Travel experts reveal the hotel hacks to take advantage of in 2020
Including how to nab the quietest room and boost your chance of getting upgraded at check-in to a hotel…
If you’re anything like us, then you like getting your money’s worth – especially when it comes to that all-important summer holiday.
So, you might be as intrigued as we were to hear that travel experts have revealed their top tips and tricks for getting the most out of a hotel stay this year, from getting the quietest room to increasing your chances of getting upgraded.
Yep, the insiders have just shared 16 travel hacks that could make all the difference to your trip, save you money and generally ensure you have the best time possible…
Stay over on Sundays
If you’re a planning a mini break, it might be worth booking Monday off work… That’s because Sundays are apparently the cheapest night to stay in a city hotel, as most weekend guests will have returned home while those travelling for business tend to arrive on Mondays.
“Hotels often have fantastic deals on Sunday nights and it’s also the night you’re more likely to get an upgrade, as hotels may be less occupied.”
Book on your phone
Step away from the laptop, if you want to boost your chances of nabbing a good deal. It may sound fiddly, but you might be better off booking on your mobile instead.
“These days it pays to think mobile, as special deals are frequently offered exclusively to mobile users,” they say.
A 54% of people have now booked a hotel stay on their mobile phone, and that number’s only rising.
Stay in the business district
If you’re heading to a city that’s also popular with business travellers, like London or Tokyo, and will be staying there over the weekend, then consider choosing a hotel in the “business district”.
Room rates there are likely to be “fantastic” over the weekends, once the suits have left town, and you could even nab yourself a five-star room for under £100 a night.
Try a loyalty programme
Many travel website, offer access to the cheapest rates, discounts, free nights and other added extras if you sign up to their loyalty programmes, so it could be well worth having a look round before you book to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Bring your furry BFF along
If you’re a pet owner, who’d like to bring your four-legged friend along for the ride, then this might be the perfect excuse.
Pet-friendly hotels often allocate the biggest rooms to guests travelling with their pets, so your pooch could well be your ticket to a more spacious and comfortable room.
Leave it until the last minute
While you might find the idea of booking your accommodation last-minute a little stressful, it may well be worth it. “Booking right at the last minute can save you lots of money,” they say.
Ask for a room on higher floor
Suites and more premium rooms are always located on the higher floors of a hotel – and for good reason: they tend to be quieter. So, even if you’re going nowhere near a suite, it’s worth asking the hotel for a room that’s as high up (and further away from street noise) as possible, they say.
Check in late
If you fancy the idea of nabbing a room upgrade, then it’s apparently worth checking in as late as possible.
“If you check in late, then there is a chance that the hotel might have run out of standard rooms, which is generally the room category the everyday traveler books, so an upgrade to a higher room category could be on the cards,” they say.
Mention special occasions
Travelling for a big birthday or anniversary? Make sure you tell the hotel in advance, and “ask them for a nice room to celebrate in.”
“Telling them in advance gives them the chance to assign a set room and you may find a bottle of Champagne waiting,” they adde.
And, if you’re calling with a special request, make sure you do it early in the morning, or in the afternoon. “Don’t call the hotel between 10am and 1pm with a special request, as the chances are they’ll have a long line of guests waiting to check out,” they add.
Mention social media and reviews
“Guest reviews and social media exposure are so important to hotels these days,” they say. “At check-in tell them you’ll be writing a review and that you follow them on Instagram and will be tagging and snapping the hotel at every opportunity. Ahem, nice room please!”
Ask for a corner room
This clever hack could help you nab the quietest room in the hotel, apparently…
“Due to the structural layout of a building, these rooms generally have the most square footage and windows, while also offering the lowest noise level. It will feel like you have a nicer room, without actually paying for one.”
And, if your hotel has recently been renovated, use this to your advantage. “It’s worth finding out if the hotel has undergone any recent renovations and if so, request one of the newer rooms,” they add.
It pays to be nice. “When you arrive at the hotel, if it’s hectic and super busy, show the hotel staff that you’re on their side and offer to wait”.
“Be friendly and polite with reception staff and this can often lead to a better room and even perks.” Think late checkout, a bottle of wine, fruit baskets, or waived minibar charges.
Make the most of the freebies
“Hotel freebies have had a serious upgrade over the past few years,” they say. “Forget soap in the shower; you can often enjoy designer toiletries, including body lotion, face masks and beauty utensils.”
Making the most of these treats during your stay will ensure you get your money’s worth.
“Other items to watch out for are exotic teas and snacks, slippers, high-end magazines, stationery and some hotels even have items for the day usage such as portable WiFi units, umbrellas and bikes.”
Ask about breakfast deals
Even if you haven’t paid for meals in advance, it’s apparently worth scoping out the breakfast situation with check-in staff on arrival…
“If your room package doesn’t include breakfast, always ask at check in if there are any special deals for the on-site restaurant, especially for breakfast,” say the experts. “You could land yourself large discounts on food, an invite to guests-only happy hours or special 2-for-1 deals.”
Consider paying for club or executive level
Again, this will depend on the hotel you’ve chosen, but it could pay to do your research before booking. “Some hotels, especially business hotels, have an executive club that gives you access to a whole host of amenities, services and freebies,” they say.
“For a small fee, you can enjoy a dedicated lounge with free drinks and snacks, laundry services, upgraded rooms, free WiFi and complimentary newspapers and magazines. Sometimes it’s worthspending a little to get a lot.”
Ask for the ‘secret pillow menu’
Finally, if you want to get the night’s sleep, then make sure you ask the staff about pillow options. Apparently, many places now offer “secret pillow menus”. Who knew?
“Many hotels these days want to offer travellers the luxuries of home, so pillow menus are the new norm. If you are prone to neck and back pains, ask about pillow options. The front desk usually has a huge selection from super firm to melty marshmallow.”
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