flexibility from both you and the hotel, early checkout can be a smooth process.

Jennifer Tuffen
Jennifer Tuffen

I'm Jennifer Tuffen, a travel enthusiast and storyteller, six years and 10+ countries deep into a journey of discovery and cultural immersion.