Smart Hotel Hacks To Improve Your Vacation

Some travel all the time because of work, and others do it for leisure. These trips might be luxurious if you have the money, but the truth is that you don’t need a lot to enjoy a vacation. Luckily, we also have gathered a bunch of interesting hotel hacks that will save you time, money, and make your stay at the local inn much more pleasant. From isolating terrible noises to keeping your clothes fresh, let’s discover these amazing tricks!

Image Credits: Pinterest

Image Credits: Pinterest


NO MORE LEAKY TOILETRIES

None of us like traveling with toiletries at risk of leaking or exploding in our bag. But you can fix this easily by taking a small plastic bag and screwing it under the cap of your shampoo or soap bottle. That way, all leaks will be prevented. 

Image Credit: Reddit/ Brett Riverboat

Image Credit: Reddit/ Brett Riverboat


KEY CARD TIP

Do you always get annoyed with having to put your key in the room key card slot in order to turn on your lights? Worry no more, because actually, any card will do. Just take your used metro card or anything else of the same size, stick it in the slot, and keep it in there for constant electricity access. 

Image Credit: Twitter/ Jay Harris

Image Credit: Twitter/ Jay Harris


BOTTLE OPENER

Sometimes, you might feel like cracking open a cold one in your hotel room. But what if there is no bottle opener to be found? You can still enjoy a relaxing evening! Just look at the door closer, it works like magic, and you will wonder why you were even bothered with regular openers. 

Image Credit: Reddit/ rlanthony

Image Credit: Reddit/ rlanthony


A HACK FOR THE DOOR

If you are traveling with a bunch of people or have a lot of luggage, it can get pretty annoying to travel back and forth. Luckily, if the door is near the closet, you can use a hanger to hook the door and keeps it open while you try to settle in. Just make sure no one walks into your room in the process.

Image Credit: Pinterest

Image Credit: Pinterest


DON’T TOUCH THE MINIBAR

Of course, people know that the minibar is way overpriced. However, most folks have no idea that if they pick a tiny bottle of whiskey or a pack of Pringles, they might get charged too. Some modern hotels have automated minibars that sense this, and they add it immediately to your bill, even if you returned it. Some of them might remove those charges if you can prove that you didn’t consume the products, but beware!

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


TAKE CONCIERGE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT

Of course, asking the staff for recommendations is a great way to experience the local color, but it’s not always an unbiased opinion. The hotel owner might actually own a restaurant or a bar in the area, and employees will always lure you towards them. It’s best to do your own research and then ask them about the places.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


STAY FOR A LONG TIME

Erin Bender from Travel with Bender says that if you have to stay somewhere for more than a week, you can call the hotel in advance and ask for discounts. Apparently, it’s much better to keep one guest for longer, than to get a new one.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


ASK THE FRONT DESK

Some people might panic while packing, but you don’t need to worry if you forgot something. Many hotels have everything you could possibly need, and it’s not just free soap or shampoo. Many establishments have hair straighteners, and some even have some video game consoles for children.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


CALL IN ADVANCE

Even if you don't know the general manager because you are trying out a hotel for the first time, it’s always a good idea to call in advance. Professional traveler Mick Richard is the founder of Vagabondish.com, and he explained, "This works especially well with mom-and-pop hotels or smaller chains."

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


DISCOVER A SECRET HOTEL ROOM

You might be wondering what a secret hotel room is. Well, they are rooms sold at lower prices because the establishment doesn’t want them to be empty. However, the catch is that you won’t know which hotel you would like to stay in. These places offer discounts from 20% to 50%. You can check out LastMinute.com’s secret hotels and Hotwire’s hidden offers.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


DON’T ABUSE ROOM SERVICE

It might be nice to get room service every once in a while, but unfortunately, it can be very expensive in the long run. It would be better to pack things like ramen for your room if you don’t want to eat out. You would be able to boil water in the coffee maker easily. Also, carrying some portable appliances is helpful too.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


TRANSFER THE MILES FOR YOUR REGULAR CREDIT CARD

Kepnes signs up for the bonuses at hotels, but he also recommends universal miles, especially travel rewards credit cards. That way, you can move your accumulated points to airline and hotel systems. "You can transfer those points to hotel loyalty programs and redeem them for free rooms."

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


THE SHOWER CAP IS IMPORTANT

Although not everyone uses a shower cap, you can actually use the one provided by the hotel for other things. If you forgot to bring bags, you can keep your dirty shoes inside them to avoid damaging your clothes. They can also be used to cover the remote control if you’re afraid that it might be too dirty.

Image credits: Pinterest

Image credits: Pinterest


WARMING BUTTER

One with the butter at a hotel is that it’s just too cold and hard to spread it on your bread. Instead of waiting or eating your breakfast with cold butter, you can just put the packets on top of the toaster. After your bread pops, your butter will be perfect for use. We all need some butter on our toast in the morning.

Image credits: Twitter

Image credits: Twitter


TIP WITH A $20

This might not be a great hack for saving money, but sometimes, you have to slip someone a bit of money to get a better service. People that travel all the time recommend giving the front desk a $20 when you give them your driver’s license and you will probably be given an upgrade. Sometimes, they might reject the tip, but no harm no foul.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


FIND PRICE GUARANTEES

Deia Bong, travel and contributor to Nomad Wallet, explained the benefits of price guarantees. the hotel directly, you can start accumulating loyalty points. "Some hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton will match the lowest price you can find and give you freebies or further discounts on top of it."

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


GIVING THEM NOTICE OF A SPECIAL OCCASION

Some people are traveling for a special occasion like a honeymoon, birthday, a bar mitzvah or even a christening. Well, it’s always better to let the hotel know in advance, as they will most likely offer you a deal for your event. You might even get an unexpected upgrade. All you need to do is be polite to the staff, and they’ll take care of you.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


PLACING YOUR TOOTHBRUSH

Unfortunately, hotels won’t give you a cup for your toothbrush and placing it on the vanity does not seem hygienic. Even if they clean the place all the time, you can never know. Luckily, you can just grab a paper cup, cut it in the middle and put your toothbrush through the hole. Now, it won’t be touching any surfaces.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


NEVER PUT YOUR BAGS ON THE BED

Unfortunately, bed bugs are one of those things that come along with constant travelings. These critters are even worse than mosquitoes, and they can catch a ride back to your house through your luggage. Therefore, it’s best to keep them by the bathroom. Then, check out the bed, the chairs, or the couch in the room. Do it even if you’re at a 5-star hotel.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


FILE A COMPLAINT

People make mistakes, but sometimes, some services are simply unsatisfactory. Your room might not have hot water, or the front desk might have forgotten your wake-up call. Some folks might hesitate to complain, but you have to do it. Just remember to be respectful even with your criticism, and the manager will most likely give you a discount to compensate.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


NEVER USE THE BEDDING

We have already discussed the horrors of bed bugs, but you should always be wary of the bedding in the room. While a hotel will wash and change sheets regularly, the same cannot be said for this one. Bedspreads that have no stains might not get washed ever. So, we recommend just putting it in the corner of the room.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


LOOK AT SEVERAL ROOMS

If you’re not the kind of person to tip the front desk for an upgrade, you can just ask to see several of the rooms available. Most hotels try to fill the worst rooms. There’s no harm in asking to see something better, and you might discover one room with a much better view, instead of a window that overlooks the parking lot.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


GET A BETTER STATUS WITH YOUR CARD

Al-Nawaz Rajan normally stays at great hotels for the prices of 2-star places, and he recommends using platinum cards to get upgrades at hotels. these systems have expensive fees, but he says it’s worth it.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


THE FOGGY MIRROR

You might also try this hack at home, especially men that need to shave in the morning. Some people wait for the fog in the mirror to clear or wipe it with a towel, but all you really need to do to clear it is rub a bar of soap in the mirror. Then, you use a dry cloth to buff the entire mirror. This will stop it from getting foggy ever again.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


THE DO NOT DISTURB SIGN

If you think that the hotel you’re staying at is not the best ever, or accidentally argued with the cleaning staff, you might be better off leaving the sign in place. That way, no one will enter your room, and you won’t have to worry about stolen items. When the sign is on the door, people assume you’re in the room anyway too.

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


BROWSE AROUND FOR BETTER HOTELS

One great tip is to book a room for the refundable price, and then you can browse around the area for better offers. It might seem like the more expensive option, but you can always cancel and get your money back in full. Furthermore, if you decide that the other hotels are not better, you can switch to a non-refundable amount at your original choice.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


YOU CAN BOIL EGGS TOO

Some people boil their underwear in the kettle, and you really should avoid that. It’s really unsanitary. However, you can actually use that method to boil an egg, and you will have the same delicious breakfast as anyone who went to the buffet. But you get to save around $20, which is always awesome. Some people have actually boiled pasta in the hotel room’s kettle.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


WATCH OUT FOR ALTERNATIVE EXITS

Most hotels will have a sign for the emergency exit, but most people ignore it until the worst moment. Accidents can happen, especially in a building where are all kinds of wires and there’s a kitchen. A lot of folks have had to wake up in the middle of the night fire. So, it’s best to be one step ahead.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


MAKING YOUR OWN DINNER

By the end of your travels, you might be tired of the hotel buffet and grow a dislike for all the restaurants in the area. However, you can always pop down to the local convenience store for some quick snacks that you can make in the room. As mentioned before, ramen is easy to make in the hotel coffee pot. You can even make a sandwich.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


COMPLETE DARKNESS

When you are in an unfamiliar place, you might have trouble sleeping, especially if the lights of this new city are too bright. Most of the time, you won’t be able to arrange the curtains so there is no gap in between. However, you just need to grab the pants hangers from the closet and press the drapes with the clips to keep them shut.

Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor


ACCUMULATE STATUS FOR A LATE CHECK-IN

We have already recommended using points to get a better status at the hotel. You might get a bunch of perks with that. Additionally, if you have great status at the hotel, you might be able to check-in late. Some hotels could end up giving your room away after a certain time, but people with more points get to keep their reservations.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


TRY THE HOTEL CREDIT CARD AND BONUSES

Matt Kepnes travels all over the world since 2006, and he says that it’s always better to apply for the hotel credit card and adding the sign-up bonuses. That way, you might even have a week’s worth of free things, but most people about these benefits that will save you money in the long run, especially if you travel all the time.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


TAKE ALL YOUR VALUABLES

Unfortunately, when you’re trying to relax, you often forget about your things. This will happen often in your life. One thing you can do to avoid missing valuable items like your keys, wallet, and your phone is to take them with you every single day. You can even loop your charging chord in the keychain and take that as well.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


ALWAYS HAVE ALERTS FOR PRICE DROPS

Luckily, we live in an era of technology, and there are websites that constantly update their prices. Instead of checking them every day, just have the alerts turned on. That way, you will get notifications on your phone or email. Try out Hotels.com and Kayak as they won’t overflow your inbox either.

Image credits: Pixabay

Image credits: Pixabay


A TIP FOR BREAKFAST

Unfortunately, hotels purposely put small cups next to the juice machines, and you often have to get up constantly to refill it. Luckily, there is a perfect solution for that. You just need to grab the large coffee cup and use it for your morning OJ. Some places have lids for coffee; so it’s even more convenient.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


ONE BED FOR ALL

Families often travel together, but being in one room with all of them can get pretty cramped after a while. It’s always best to ask for an extra bed cot, and you can always divide one bed into separates spaces. That way, they won’t be in each other’s space all the time, and it will definitely save you some fights.

Image credits: Pinterest - Walking on Travels

Image credits: Pinterest - Walking on Travels


NO MORE IRON

There are many hotels that offer irons at the front desk, as many rooms have ironing tables as well. However, you don’t have to waste time ironing your clothes. A perfect hack is to put all your garments in the bathroom while your shower. The steam of the hot water will make sure that there are no more wrinkles in your clothes.

Image credits: Reddit/Scrubbb

Image credits: Reddit/Scrubbb


USING THE TELEVISION FOR CHARGING

There are different kinds of power outlets in the world, and if you forgot to bring an adapter, you might not be able to charge your phone. Luckily, you might be able to do it with your room’s television. USB ports are pretty universal, and you can plug it on the port behind your TV. Most hotels have modern TVs these days.

Image credits: Huffpost.com

Image credits: Huffpost.com


ALWAYS HAVE A WATER BOTTLE

Unfortunately, you might be stuck in your room without water for a whole night, and that can be annoying. Bringing water with you is not always practical, but you can bring an empty water bottle everywhere. Don’t fill it up with tap water, though. If the hotel has a gym, it’s best to fill your bottle at their water cooler.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


SIGNING UP FOR AAA

Professional travelers from all over the world have many different tips to give you. Chris Guillebeau is the founder of the Travel Hacking Cartel. He says that when he doesn’t use frequent flyer miles, AAA saves his day. 

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


MATCHING YOUR STATUS

If you have a designated status with a hotel chain or brand, you might be able to get it from other hotels. Elizabeth Houck shares her advice online, and she says that you only have to call the loyalty line and request it.

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


GET STATUS AT CHEAPER PLACES

When you’re starting out getting statues, Elizabeth recommends focusing on one brand, and this doesn’t have to be expensive. "Most hotel loyalty programs are based on nights, not dollars spent. If you need X number of nights for status in a particular program, consider short one-night stays in a 'lesser' property to achieve status for fewer bucks."

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


ALWAYS PACK THE NIGHT BEFORE LEAVING

There’s really nothing worse than forgetting something in the hotel room, especially if you’re traveling abroad. You will never it back. Therefore, it’s best to avoid having to pack in a rush on the day of the flight. It’s best to just leave everything organized, as you are probably always tired from your travels.

Image credits: Unsplash

Image credits: Unsplash


ADDING SOME HUMIDITY

While some people might hate humidity during their travels, anyone who has spent time in a hotel room probably knows how it feels to be dry. However, you can fix this easily by using a suitcase rack and putting a damp towel on top. Now, just put the rack by the radiator so that you won’t shrivel like a raisin in the sun.

Image credits: Twitter

Image credits: Twitter


WASHING YOUR CLOTHES

Sometimes, you have to travel with your kids and desperately need to do some laundry. However, hotel laundry is horribly expensive and there might not be a laundromat nearby. If it’s just a few pieces of clothing, you can just use your sink. You only need some plastic and some coins to seal the drain and wash away!

Image credits: Amomedia

Image credits: Amomedia


SEARCH FOR BUSINESS HOTELS

Jeanette Pavini from Coupons.com says that many business hotels actually have better offers than popular, commercial ones. This is even truer if you are visiting Europe, and it’s because many of these establishments don’t have a lot of business during summer – when everyone’s on vacation – or even the weekends.  

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


TALK TO THE GENERAL MANAGER

Houck also explained that she always gets upgraded to a king suite at a certain establishment because she emailed the general manager. It was after a bad experience. "I wrote the GM about the experience and he was happy to extend a fantastic rate for me to give the hotel another chance."

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


USE THE COUNTRY’S CURRENCY

Addis also recommends using the country’s currency arbitrage to get discounts. She said, "Sometimes looking at booking engines specifically geared towards Australia, for example, can result in savings if booking in Australian Dollars. If I'm using a travel credit card that doesn't charge fees for foreign transactions and has fair rates for currency conversion, it can be a great way to save some money on a room."

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


NO MORE GERMS

Legend has it that the dirtiest thing in a hotel room is the remote control. Almost everything else is normally cleaned, and the bedsheets are changed, but this item is always the same. Therefore, it’s best to cover it with a plastic bag or a shower cap from the bathroom. Germaphobes will be grateful for this hack.

Image Credit: Reddit/ Nwa1348

Image Credit: Reddit/ Nwa1348


NO MORE NOISE

You might be staying in a busy hotel, especially if you’re traveling in high seasons like summer. Sometimes, the walls are just too thin, and people can be loud during vacation. You might not be able to switch rooms either. So, the best you can do is take an extra towel and wedge it between the crack by the door. This will help significantly.

Image credits: Pinterest

Image credits: Pinterest


SEARCH IN BOOKING SITES FOR PRICE GUARANTEES AND BENEFITS

Deia also recommends, "If you don't like the idea of sticking with one hotel chain's loyalty program, use booking sites with lowest-price guarantees instead. I personally like the loyalty program at Hotels.com, which gives you one free night for every 10 nights you book through the website — this goes for the 100,000 eligible hotels on the website."

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock


LET THEM KNOW OF A SPECIAL OCCASION

As mentioned earlier, hotels make special accommodations for special events. Nicole Connolly always calls in advance. "If you are visiting a hotel for a special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary, let the property know when you make your booking as many hotels will give you a complimentary upgrade to help you celebrate."

Image credits: Pexels

Image credits: Pexels


GIVE THEM A REVIEW

Sabrina Iovino has traveled the world since 2008, and if she didn’t get a deal in advance, she always negotiates it at the hotel. "It helps to mention something like 'are you also on Tripadvisor? I'd love to write a review..." However, be careful not to fall into the r/ChoosingBeggars stereotype. 

Image credits: Shutterstock

Image credits: Shutterstock