Travelling can be a stressful experience, even with the plethora of tips, tricks, and hacks to make it easier. But, no matter where you travel or why a comfortable hotel room can make or break the trip. Hotel room hacks allow you to make the best of your room, using everything provided without making a hole in your pocket.
Even if you’ve booked room at a luxurious 5-star hotel, there are always ways to make your stay more homely. Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, here are 13 hotel room hacks to make the most of the items found in most hotels:
1. You might actually save money staying at a central hotel
In a place without cheap and convenient public transport, it might actually be cheaper to book a simple room at a central location that is easily accessible to locations you want to visit rather than a much fancier one (however much less it may cost) which is an expensive cab ride away.
2. Don’t put up the “Clean Room” sign
The sign just announces that you’re not in the room. Instead, you can hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign outside your door to give the impression that you’re still inside (this is for the ones who do not like anybody going in their room when they aren’t there). On the flip side, if you want your room cleaned but not during your absence, you can call housekeeping while you are working on something in the room and hang the “do not disturb” sign when you step out.
3. Use clips to keep the curtains closed
Many hotels have curtains that don’t close properly, letting in cracks of bright light that are sure to wake you up at the crack of dawn. If you want a longer snooze in relative darkness, just use clothespins or the clips of the hotel’s hangers to keep the curtains firmly shut.
4. Send the hotel an email with any specific need ahead of time
Whether you need a second luggage rack, a proper double bed, or an extra mattress, most hotels will make sure your special requests are ready before you go.
5. You can order takeout at your hotel
If you don’t feel like going out, but don’t want to end up paying a packet for room service, you can always order delivery food to your hotel. It’s also a comfy way of tasting whatever the locals eat.
6. Make quick, cheap meals in your hotel room
You can take this a step further by buying some bread, fruit, or instant noodles which you can easily have in your room. If you want to be more adventurous, you can make a grilled cheese sandwich by using an iron or try one of these recipes.
7. Tell the hotel if you’re celebrating a special occasion
If you’re celebrating a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon, let the hotel know. You might find complimentary cake, fruit, or champagne in your room, or even be lucky enough to get an upgrade.
8. In many hotels, you can also ask for dishes
In some hotels, you can even ask for empty dishes so that you can properly enjoy your take-out or “home”-cooked meals.
9. Use the heated towel rod to dry clothes
On longer trips, it may often be necessary to do a little laundry. While it’s quite easy to wash clothes in the sink or tub instead of using expensive hotel laundry services, they can sometimes take quite long to dry. Many hotels have heated towel racks that can be used as make-shift dryers.
10. Always ask for two key cards, even if you’re travelling alone
Many hotels use key cards to turn on the power in the room. So, if you want to continue charging your devices, or keep the air conditioning on you can leave the second card in the power slot. However, in some hotels that don’t use RFID-coded slots, you can also get away with using an old credit card or a store loyalty card. But do this only if absolutely necessary, as leaving the power on unnecessarily for long periods of time will have an adverse effect on the environment.
11. Use the in-room TV to stream Netflix
Most hotels have Wi-Fi, and most TVs have an HDMI port. You can use this to hook up your phone or laptop to the screen and watch your favourite shows from Netflix or other streaming services on the larger screen. All you need to do is carry along a Chromecast device.
12. Put away all the brochures, leaflets, and stand-up cards
Hotel rooms can seem quite cluttered with the various brochures, leaflets, and cards littering the desks and side tables. To make the room feel more inviting and to stop those catchy taglines from getting stuck in your brain, sweep all this clutter into a drawer.
13. Take along some mini scented candles or pillow spray
Not all hotels have a soothing smell. Perhaps you’ve just eaten in your hotel room, or maybe you just don’t like the scent that housekeeping has used. Carrying some mini scented candles or pillow spray can make the room seem more soothing and can help you get a more relaxed sleep.
There are lots of other hotel room hacks that can help you make the most of your stay. If you’ve missed any of your favourites, make sure to share them in the comments below.