Staying in hotels when traveling can be an incredible and rewarding experience. You can enjoy all types of luxurious amenities (depending on the stay,) you can meet interesting new people and you can have the time of your life. But staying away from home has its disadvantages, too. You don’t have access to all of the things in your day to day life, which can prove to be a hassle – especially if the hotel you’re at isn’t equipped with everything you need. Luckily, there are things you can do to make your trip easier and cozier, all without breaking the bank.
Sometimes, the air quality in your hotel room won’t be up to par with what you’re used to. Sure, housekeeping does their best, but with all of the people going through the rooms, there are bound to be germs trapped all over the place. Using a humidifier can do more than just prevent chapped lips and dry skin, it’s good for your general wellbeing.
But since not everyone travels with a humidifier, you’ll have to make one yourself by wetting a towel, squeezing it out until its damp and stretching it over the suitcase rack and placing it directly in front of the radiator.
If you’re like most people and can’t sleep with the sun shining directly into your room, traveling might be difficult sometimes. A lot of hotels don’t exactly have blackout curtains, and there’s typically a large gap in between the pieces. But if you’ve got one of the hangers with clips hanging in the closet, you’re good to go.
Just clip the sides together as close as possible to keep the sun where it belongs in the mornings – outside. If you don’t see any of those hangers in your closet, call the front desk and ask for a couple.
Netflix and Lounge
Let’s face it: some hotels have really terrible cable options. And of course, movies you can rent for $10 or something crazy like that. But none of those things matter in the digital age, when you can simply hook your laptop up to a TV via an HDMI cable and stream anything you want from Netflix or Hulu, etc.
The moral of this story is: make sure to pack your HDMI cables whenever you’re going on a trip. You don’t want to get stuck in a never-ending loop of country music videos and golf games on the few channels you’re able to find on a hotel TV.
Most hotels have nightstands, because if they didn’t then what on Earth would the Gideons do with their spare time? However, not all hotel rooms are equipped with these handy pieces of furniture. In the rare case that you do end up with accommodations lacking a nightstand, try this tip out to avoid having to walk all the way across your room in the morning to turn off your alarm.
Folding the unfitted sheets into a 45-degree angle creates this little pocket where you can store your device within arm’s reach.
Sometimes when you’re on the road, you’ve got to get multi-uses out of your furniture and the space around you. If you’re in a situation where you find yourself needing to soak or wash something, try this hack to stop up the sink. You may run into the sporadic sink stopper on your travels, but for the most part, hotel sinks just have an open drainpipe.
You can plug it up by using the plastic cover from one of your water cups and a handful of spare change to hold it down. This hack works like a charm if you need to wash dishes or a few bits of laundry in your hotel room.
You’ve likely found yourself in at least one hotel room that smelled a little…off. Some can be worse than others, and some can be so bad you’re forced to ask for a change of room (and left hoping they actually give it to you.) But if you find that your room just smells a bit stale, or something else that can be easily dealt with, you can try this tip to freshen up the air.
Use one of the clip-on air fresheners that are made for cars and put it directly on your main AC unit. And if you need to, use a couple of them. If the smell is truly overpowering though, just ask to move!
Whether you’re a smoker yourself or not, it may surprise you to know that there are plenty of hotels in existence that still allow smoking in some, or all of their hotel rooms. If you happen to be staying in one of these smoke friendly resorts and the smell bothers you, you can stifle the stench by laying a towel under your door to stuff the open space.
This trick is also great for blocking out light from the hall, as well as some of the noise from people partying throughout the night while you’re trying to sleep. If you’re using the towel to block smoke, get it wet in the tub and ring it out before placing it under the door for an extra strong effect.
Book Directly Through the Location
While some travel sites advertise that they offer the lowest fees you’ll find, you have to keep in mind that the majority of those sites, along with travel agents, etc., are taking a cut of the transaction fees, so it actually makes it more expensive to go through a third party booking site.
Call the hotel directly or visit their official website and look for the “deals” section to find the best prices. Sometimes, there will be deals listed that third party sites weren’t even made aware of yet.
In this day and age, people basically use their cellphones for everything. A lost or dead phone could breed devastating results, so keeping them handy and charged up is crucial to ensuring your vacation goes smoothly. But what happens when you start unpacking your belongings only to find that you’ve forgotten your phone charger?
You could run to the drug store and buy another one, if you’ve got the time and the cash. But if you’re lacking either of those things, or if you just don’t feel like going to the store after your long trip, just call up to the front desk from your room phone and ask them! Most hotels keep some chargers around for the most popular types of cellphones.
Depending on what hotel you’re staying in, you may or may not have access to a mini-refrigerator to cool your drinks. But even if you do, they’re often small and you can’t fit too many things in it at once.
To remedy the situation and keep your sodas (or beers) ice-cold, just head to the ice machine. When you get back to the room, dump the ice in the sink and voila – you’ve got a cooler. Plus, it’s free and easy to keep using. All you have to do is make another trip to the ice machine when yours starts to get low.
When it comes to dining, there are typically plenty of options available to you. In some cases, you may be in a hotel with attached restaurants or even one that offers room service. But if you don’t feel like spending $20 on a chicken sandwich, or you don’t like anything you see on the menu, you’re in luck, because all you have to do is place a delivery order at one of the (hopefully) many restaurants that deliver to you.
These days, with Uber Eats and similar companies, even if the restaurants themselves don’t deliver, you’ll still be able to find someone who will. Or, if you’re old school, you can always just order pizza!
Desktop Diaper Changing
The last thing you want to do when you’ve got a baby with a full diaper, who’s uncomfortable and ready for a change, is have to get down on the floor and wrestle with them and the diaper bag, all while your knees start to bruise underneath you. And you could always use the bed as a changing station, but you probably don’t want to risk them rolling over and dousing your covers with the lovely contents of their diaper. So, what’s the solution?
Most hotel rooms have a desk that’s at the perfect level for changing. Plus, the sturdy surface is perfect for getting the task done quickly and efficiently.
DIY Air Conditioning System
Almost all modern hotels in America will have AC, but sometimes you run into emergency situations where the system goes down in the middle of the summertime and you’ve got hours to kill before they get it fixed. Or perhaps you’re somewhere outside of the country where the hotels don’t have central cooling. In either of these cases, try this hack to cool things down and keep the room comfortable.
Grab one of the full-size towels from the bathroom and run it under cold water. Squeeze it out so it’s damp but not soaking wet and place it in front of an open window for a cooler breeze of air.
Do you know those little packets of butter that they offer in hotel buffets? While delicious, they’re notoriously difficult to spread, especially when they’re straight out of the cooler. And if you’ve ever tried to spread cold butter on toast, you know it doesn’t go over very well. If you’d like to be able to eat your toast with nice, melted butter, like the rest of us, set the butter packets on the top sides of the toaster right after you start toasting your bread.
The heat will help soften it so that by the time you’re ready to sit down and eat it should be soft enough to spread. This hack works for waffles, too, if you happen to luck out and get those as an option at your hotel’s buffet.
If you’re the type who needs music to lift their spirits (and just be the soundtrack of their lives,) you’ve probably got some great speakers at home. But when you’re on the road, you don’t need to be lugging around a bunch of extra audio equipment – no matter how much you love your tunes.
Luckily, there’s a way to blast your favorite songs in your hotel room that is loud enough for you to hear from across the hall, but not so loud that your neighbors call the front desk on you. Just stick your phone in a ceramic mug after you hit “play,” and listen to the magic happen.
Coffee Maker Ramen
Sometimes you may be in a situation where you’re staying in a hotel, but you can’t afford to spend $20 every day to order pizza, and your room may not have a kitchenette where you’ve got a microwave, etc. But even if you don’t have access to cooking equipment, you can still make your own food in your room.
You can use your coffee maker to boil the water necessary to make pre-made noodle cups, rice cups, or any kind of instant meal that just needs hot water to cook. There’s actually a lot more you can do with hot water than you might think! You can always bring along a hotplate, as well, if you want to be able to cook up some more options for you or your family.
These days, almost every hotel uses electronic key cards. Gone are the days of using actual, metal keys that you stick in and turn to open the door. The key cards are very convenient and easy to carry around in your wallet. But you’ve got to be careful about storing them around your phone or other electronics, because they can actually drain the power and cause the key to stop working.
You can avoid any loss of power by keeping your hotel key in a separate pocket of your pants or purse. And always ask the hotel for an extra, just to be on the safe side.
Ask the Front Desk
Hotels will go above and beyond to keep their guests happy. After all, they’re in the hospitality business and their main objective is keeping you happy and comfortable. But this doesn’t just mean a clean room and friendly customer service. If you get to your hotel and realize you’ve forgotten something necessary – you can almost guarantee that the front desk will help.
And even more than just necessities, sometimes they’ll have things you may not expect them to have – like different types of electronics, etc. So, before you panic and run out to buy a new one, check with the front desk staff to see if they’ve got any on hand!
Put A Cap on It
You may or may not use a shower cap in your daily life, but when you’re dealing with hotel stays you should absolutely make use of the disposable ones that you find in your room. Plastic shower caps serve multiple purposes for traveling. One way of utilizing them is to use one to cover your remote control. They likely don’t get sanitized after each stay, so who knows what kinds of germs are lurking on them.
You can also use them to wrap your shoes before packing them, so they don’t get dirt on the rest of your belongings.
Makeshift Dining Table
If you’ve got multiple kids and there isn’t a table or desk in your hotel room large enough for them to all sit at, try this hack to make dinner time a breeze on your vacation. You will always find an ironing board in your hotel’s closet, so set it up at the end of your bed and cover it with a towel to protect the top. This trick is great for a few reasons.
Your kids will love it because the end of the bed is usually right in front of the television, and you’ll love it because it’s easy to set and clean up. You can’t beat a hack that makes your life as a parent easier!
Tip Your Staff
Tipping on services is customary in the United States, although it’s easier to remember to tip some service providers than others. For instance, everyone knows you’re supposed to tip a pizza delivery driver or a server in a restaurant, but some may not think about tipping a hairstylist, etc. And, while the person working at the front desk of your hotel is probably making a great hourly rate, if you want them to really go above and beyond to accommodate you during your stay – slip them a $50 or so when you check-in.
In many cases, they will upgrade you, and in the best cases – they’ll upgrade you and won’t accept your tip (although most will.)
Let Them Know
If you’re traveling for a special occasion, like a honeymoon, anniversary or birthday, make sure you let the hotel know when you’re booking the stay. There are likely to be discount packages that come along with some really cool extras. Sure, it’s possible you’ll simply end up with a free dessert voucher, but you could also wind up in the honeymoon suite, if you’re really lucky.
In other cases, you may end up with free meals or tickets to special events being hosted by the hotel. And on the day that you check-in, make sure to mention it again to whoever you speak to at the desk.
While bathroom counters are one of the first things that hotel maids sanitize after every checkout, you still don’t want to trust it enough to lay your toothbrush on it, unprotected. If you don’t have a toothbrush holder, you can still make sure it stays safe and free of germs by using this hack.
Just unwrap one of the paper coffee cups, flip it upside down, poke a hole through the center and jam the toothbrush through. It will work perfectly as a holder for a day or two. And, if it starts to bend out of shape you can always just make another in a few seconds!
Hotels are a part of the hospitality and service industry. It is literally their main job to keep customers comfortable and satisfied, just like they would be if they were in their own home. So, if you’re ever on a trip and something happens to disrupt that comfort and satisfaction – make sure you say something to a manager.
If your room isn’t up to par or if something is broken, or if they didn’t have something that was advertised in their materials, or anything else – call the front desk, or better yet, go up there and ask to speak directly to management. Just remember to keep a level head and a cool tone when you do so. You will always catch more flies with honey…
Ask for Options
When you book a hotel room, you often look for the best-priced rooms – which can end up being the worst that they have to offer. A hotel could be pushing one price and showing pictures of beautiful rooms, but it may end up being that the low price is for the rooms that the hotel still hasn’t renovated, while the pictures are of the newer ones.
You can always flat out ask for an upgrade to make sure you wind up with one of the nicer suites, or you simply ask if they have any other options for you to see before they stick you with one room in particular.
Fogless Shave Station
After a steamy shower in the mornings, you may need to use the mirror right after. And rather than having to fight with the foggy mirror every day, you can try this hack that will prevent the fog for up to a few days. After your shower, take a bar of soap to the section of the mirror that you need to use to see yourself. Then, use a washcloth to buff out the soap to create an area that’s immune to the steam.
This hack works in any bathroom, too, so you can use it at home to save yourself some time and trouble as well.
Most hotels have some pretty decent conditioner, which is at the very least up to par with the store brand stuff that you could get at any supermarket or drugstore. But, if you’ve got your own conditioner to use for your hair, you can still get some use out of the little bottles that you get in a hotel.
If you need to handwash any delicate items, like underwear, use it in the sink to scrub out the clothes. You can also use conditioner to remove everything from eye makeup to Band-Aids and rings that have gotten stuck on a finger. Plus, if you’ve forgotten the shaving cream, it makes a great stand-in.
Use Your Signs
In almost every hotel room, you will have a sign hanging on the doorknob that has one side that says, "do not disturb" and another that says, "please clean room." If you hang the "do not disturb" sign, it will prevent any staff members from knocking on your door to attempt to clean your room, etc.
This is a really handy tool to have if you value your privacy and have no need for service in the mornings. Plus, it will also help to deter anyone else from bothering you, like thieves or any other shady characters roaming around the halls.
Check With Competitors
Earlier on this list, we discussed booking directly through the hotels to get the optimal rate, rather than dealing with third-party booking sites. But there’s a way to go even further than that to make sure you’re getting the very best deal.
Most hotels offer refundable rates and non-refundable rates. The refundable rates will typically be more expensive, but if you choose that route you can keep calling around to other hotels to try and find an even better one – and then you cancel your first one if you do. And, if you don’t, you always have your first choice to fall back on.
Be Wary of the Remote
Even if you’re in a 5-star hotel and everything around you looks like it’s clean enough to eat off of – you should still try out this hack. Hotel room remotes can be full of germs, because the staff most likely doesn't sanitize them after every guest checks out. And if someone uses the bathroom, or picks their nose, or worse, and then uses the remote, you’re going to end up grabbing right on to them.
To avoid any illnesses, you can use your plastic shower cap to cover the remote before using it. Sure, it may look funny, but if it saves you from a week of the flu, do you care?
Hotel Room Slam
There will be times when you’re in a hotel and, for some reason, you can’t, or don’t want to, eat out. Maybe you’re lacking the funds to drop a crazy amount on room service, or maybe there aren’t even any good places that deliver in the area. Or, maybe you just are the frugal type that prefers to save your money for things other than eating out.
Whatever the case may be, you can still eat in your room without dropping loads of money – think less than $1/meal. All you need is a cup of noodles and the coffee maker to put together a meal. You can always go the extra mile and add things like Doritos and nacho cheese to them for something more filling (and yummy).
Sometimes when you’re rushing around in the morning before check-out and you’re still a little sleepy, it can be easy to leave something behind. The last thing you want is to get a few hundred miles away and realize you left something important – like your phone charger. But there’s one thing you’re not going anywhere without - your keys.
So, to make sure you don’t forget your charger either, create a loophole with your charger and clip your keychain on it. That way, you know for sure you’ll remember to grab it. And to avoid leaving anything larger behind, do a double check of every corner of the room before you leave. Check the sides of the bed, too, just in case you dropped something.
Keep the Door Open
Hotel room doors are excellent for keeping people out, thanks to being super heavy and having all sorts of locks on them. What they aren’t good for, however, is allowing you to move things in and out of your room without a hassle. Rolling suitcases through your door can be a real pain, but this hack will save you a lot of trouble and make things much easier.
Use the hanger in your closet that loops all the way around and hang one of the corners of the wood over your extended deadbolt. It will hold the door open long enough for you to move everything in or out.
Free drinks are an amenity that most hotels offer these days. Most of the time, you’ll be able to snag some coffee from the lobby at any time, day or night, along with some cool water. But in the mornings, some hotels also offer juice. But the only cups that they have available to use (at least, the ones they advertise) are the tiny plastic ones.
If you’re sitting downstairs and eating, this is fine, but if you want to take your juice back to your room, that tiny little cup isn’t going to cut it. To get your fill of OJ, use one of the paper coffee cups instead. They’re made to fit a few more ounces of liquid inside.
Separate a Bed
When you’re traveling with the family, you’re probably going to want to save as much money as possible – which means everyone is going to have to share a bed, to avoid having to book multiple rooms. Your kids may or may not be happy about sharing a bed with their siblings, but to keep everything in order and everyone on their side, use pillows to separate one of the queen-sized beds.
Call down to the desk and ask for extras if you don’t have enough to sleep comfortably after making your makeshift bed separator. You can also request a cot, which most hotels will gladly bring up for you to use.
Steam Wrinkles Out
Most hotels these days have an ironing board in every room, especially the types that attract a corporate clientele. But there are others where you’ll find yourself with wrinkly clothes and not an ironing board in sight. Don’t worry, there’s still something you can do to get the wrinkles out.
Hang the garments over your shower rack, shut the bathroom door and crank up the hot water. Just like a steam press, the steam will whip your clothes back into shape. If you’re in a hurry, you can multitask by taking a shower at the same time you’re waiting for your wrinkles to disappear!
TV to Phone Charging
One of the main tips you’ll hear from those who travel internationally is to remember to bring your power converters, because different countries have different types of plugs. The last thing you want to do is start to unwind at a hotel thousands of miles away from home and realize your phone is dying, but when you go to plug it in, realize that you can’t! But even if you run into this situation, don’t panic, because there’s still a way for you to charge your cell.
Just use the USB port on the back of the TV, which you should be able to find almost anywhere. And, if worse comes to worst, and your hotel doesn’t have a TV with a USB port, try calling the front desk to see if they have any converters on hand. If they have a high volume of international guests, it’s likely that they will.
Water, Water Everywhere!
It’s a good habit to bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go, anyways. As humans, we’re supposed to stay hydrated by drinking between 60-140 ounces of water each day, depending on our weight. But if you forgot to bring your water bottle with you on your trip, the hotel should be able to help you out. Most modern hotels have a water cooler in the lobby, and another in the gym.
Between the two, you should be able to get your daily fill with no issues. If you don’t want to keep walking back and forth to refill your little plastic cup, use one of the larger paper coffee cups, which will last you a bit longer. Plus, you can usually find a lid for those, which is nice to have when you’re on the go, even if you are just drinking water.
Some hotels offer free shuttles to and from bars and restaurants in the immediate area. But most of the time, they’ll only take you so far, within a couple of miles from the location. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to thoroughly enjoy your vacation, without worrying about having to drive home from a late dinner with friends.
Uber and Lyft are popular pretty much everywhere these days, so install the apps on your phone and put them to use – everywhere!
If you’re not an early morning person, or if you just had a late night and you need to sleep it off, checking out of a hotel in the early morning can be extremely inconvenient. Luckily, most hotels offer late checkout options for those exact situations.
Most of the time, you can only extend it by a couple of hours. But still, 1 pm is a lot better than 11 am when you had a rough night and you need the extra shut-eye!
Make Use of the Concierge
Hotel front desk people may not have entered into the hospitality industry because they love pleasing people, but that’s exactly why hotels exist. So, while they’re there, they’re supposed to help make your stay as easy and fun as possible. This means that if for any reason during your stay you find yourself lacking something that you need, you can call the front desk and they will do everything in their power to help remedy the situation.
They can also suggest the best restaurants and shopping in the area, etc., since they’re locals and will know the place well.
Be Nice, Even About Complaints
Even though it’s the concierge’s job to make you happy, that doesn’t mean you should lash out at them about everything that you’re unhappy with about your stay. If something is off, speak to them calmly about it and don’t get too upset.
You don’t want to make the situation worse on yourself or your family. Plus, if you make friends with the front desk staff, your stay will be a lot more enjoyable – and you may even find yourself with some great upgrades!
Take the Comforter Off of the Bed
If you’ve ever seen any type of reality show or comedy where they use black lights on hotel room comforters, you know exactly how dirty they can be. Sheets and pillowcases get washed after every guest (or every couple of days, if you’re staying for an extended period of time.) Comforters, on the other hand, get put right back on the bed and straightened out to look acceptable.
If you care even a little bit about germs, you don’t want to lay anywhere near or around those things. Take them off, toss them on a chair or in a corner and sleep with the sheets and thin blanket.
Just like comforters, hotel floors are notoriously filthy. Some will be worse than others, because 5-star resorts keep their floors a lot cleaner than some motel on the side of the highway will. Even if they vacuum them every day, it’s likely that something will be lingering around, and you want to avoid stepping on it.
Never, ever walk around barefoot in hotel rooms. If you don’t want to keep your shoes on, bring a pair of slippers for when you’re ready to kick back and relax.
24-Hour Wake Up Calls
Almost every hotel offers wakeup calls, which are extremely handy to have when you’re traveling alone and you’ve got obligations, like business meetings in the morning. Of course, even if you’re just on vacation and don’t want to miss the tour you’ve got lined up with the kids the next day, take advantage of the hotel’s wakeup calls.
And, if you’ve got a job where you work remotely or have odd hours, you can request them for any time, day or night.
You will most likely use your credit card to check-in and pay for everything, from the actual room, to room service and anything else you can charge during your stay. But there will be things that require cash, like vending machines and games in the arcade – and sometimes, things happen.
Machines break down and reject dollar bills, so it’s best to have a backup plan. Plus, a handful of quarters will keep the kids busy in the game corner of the lobby for a while.
Use a Hanger to Hold the Door
Traveling is not easy. You have suitcases, carry-ons, backpacks and all kinds of possessions hanging off your body. Getting them into your hotel is no easy feat, especially if you don't have a bellboy on hand. If this is the case you have to be left to your own devices.
Luckily you can use your hotel hangers in your closet. Just pull one out that's still hanging on the rail and hold open your hotel door. This way you can come in and out with ease.
Plastic Bottle Covers
Have a bunch of leaking shampoo and conditioner bottles? No problem. Just remove the plastic packaging from the free cups supplied to you and place it onto the lids of the bottles.
Screw the caps back down and voila, you have leak-free bottles. Pop them into your bags and take them where you over. The liquid is guaranteed to stay put.
Restock Your Minibar
Afraid of tucking into that minibar? We don't blame you. As tempting as those goodies appear all lined up in your fridge, indulging in those treats come with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, you can still use it, even if you don't' consume the snacks and drinks. You can still use the space.
That's right. Just go to the local supermarket and buy your own snacks and sodas. You can fill up your hotel minibar until your heart's content. Just make sure that you separate accordingly. You don't want to accidentally drink that expensive bottle of Perrier soda water.
Use a Box of Matches as a Nail File
Who needs a trip to the nail salon when you have everything you need right in your hotel room. Not sure what to use? Try the free match book. Yep, you can use the rough side of the matchbook to file down your nails. You don't need to spend a fortune on a trip to the nail salon or even buy a nail file.
Just use your complimentary matchbox and have manicured nails at the snap of a finger. If it starts to lose its effect, you can just ask your hotel for another one!
Get an AAA Membership
You would be surprised at the number of benefits you can get with an AAA membership. According to travel maestro, New York Times best selling author and founder of the Travel Hacking Cartel, Chris Guillebeau, an AAA membership can go a long way.
Travelers can save an average of 5% - 10% at numerous hotels. Even on the occasions that you don't save money, cancellations can be done until the day of arrival. This kind of flexibility can serve you in the long run.
Take Advantage of Credit Card Sign-Up
Bonuses If ever offered hotel credit cards, don't be put off by the steep sign up prices. According to Matt Kepnes aka Nomadic Matt, the author of How to Travel the World on $50 USD Per Day, he says that this little trick can actually pay off. Even if signing up has a cost attached to it.
These accumulated sign-up bonuses can actually get you a week's worth of free accommodation. Yup, these little hotel credit perks can really take you from your average Joe traveler to savvy jet-setter.
Stick to a Brand
If you've learned from the few above-mentioned tips, you'll start to see that traveling perks are in large part due to customer loyalty and status. An easy way of racking up points for low cost is to pick the cheapest hotel out of a specific hotel chain, for example, Park Hyatt vs. Hyatt House or Hyatt Place, or one of the Hiltons and stick to that.
These places don't cost you an arm and a leg and offer loyalty programs and since these systems are based on the number of nights and not dollars spent get status is pretty easy. Before you know it, you could be enjoying a complimentary dinner in an upgraded room and your favorite hotel.
Groupon Last-Minute Deals
Not everyone is as flexible when it comes to traveling. For many, it's super important to play it safe, but if you're not such a stickler for planning (and nerves of steel), Groupon is your secret weapon against rookie traveling money traps. The investment banker turned full-time traveler and writer Kriston Addis swears by the Groupon method to find great deals.
You can pick up a room in Las Vegas for way less, but of course, flexibility is the name of the game,
Running out of cost-cutting ideas? Exhausted every possible travel hack? Fear not. For this one, all you need is 5 minutes and a laptop. Yes, all you need to do is to write a review. By simply asking hotel management if they happen to be on Trip Advisor, you are pretty much guaranteed to get a cool upgrade or at least a free breakfast.
Sabrina Iovino of JustOneWayTicket.com says this has been her saving grace when traveling and can really turn around her stay. Be sure to stick to your word though, remember, loyalty pays.
It's highly likely that when booking into a hotel, you're probably getting one of the least desirable rooms. Managers and hotel owners tend to want to get rid of these ones first. To prevent this, inspect the room beforehand, you are completely in your right to find your perfect room. You may as well get your money's worth.
This way you can get the best room your money can get instead of the ugly and sunless room the hotel was trying to give you.
Catch that WiFi
Losing out on all that wifi abundance? All you need is Range Extender. This little device that you can get on Amazon or any electronic shop will give you a full range of wifi connectivity out there.
You will never have to scrounge for wifi again.
A big part of traveling is often spent on busses, trains or even waiting in line, and as an outsider, you may not always be connected. While it's great to absorb the foreign landscapes around you, you can't exactly stare out the bus window for 6 hours straight. What can you do?
Download videos from Youtube. Use that downtime in your hotel to download entertaining videos to keep you entertained during those lags. There are a plethora of online converters that can do this. Just stick in the URL and there you go.
Portable Beer Cooler
We mentioned the beer cooler method above. But seeing as you can't exactly walk around with a sink all day, we propose that you try the mobile method. Simply take a hotel trash can (a clean one of course), fill it with ice, and bam, you have your ice bucket filled with beers and sodas.
Now you can sit by the pool-side with your refreshments by your side and not spend any money doing so.
Keep the Power on While You’re Away
To keep your room nice and warm, or cool, depending on where you're staying, leave your ket card in the power slot when you leave the room. This might not be a favorite for the energy saver and more environmentally conscious traveler, but if you're staying in a place with extreme weather conditions, this might come in handy.
Many newer and more modern hotels use this method of the card system to control power usage. You can also just use any old card to keep the power on.
Ask for Dishware
This could perhaps be nice to counter the over usage of power and is also nice if you get take out so you don't have to feel that you're eating out of boxes. Just ask your hotel if you could use some dishware and silverware. They will have no problem to oblige.
Need a bowl for your snacks? The hotel surely has one. Just call up the front desk and make your request. Remember, they're there to make you stay as pleasant as possible. Make use of it!
Don't Forget the Hairdryer
Hotels come with all kinds of useful things, shampoos, creams, soaps, mini appliances, and even hair dryers. You can, of course, use this for your hair, but you can also use this for other things! And if you packed formalwear, this can be particularly handy.
Just hang up your suit or shirt and simply "air iron" the creases out with your hairdryer. Put it on medium heat and just rub it up and down until it's perfect.
Use Duct Tape to Childproof Your Room
There can be some hazardous things around hotels, especially when it comes to kids. It's best to keep them out of harm's way. The most practical way to do this is duct tape. Every travel blogger can attest to this and can it can be any traveler's life.
While there are hotels that have taken precautions, you can still never be too careful. This is why duct tape can come in handy. You can tape down electrical outlets, loose wires, and even sharp corners.
Forget Room Service
Room service is a great way to indulge, but if we are honest with ourselves, it's a kind of an unnecessary way to spend our money. Hotels charge for this and rightly so. But there are ways around this that can still make you enjoy a night-in in your hotel.
You can avoid this by simply going down to the restaurant and ordering it to go. It's the same tasty food for no extra charge! You might lose out on the fancy plates though, but that is a small price to pay for...well free service.
DIY Facial Treatment
Can't afford a session at the hotel spa? No worries, just stay in and do it yourself. Your hotel room supplies you with an abundance of things, some of which you can use for your very own spa treatment. Right next to your complimentary coffee supplies are little packets of sugar. You can just use these as a facial scrub.
Just add it to some lotion (you can get that from the hotel too) and gently rub your face. Your skin will be as smooth as ever, and all completely for free.
Take the Toiletries
Take advantage of the hotel's mini bottles of shampoos, conditioners. And even if you don't use them, take them home. These hotels have endless supplies of these things, and they're meant for you anyway! may as well make use of them.
It can be super practical to travel around with these. They are perfectly sized to fit in your carry-on and if you find that you didn't use them all, you can donate them or pass them onto travelers in need.
Wash Your Clothes in the Bathtub or Sink
Having fresh and clean clothes while you're traveling is a real hassle. It's also never a pleasant thing to have to lug around dirty clothes at the bottom of your backpack or suitcase. If y you're in a vibrant city, you can probably find laundromats, but those cost money. There is a better way.
You can always wash your clothes in your hostel or hotel bathtub. Just get a small amount of detergent from the local supermarket (or sneak some from the hotel) and simply do your laundry in the tub in your hotel bathroom and them hang them up to dry (don't forget the hairdryer trick). You will have perfectly fresh and clean clothing for the remainder of your trip.