Hotels are supposed to be a way for you and your family to relax and enjoy a carefree vacation. But whether traveling around the city or chilling out by the beach, a little prep can go a long way toward enjoying your stay. Hotels, in particular, can make or break an enjoyable trip. So, we've listed a few hacks to help ensure your vacation is as easy, smooth, and affordable as possible. You'll be surprised by just how easy it is to score the perfect vacation with these!
No Minibar in the Room? Do This to Chill Your Drinks
Okay, so the mini-fridge is really mini. Sometimes it's packed with expensive goods you don't want to spend your hard-earned cash on. Or, you might not even have a fridge at all. This isn't ideal if you've packed your favorite wine or beverages and have no place to keep them cool. A simple remedy to this issue starts with a bag of ice. Some hotels have free ice. If not, just pop into the local supermarket and grab a bag.
Now, head over to the bathroom sink and put in the plug. Run a little cold water into the basin, then fill it with your ice. Pop in your bottled drinks, and you've got a mini chiller for the night.
Save Precious Ironing Time by Steaming Your Vacation Clothes in the Shower
When it comes to pressing clothes while traveling, there are usually two options. You either pay for expensive laundering services, or you have to pull out the board (often found inside the wardrobe) and put some elbow grease in. Either way, you're coughing up big bucks or working during your precious vacation time. So, what's to be done? Well, here's an easy and quick way to flatten out those wrinkles...
All you need to do is put your clothes on a hanger inside the bathroom. Then, when someone takes a shower in the morning, your clothes get steam ironed. Since hotel bathrooms are usually small and not well ventilated, you should see a noticeable difference.
Use The Hanger Trick to Ensure a Good Night's Rest
There's nothing worse than the feeling of being peered in on when you're staying in an unfamiliar place. Unfortunately, hotel curtains always seem to have a pesky gap that you can never quite close. You've tried the delicate tug, but it just won't close. Needless to say, closed curtains are a must if you like 100% privacy or simply want to avoid that 6 am streak of light. So, here's an easy solution.
Just grab a hanger from the wardrobe. You want the kind with the little clips attached. Then, peg your curtains together tightly, and voila! No more sunlight wake-up calls for you.
Make a DIY Night Stand When There Isn't One Available
Who doesn't love the convenience of a nightstand? You can pop your phone and essentials on it to have beside you at all times. But unfortunately, not all hotel rooms are equipped with this necessity. Or, perhaps, you've got a few people staying in one room, and you pulled the short straw and can't quite reach the table. So instead of grappling around at night trying to grab your phone to read that message, here's an easy bedtime solution.
Most hotels pull the sheets really tightly over the bed. You can use this tension to your advantage: pull the sheet out at the sides, fold over the edge, and tuck it back in. It'll provide a little pocket where you can tuck your phone. So, it'll always be at arm's reach.
Want the Really Good Deals? Skip Price Comparison Websites
Who doesn't love a bargain hotel deal? When we use price comparison websites, we might think we're getting the best offer, but are we? Well, there's an easy way to check. Often, hotels provide better deals on their rooms when you buy directly from them. So if you spot a good deal on a price comparison website, it's always a good idea to go straight to the source and compare.
This is especially true if you frequently use this hotel chain and accrue awards points as part of their loyalty scheme because, in the long run, you may earn yourself a free night's stay!
The Shower Mirror Gets All Fogged up? Try Coating It With Soap
Suppose you're traveling with a big group or using a facility with a shared bathroom. In that case, a foggy mirror is an annoying, reoccurring hindrance. If you can’t be bothered to wait in line or get up before the crowds, you'll need a solution for those foggy mirrors. Interestingly, you can do this relatively simply with ordinary hand soap. Of course, you'll want the solid kind, not the liquid.
To defog the mirror, press the edge of the soap against the glass and wipe from top to bottom. The soap stops moisture from accumulating and absorbs condensation, allowing the fog to evaporate quickly.
Use a Shower Cap Packer to Keep Dirt off Your Clothes
When we go to pack a suitcase, there's always that moment of turmoil when you're faced with trying to figure out what to do with your shoes. This is especially true if you've planned a sporty vacation - you don't want muddy boots spoiling your evening outfits. So instead of packing your shoes into an extra bag, you have to carry around the place, why not use your complimentary shower cap?
When you return from your hiking trip or sojourn around the city, having a shower cap at the ready makes storing shoes in your luggage much less messy. Just pop the boots in the cap, and then they can go straight into the suitcase. No dirt, no fuss.
Need a Table? Try The Hotel Ironing Board
Suppose your whole family has previously bundled into a hotel room for a family vacation. In that case, you might already be familiar with the dinner-time kerfuffle that ensues. Eating off the bed is no doubt fun for the kids, but the mess left over can add a hefty cleaning tab to your bill. So, to better organize meal times, this trick is a no-brainer. Pull out your ironing board.
You can usually adjust the height to bring it down to bed level. Then sit on the edge of the bed and lay the ironing board out. You can cover it with a few plastic bags and have a mess-free dinner.
Want to Get a Big Discount on Your Stay? Consider Booking a Longer One
Discounted stays are another option for saving money on travel. There are tons of ways to get discounts. Still, many people don't realize that, often, the hotels themselves can make concessions if you contact them directly. This is particularly true if you're planning an extended stay. In that case, if you explain that you intend to schedule a long stay to hotel management, they might be able to cut you a deal.
This is one thing that requires a little sweet talk and negotiation. It also depends on the type of hotel. Big franchises are less likely to offer discounts than smaller independent hotels. But it's always worth a try!
You Don't Have to Get Room Service to Enjoy a Delicious Hotel Room Meal
Suppose you haven’t got the amenities to cook in your room or the budget to splash out on hotel dining; fear not. Did you know that most restaurants are happy to deliver to hotels? In fact, you usually don't even need to mention it's a hotel; you can just meet them in the lobby. Although hotels would probably prefer you eat at their restaurant, there's no rule that you have to do that.
Have a look online for local cuisine at an affordable price. Then, you can finally enjoy that curry you've been craving in the comfort of your hotel room - bliss!
Utilize the Hotel Kettle for More Than Just Hot Drinks
If you're not cooking savvy but don't want to splash out on food during your stay, consider packing some instant meals – noodles are a great choice. You can use your hotel amenities like a kettle or coffee dispenser to boil the hot water. For bowls and cutlery, you can usually ask reception or the restaurant. Alternatively, you can bring your own. Pack a few different instant meals so you don't get bored, and voila, you have your meals set for the week.
Instant meals are, well, instant. They're fast and easy to make- and if you have a hot water flask, you can take it with you to cook on the go.
Want a Nice Compensation? Email the Hotel About Your Experience
Once you've finished your trip, it's worth sharing your thoughts with the hotel managers. This is especially true if your visit hasn't met your satisfaction. It's worth getting the manager's email before you leave so you can discuss your stay. There's no need to be rude, but it's worth mentioning if you were disappointed in your visit and why. Briefly describe any issues you had and what you tried to do to rectify the problems.
You never know. In compensation, you might receive a discount or money back on your trip. But, even if it doesn't, you can still post online to warn other travelers about your stay. These days, everyone reads reviews. So, hopefully, managers will think twice before dismissing your complaints.
The Bathroom Towel Can Double as a Privacy Aide
So we all know hotels can be noisy places. Late-night party-goers and crying kids are the enemies of a restful night's sleep. So, soundproofing is necessary if you want to escape the hum of hotel operations. Noise and sound often comes through the slit at the bottom of the door. You'll know what we mean if you turn the light off and can still see the glaring light from the hotel's corridor along with the hum of constant chatter and elevator noise.
An easy remedy is taking a towel and some bags and laying them over the gap at the bottom of the door. Then wedging them in with something heavy. Of course, you want to ensure the entire crack is filled to get the best light and soundproofing.
Makeshift Air Humidifier That Makes a World of Difference in Your Stay
This is the reverse of the DIY aircon, but it works just as well. Air conditioning can be a nightmare in hotels. It can leave your skin dry and your throat sore. While opening the windows can help, the main problem is the air con itself. So, grab a towel, and let's fix that. You'll need to run your towel over a warm tap and squeeze it until most of the water wrings out.
Now, lay the towel near the aircon while it's on. The air will filter through the moisture and act as a humidifier. However, we advise you not to do this when you're asleep. For safety reasons, it's never wise to leave towels over electronics unsupervised!
The Front Desk Offers Lots of Secret Freebies
When you pay for a room, you aren't just paying for your bed. Your bill includes all the amenities that come with your stay. So if you want to get the most out of your money, put on a brave face and head to the front desk to enquire about the goodies on offer. You might be surprised to find there's a bundle of free goods ready and waiting. The classics are toothbrushes, toiletries, and the like.
Even if you've already brought this gear with you, who knows when it might come in handy? They're usually small enough to take on a plane, and if you don't use them, you could save them for your next trip - win-win!
Get Fun Freebies by Sharing Happy Occasions With the Hotel Staff
Many hotels love to help you celebrate special occasions. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon, it's worth mentioning to your hotel. Often they might put together something special to help you enjoy your stay. It might be off-putting at first to share your personal business with the hotel, but you never know what you might get in return. You can add a note to your booking or casually mention it at the front desk.
The hotel may offer complimentary services, discounts, or even upgrade your stay. It's always worth trying even if you don't get anything because when the staff know you're celebrating, it'll probably make them more welcoming.
Bring a USB Cable to Save Some Precious Plug Space
Many hotel rooms have limited plug space. So, if you've brought a heap of devices, you'll soon run out of plugs. The upside is that you can still charge your phone without the plug. Instead, you can run it off the TV. Most TVs have a USB slot you can use to charge your phone - no plug required. Then, of course, just make sure the TV is plugged in. Usually, it doesn't actually need to be turned on to do the job.
Bringing a few USB cords with you is usually wise as you can generally find a USB charge port somewhere in your room. But the TV is definitely the best bet, and they often have more than one slot!
Make Your Own Meals to Save Some Travel Money
You'd be surprised what you can put together with a limited range of appliances. If you're a camper, you'll know a fire burner kit is relatively cheap and convenient. This is especially true if you often travel because you'll always be able to make food on the go. You can cook the same foods that you would at home so that you don't have to shell out on the hotel restaurant or eat takeaway meals every day.
Your best bet is to cook something straightforward like pasta or rice, but there's really no limit. So bring a couple of pots and pans and your ingredients; open a window and start cooking.
Save a Hefty Sum by Booking Off-Season
Another sneaky way to bag a good deal is to book off-season. Many resorts and hotels aren't as in much demand during these times, so they lower their prices considerably. This might mean booking when it's a bit chilly or when the kids have just gone back to school. Weekdays are another excellent option, as most people will have to work. Different countries have different off-peak seasons, so do your research.
Another upside of booking out of season is that there are fewer crowds. As a result, you won't have to deal with packs of loud tourists, and you can enjoy the sights without interruption.
Save on Mineral Water by Using the Hotel Gym's Dispenser
Most hotels have drinkable tap water, but not all. So instead of buying endless bottled water, why not use the hotel's water dispensers? Typically, there's one near the front desk or in the gym, but most don't make use of them because of the inconvenience of making the trek to the room and back. So, this is where a big bottle comes in handy. Grab two large bottles and fill them up so you can avoid endless trips to the water cooler.
Best of all, this water is typically much colder and better quality than the water (if it's drinkable) that comes from the faucet in your hotel room bathroom. Gamechanger, right?
Use The Makeshift Cup Speaker for an Instant Hotel Room Party
So, the weekend is just beginning, and you're ready to get the party started, but – oops, someone forgot the speaker. No biggie. You can turn up the volume with this simple trick. All you need is a cup (any cup will do!) and your phone. The hollow space inside the cup acts as a way to magnify the sound on your phone. Just place the cup on a solid surface.
Next, put the phone on the cup with the speaker facing inwards. Or you can put the phone inside the cup if it fits. Play your music, and it should get louder as the sound bounces around in the cup.
Use Pillows and Extra Sheets as Bed Dividers
This one is for all the parents out there who know what a hassle the bedtime routine is - especially if your kids have to share a bed while you're away. The ensuing skirmishes and leg kicking can dampen an otherwise pleasant night. If you have little ones sharing the same bed, it's a good idea to divide the space in advance. You can ask for extra sheets and pillows from reception if needed.
Once you’ve got the kit, divide the bed using the pillows. Then give each side a separate sheet and blanket to avoid pulling and tugging that could lead to arguments. Genius, right?
Not Enough Bathroom Counter Space? Make A DIY Toothbrush Holder
Using the bathroom can be a little chaotic if you share a room with others. Everyone wants space to put their stuff, and usually, space is limited. There's also the issue of people misplacing belongings or using someone else's stuff by mistake. For instance, if you're using hotel toothbrushes, it can be hard to tell whose is whose. So, here's a quick solution. First, you'll need some plastic or paper cups.
Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup and turn it upside down. You can shimmy a toothbrush through the gap and write names on the cup with a pen.
Save Time and Money by Staying Near the Airport
Choosing the right hotel can be a compromise. On the one hand, you want to remain relatively close to the airport, but you don't want to be miles away from the action. After all, you don't want to risk getting stuck in traffic and missing that all-important flight. But, sometimes, where you're looking to travel to is miles away from the airport. In instances like this, it might save you time, money, and stress to stay in a hotel close to the airport the night before your flight.
You'll cut down on transport costs to the airport, plus you're way less likely to miss your flight, and as we all know, trying to book a flight so late in the day can be incredibly expensive!
Freshen up Your Hotel Room by Doing This
If you're on an extended stay, sometimes housekeeping won't cut it. After a few days, a small room can pick up odors. Sure, you can open a window, but a gaping window can be counterintuitive when it gets cold at night. Instead, this trick is a surefire solution to keeping your room smelling fresh- effortlessly. All you need is a car air freshener and to locate your hotel room's aircon vent.
Pop your air freshener around one of the aircon vents. Turning it on will spread a pleasant smell around the room, day in and day out. Of course, you can change it up if you want a different scent, but generally, one fragrance should last your stay.
Butter Melter for a Quick Lunch on the Go
A quick spot of toast for breakfast or sandwiches for lunch is ideal if you've brought your own food for your hotel stay. However, sometimes even if you've packed everything from jam to butter, a cold room can present a challenge. That's right – we're talking about unspreadable butter. But whether you've brought it from home or have one of those foil sachets, there's an easy solution to this one.
If you're bringing your own, wrap it in foil. Now, pop your small foil-wrapped block on the toaster before putting the bread in. When the toasting begins, the foil will stop the butter from running over the sides as it heats.
Organize on the First Day to Make Yourself at Home
Getting to work as soon as you've just arrived might seem counterintuitive. After all, you take a vacation to relax, right? But getting chores out of the way early on is an excellent way to set the right tone for your stay. It can make you feel more relaxed knowing that you don't have to troll through your suitcase, and having a few personal items around your hotel room can make you feel more at home.
To start with, decide where you want your outfits to go. If you're sharing a room, designate storage areas. Once that's out of the way, you can begin to unpack.
DIY Aircon for When the Room Is Too Hot
If you've ever gone to a hot destination and found, to your despair, a weak or absent aircon, then this is for you. Even opening the window might not be enough in humid climates, so here's a quick tip. First, you'll need a towel and some cold water. Simply soak the towel in a cold bath and strain it. Next, lie the damp towel over the edge of the window. When the breeze comes, it'll be cooled by the towel.
Make sure the window is slightly ajar, and you don't hang the towel too far out. Ideally, fold it over a few times and leave it on the inner windowsill.
Transform Your Suitcase Into a Safe With This Trick
Suppose you're worried about your valuables being stolen from your hotel room. In that case, a little creativity with your suitcase can work wonders. One simple trick is to use dirty clothing you're not planning to wear again to store your valuables. Then fold them into your suitcase, and then lock your bag. Either use a padlock or if your luggage has a built-in lock, even better! Voila, your suitcase now doubles as a safe!
You can use unlikely places to store spare cash, such as makeup cases, or even sew an extra pocket inside the suitcase. Opaque empty toiletry bottles also make a good hiding place
Pro Hotel Hack: Brand Loyalty Equals Rewards
It's not uncommon to stay in a different hotel every time you travel. Usually, it's a matter of finding the best deal at the location you're looking to visit. However, brands (especially larger chains) often reward customers who stay with them consistently. So while it might be pricier to stay there at first, the more nights you accumulate with a given brand, the greater the reward. So, research hotel loyalty schemes to see whether you could benefit.
Some airlines also partner with particular hotel groups so that whenever you earn air miles, you can cash these in to pay for your hotel. Again, if you travel frequently, this is definitely something worth looking into!
Always Check the WiFi Code to Save on Roaming Charges
This one is just common sense. If you're traveling and roaming on your phone, you're bound to rack up a considerable charge. After all, if you're a frequent traveler, the convenience of using your mobile network can make it easy to forget the extortionate internet bills you'll accrue. The easy way around this is to check the WiFi situation at every hotel you stay at. Then, log in and make the most of the free internet when you've got the code.
If you're planning on visiting multiple places, it's worth planning your schedule while you have this connection. Likewise, download movies and music in advance so that you don't have to while you're roaming.
Get a Free Upgrade by Swapping Rooms
It's a lesser-known fact that hotels usually assign guests the first room that's ready. So even if you can't negotiate an upgrade, you can often swap to another room if there's something you don't like. For instance, are the taps broken, or are there stains on the bed sheets? A change of room can be a fresh start. After all, you want to begin your vacation knowing that you'll be comfortable for the rest of your stay.
Usually, hotels will have other rooms available even if you wait an extra day or so. After all, if you don't ask, you won't get it - you have nothing to lose by asking!
Who Said You Had to Use Those Tiny Breakfast Cups?
One of the best parts of an all-inclusive hotel stay is the breakfast. Often, it's a buffet, so you should get your money's worth. One way to do this is to use bigger cups so that you can pour more of the drink of your choice. Most continental breakfasts include a selection of orange juice, apple juice, and milk. So, bring larger cups with you so you can take your fill.
Take your cup back to your room or empty it into a reusable bottle if you're on the go. It will save you from buying drinks if you're out and about in the morning.
Tipping the Staff Can Get You Far
So, you want an upgrade but don't want to pay big bucks for it? Well, the classic $20 bill slipped in with your card might do the trick. At the end of the day, you haven't got anything to lose (except potentially $20). But, if they can do an upgrade on the down-low, then a little persuasion can't hurt. However, this is one of those things that depends on the hotel and who's staffing the front desk.
Put it this way: Even if they genuinely can't grant you the specific perk you're after, it doesn't hurt to be in the staff's good books for the remainder of your stay. Just stay calm and composed. Be natural. If you're nervous, you'll make them nervous.
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it's that there is nothing wrong with good hygiene. Of course, many people like to maintain a high standard of hygiene while traveling. Unfortunately, hotels aren't always the cleanest of places. Despite housekeeping's best efforts, things like TV remotes aren't frequently disinfected. So, if you'd prefer to enjoy a higher level of cleanliness during your stay, wet wipes and plastic wraps are your friends.
There are two options here. First, you can do a quick antibacterial wipe-down with some disinfectant wipes. If this seems like too much work, you could instead use plastic wrap to enclose things you rather not touch.
Bring a HDMI Cable to Binge Your Favorite Shows
Going on vacation isn't always about seeing the sights. Sometimes we just need a little rest and recovery. At times like these, it's great to settle into our favorite Netflix show, but as you might have guessed, there's only cable TV. So if you're not a fan of the wonders of daytime television and want to catch up on your missed shows, pack an HDMI cable. Most hotel TVs have an HDMI slot.
Then you can attach your laptop or tablet and get your favorite streaming services on your hotel room's TV. Why pay for hotel show rentals if you already have a subscription?
Bring a Padlock Along for Extra Security
One of the worst parts of a hotel stay is getting home after a long journey and realizing you've left something behind. It can be hard to keep track of all your small devices, wires, and keys lying around. You might be tempted to tuck them in your bag each night so that you know exactly where they are at all times and bear the inconvenience. But there is a better way.
Bring a padlock or keychain to keep all your essential items in one place. For instance, you could lock them around a phone charger so you can easily access them when you need them - and they're all in one place when you pack!
Be Kind to Get Better Treatment
Arguably, this is one of the most important albeit obvious tips on this list. Always be kind to hotel staff. It makes sense that if you treat someone with respect, they'll do the same for you. Whereas, if you're rude, aggressive, and downright unpleasant to hotel workers, how do you think they'll view you? Not favorably. Not only is being kind the right thing to do, but you're far more likely to enjoy a pleasant stay when you have the hotel staff onside.
Needless to say, they're more likely to want to fix issues should they arise, and who knows? You may even charm your way into a free upgrade too! Kindness is never in vain.
Wash Your Clothes in the Sink
Having enough clothes is always a problem if you're going on an extended stay- or, more accurately, keeping them clean. While many hotels offer laundering services, generally, they're pretty expensive, especially if you need to use them regularly. However, a cheap alternative is to wash your clothes in your sink. You can buy a tube of travel wash designed for this purpose online or in-store. Line your sink with cling film and pop a few clean coins in the bottom to hold it down.
Next, fill it with warm water and use detergent to soak your clothes till they're clean. Finally, squeeze the excess water so they dry faster. Then hang the clean clothes in the shower or on your balcony (if you have one) until they dry.
Don't Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind
When it comes to hotel disasters, sometimes our worst enemy is our inability to speak up. Always remember you paid to stay here, so you're allowed to expect a certain standard. If your room is unsatisfactory, say so. If you haven't received the service you ordered, for instance, laundry- bring this to someone's attention. You don't have to be rude or offensive, but it's okay to stand up for yourself if there are significant problems that ruin your stay.
You shouldn't be enduring your vacation; you should be enjoying it, and if you're not, and that's the fault of the hotel, maybe it's time to ask for your money back,