One of the most important things when going for a trip, whether it is a private or business one, is to enjoy your stay and have comfortable accommodation. Whether we are staying at a B&B or a 5 star hotel, we all like to get good value for our money and be as comfortable as possible – here are a few hotel hacks that will help you in achieving this goal.
1. Booking a hotel
There are many things that are important when booking a hotel besides just the price. Be sure to check the hotel’s surroundings and reviews from other people. If you have a specific hotel chain that you prefer, join their membership or loyalty program, you will get better deals or upgrades. Also, be sure to check the prices both on websites such as booking.com, hotels.com as well as directly at the hotel’s website – sometimes the prices are quite different and you may end up saving quite a bit.
Book a hotel with an option of free cancellation and then check again the availability and the prices as your trip approaches. Based on the occupancy, hotels sometimes lower the prices or throw in some perks a few days before the date of the stay to fill the remaining rooms. If this is the situation with your accommodation, just cancel the old reservation and make a new one instead.
Be mindful about the days of your stay. Sometimes downtown hotels that get booked by business people are more affordable over the weekends when they return to their homes, while the boutique hotels or stays for romantic getaways lower their prices during the week.
2. Staying at the hotel
It goes without saying that you should be nice to the receptionist and the hotel staff. As a little extra, try to remember their names – politeness goes a long way, especially if you are a regular guest. If you need any information about the area you’re staying in, don’t hesitate to ask the staff – they will be happy to help and can give you valuable information. Last but not least, leave a generous tip.
When checking in, ask for an upgrade. Ok, not in those exact words. Actually, it is alway best not to use the word ‘upgrade’ but something like ‘enhancement’. First things first – know what you are aiming for. When getting a room ask questions like ‘Does this room have a view?’ or ‘Is this room in a quiet area of the hotel?’ or just ask for example if it would be possible to get a room on a higher floor. This is more likely to happen if you are checking in later in the day as the staff will better know which rooms are available later on and if there are any of the better rooms left. However, be reasonable with your requests, you can’t expect to get a presidential suite if you booked the budget room.
If you need anything during your stay such as slippers, toothbrush or a sewing kit, ask for it at the reception. And while the 4* hotels usually have anything you may need already in the room or prepared at the reception already, other types of accommodation usually also try to be as helpful as possible and go the extra mile for their guests. In case you forgot your phone charger, most receptions will have one for you. Even if they don’t have their own to lend, people forget chargers all the time so you just might be lucky.
3. Checking out and after your stay
If you’d like to avoid the check-out lines, see if the hotel has self-check out, through an app or maybe even tv. If you have already paid for your hotel and have no other bills, you can also just go ahead and leave the card in the room.
Leave a review after your stay that will be helpful for other guests. If you were happy with the service, try to mention the specifics, especially if you also made the effort to know the staff and you intend to visit the place again – this will highly increase your chances of the upgrade next time.
If you are happy with the service, for the next trip book with the same hotel/chain. Now you know what kind of service to expect and you can join the loyalty program for future benefits.