This blog post was updated on July 23, 2021.
We all want to travel longer, cheaper, and more comfortable. Travel hacks keep all these wishes in mind. They are those little bits of information and tips that leave many of us scratching our heads and wondering why we didn’t think of that before. While many travel hacks aim to help you score the best flight or even make packing easier, there some for making hotel stays more affordable and more comfortable.
So before you check-in, check out these hotel travel hacks.
Use the TV to Charge Your Devices
Some hotel rooms have ample outlets, while others have that one plug behind the bed in an unreachable spot. If you find yourself in this situation and need to charge your phone, tablet, or any other device that can connect to a USB port, you might want to turn to the TV. Many TVs in hotels have a USB port in the back or on the side, which you can connect as a charging source to your phone to when no other outlets are within reach.
Dodge Cancellation Fees By Changing Your Dates
If the time for a free cancellation of your hotel reservation has passed, you can dodge the cancellation fee by changing your travel dates. Once you have adjusted your dates to within the cancellation time without a deposit, you should be able to cancel without penalty. Travelers should note that this hotel hack only works if you have booked a refundable reservation. In some cases, you might be able to change not only your dates but also the type of reservation you booked to dodge the cancellation fee, even on a non-refundable reservation.
Take Advantage of the Hotel’s Supplied Packing Aides
When you are traveling for an extended period, hotel room after hotel room, you might forget that your room has many items you can take with you and use to help with packing and freshness along the way. That shower cap in the hotel toiletry kit can function as a shoe cover when you need to toss in dirty footwear into a crowded bag. Rather than running out and buying travel-sized toiletry bottles, your hotel room can be your free store; just grab whatever is on the bathroom counter to use the bottle later. If you don’t like the products, you can always empty them and fill them up with your preferred products. That bar of soap the hotel provides can also function as a bag freshener when your clothes start to smell. And lastly, always grab the hotel plastic laundry bag. It will come in handy for lugging items you didn’t foresee or separating dirty clothes from clean items.
Score Better Treatment and a Better Room By Joining the Hotel’s Loyalty Program
If you don’t travel a lot or you seldom stay at the same hotel chain, you can still take advantage of their rewards for frequent guests. Before your trip, sign up for the hotel chain’s loyalty program. These are usually free to join and only require filling out minimal information. Hotel front desk clerks often notice you are part of the hotel’s loyalty program, and just merely being a part of the club can lead to better rooms, faster Wi-Fi, and additional freebies you wouldn’t have if you don’t join, even if you’re just staying for a night.
Get Status Matched Across Hotel Loyalty Programs
Stay with a large enough hotel chain enough times while part of their loyalty program, and you can be award “elite” status with extra perks and freebies. If that’s happened to you, then it’s a good idea to ask if that status can be matched at other hotels. Most often, hotels are happy to provide you with these perks. Plus, you don’t need to break the bank to reap the benefits. Typically, staying a certain number of nights at a particular hotel chain is enough to do the trick.
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Whether you’re traveling on cheap domestic flights or flying international first class, AAA members can often get great discounts at most hotels. If you travel frequently, your savings each year might easily cover the cost of your membership fees. Not to mention, if you travel abroad and need to rent a car or drive when you’re there, AAA can issue you an International Driving Permit. This not only makes renting a car more seamless, but it can also be used as a legal ID while traveling internationally.
Keep the Power On With a Spare Card
Some hotels have a security feature that only turns on the power in your room when your room key is placed in a slot by the door. As a result, when you leave and have to take your key with you, the power to your room goes out. This means you’re unable to charge electronics or keep the temperature regulated for when you return. Thankfully, you can usually get around this hassle by sticking any old membership card into the slot while you’re away.
Know How to Override Your Room’s Thermostat
Most hotel rooms restrict your ability to raise or lower the temperature in your room past specific points. Sometimes, this can create a very warm or cold room, depending on the season. But there’s a trick that can override most controls on a hotel room thermostat and be used to set it to your ideal temperature. All you have to do is hold down the button that says “display” and press the “off” button at the same time. Then, release the “off” button and keep holding the “display” button down. Next, press the “up” button and then release all buttons. This will also turn off any sensors your hotel might be using to only turn on heat or air when someone is in the room.
Close the Gap in the Curtains with a Coat Hanger
If the gap in the curtains of your hotel room is causing light to stream through, you can easily fix it with an item that’s probably already in your room’s closet. All you have to do is grab one of the hangers in your from the closet that has spring-loaded clips on the bottom. Take the clips and clip the two sides of the curtain together to close the gap. If you’re worried your hotel won’t be equipped with one of these hangers, you may want to pack one in your suitcase.
Look at Booking Your Room and Flight Together for Possible Deals
If you have to buy both, it’s a good idea to look into the advantages of booking your flight and hotel room as part of a package. Often times, doing so will give you a steep discount on the cost of your overall trip. Be sure to research various sites and check out what they offer as part of a flight and hotel package. And don’t forget to price out the hotel and flight costs separately to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Have a travel hack for hotels that isn’t on our list? Leave it in the comments section below!
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