How to get the Most out of Your Hotel Stay
Whether you are planning your next business trip or splurging on a family vacation, you will most likely be sleeping in a hotel. This is often a large percent of a vacation/trip budget and we want to help you get the most out of your next hotel stay. From ways to save you money to how to get the most from your hotel, we have amazing ways for you to make sure your next hotel stay (and every future one) is the best.
If you are staying at a non-hotel property, like a cabin, rented home, or other lodging accommodation, don’t worry, as many of these tips and tricks will also help you get the most out of your stay. These tips and tricks are not destination specific so they will help you get the most out of your stay no matter where it is located.
- Compare Prices – When booking your next stay make sure to compare the prices on discount booking sites to booking directly with the hotel. While many hotels are able to offer lower prices through discount booking sites, it is not always the case. Hotels frequently run specials, offer discounts for various organization memberships, and offer bundled packages which include meals or other attractions. These all need to be considered if trying stretch your budget.
- Check-In Early/Check-Out Late – While this is not always guaranteed at properties, it never hurts to ask. Many hotels are not 100% booked each night so they can easily let you check-in early or check-out later than the posted times. Give your hotel a call before arriving and ask if there is a way to check-in early, we do this often and have only been turned down once due to a hotel being overbooked. Upon checking in, ask if you can check-out late. They will usually allow you at least an extra hour and this can be spent sleeping in or taking advantage of the hotel amenities.
- Know the Hotel Amenities – Before you book your hotel, make sure you are aware of all the amenities/perks that your hotel offers. This will allow you to take full advantage of them and get the most for your money. During one hotel stay, we took advantage of their free hot breakfast buffet and complimentary dinner time appetizer buffet to save money on meals. By planning our schedule accordingly, we only had to pay for lunch each day. While checking out the amenities that a hotel has to offer make sure you are aware what is free and what is charged. There is nothing worse than trying to get some work done at the end of the day or stream your favorite show and be surprised that the internet will cost you. Be prepared and check out the hotel’s website or call ahead to find out what they offer.
- Be Brand Loyal – If you travel frequently, it can help to be loyal to one hotel brand. Most brands offer a loyalty program that allows you to earn free night stays, upgrades, and more. By staying with the same brand when you travel you will earn rewards that you can use towards future travel. If you travel frequently to the same city, staying at the same hotel will also make you a regular to the staff and (as long as you treat them courteously) will mean that they will be more willing to go out of their way to accommodate your requests.
- Don’t Forget to Tip – Make sure that you tip anyone who helps you during your stay. This can include the bellhop, front desk staff, housekeeping, and maintenance. Even a small tip can go a long way in showing your gratitude for a service performed. It will also make them more likely to go out of their way for you. Even if you are staying only one night, leaving a few dollars for housekeeping is appreciated.
- Pack Your Favorite Tea or Coffee – If you have a special coffee or tea that you prefer find out what type of coffee maker the hotel has so that you can bring your own. Pack it in a ziplock bag so that it doesn’t end up all over the items in your suitcase. This is also true for coffee creamer and sugar substitutes. If you don’t mind using what the hotel has, remember you can ask for more if you use up what is in the room.
- Hotel Room Hacks – These simple hacks will help you use the things in your room to meet your needs during your stay.
- Pants Hanger – Keep the light out of your room from outside by using the pants hanger to hold curtains together if they won’t stay closed. This will help you sleep in a little later and keep out the light from parking lot lights when trying to sleep at night.
- In Room Refrigerator – These are not just for storing dinner leftovers but allow you to bring your own beverages to save on trips to the vending machines. You can also use it to hold refrigerated foods so you can still eat healthy while traveling.
- Shower Cap or Laundry Bag – If you don’t need to use either of these for their intended purpose, they can be used to hold dirty shoes to keep your clean clothes and items clean when packing. The laundry bag is also a great way to store your dirty clothes vs. inside a clean suitcase.
- Extra Room Card/Key – This is important if you are staying at a hotel that requires you put your room card in a slot for the AC to run or power outlets to work. If you want to return to a cooled room or a charged laptop, leave the extra card./key in the slot while you are away.
- Toiletries – Save room in your suitcase by using the hotel toiletries, if you need more than what is there just ask. Many hotels also offer free toothbrushes, razors, etc if you forget to pack a needed item. Make sure to call down and ask before heading out to buy them at the local store.
Now that you have read through our amazing tips and tricks, we are confident that you will be able to make the most of your next hotel stay. If you have tips or tricks that you use, that are not listed above, we would love to hear them. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you maximize your hotel stays.