Borderline Genius Hotel Hacks for Your Next Trip
If you're planning an upcoming business trip or vacation, then feast your eyes on this collection of brilliant hotel hacks that every traveler should know. You may be shocked to learn how well these simple, effective tips work to make your next hotel stay more comfortable and stress-free.
Whether you're traveling solo or with the entire family, there are plenty of great tips for your situation. Read on to rest easy, knowing you're prepared to work your way around all the common hassles that tend to plague hotel guests everywhere.
Make Your Own Cooler
If there's one thing that can drive up your hotel bill quickly, it's using the minibar. Of course, the thought of a nice, cool beverage sounds great, and the urge to simply walk across the room and get it seems even better. Before you know it, you've spent $50 on very few ounces of refreshment served up in tiny bottles.
The Curtain Clamp Trick
Ever notice how every pair of curtains in every hotel room in the world seems to have been designed to leave a huge gap in the middle? It can be a real pain when you're trying to sleep, especially if there are bright parking lot lights right outside the window. (And aren’t they always right by windows?)
Keep Your Toothbrush Germ Free
We'd all love to believe that every hotel's housekeeping standards are routinely up to par, but it’s okay to forget about blind faith and draw the line at your toothbrush. After all, most of us don't even lay our toothbrushes directly on our own bathroom counters, so why take the chance at a hotel?
Book Directly with the Hotel
It may be convenient to compare hotels on sites like Booking.com, but when you find a hotel you like, be sure to book directly with them. Most hotels offer a best rate guarantee and will match any price you find online.
Reinvent the Ironing Board
If you're in a hotel that doesn't have a convenient desk or table for dining, then check to see if there's an ironing board in your closet. By simply putting a blanket over it, you can set up a quick dinner table if you and your family ever want to enjoy some takeout.
Take Advantage of the Tiny Shampoos
Although you shouldn't take your hotel bathrobe home unless you want to be charged for it, some things are definitely up for grabs. You know those tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath wash? Take them and use them. They are already part of your bill, even though you don’t (usually) see them listed.
Stream Your Own Entertainment
Hotel TV channels can be a hit or miss. You may occasionally get free HBO or Showtime, but who wants to plan their day around getting back to avoid missing the beginning of a movie? If the hotel has Wi-Fi and a smart TV, you can usually stream your own entertainment from your computer.
Always Mention Special Occasions
Whenever you're booking your stay, be sure to mention if you plan to celebrate any special occasions on your trip. Many hotel websites offer a little comment box for such things when you book online, or you can mention it when booking over the phone.
DIY Drain Stopper
Need to fill your sink or bathtub even though you've got a bum drain plug? Most hotels are happy to help you out, but if you'd rather handle things on the fly, then just grab the plastic bag from your ice bucket.
Keep the Remote Clean
No matter how great a job the hotel staff does when they're cleaning, the TV remote control is an often overlooked lair for germs. The mere thought of how many people's hands have held it within a single week should be enough to inspire you to give this hack a try.
When You're Traveling on a Budget
If you're traveling on a budget, then eating out or even in the hotel restaurant every day may not be a practical plan. Believe it or not, quite a few quick meal options are available for "cooking" that require nothing more than your hotel room coffee maker.
Use Band-Aids to Baby Proof Sockets
Not every hotel room is designed with small children in mind, although some may be more helpful than you think if you mention it while booking. If you ever find yourself in a pinch, however, band-aids can prevent accidents before they happen.
Collect the Breakfast Jellies
Even if you don’t need all the tiny condiments at the continental breakfast, it doesn't hurt to stow a few away. Small packets of peanut butter and jelly and a few slices of toast can turn into a quick sandwich for any long car rides you've got planned during your trip.
Use Your Shower as a Clothing Steamer
One of the biggest downsides to trying to fit all your clothing into very few suitcases is the wrinkles that are sure to follow. This can be especially embarrassing if you're traveling for business or a special event, and you need to look your best.
Use the Coffee Maker to Do Some Disinfecting
If you're worried about cleanliness while staying at a hotel, then your coffee maker also comes in handy for a little disinfecting. Just boil a pot of water and use it to wash any non-disposable coffee cups and other hotel utensils you plan to use during your stay.
Keep Your Electronics Close
If your partner has commandeered the lone bedside table in the room, then this sheet hack is for you. Just untuck the top end of your bed sheet and rewrap it to form a little horizontal pocket over the side.
How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich in a Pinch
Another great hack for the traveler on a budget is the instant grilled sandwich trick. While the odds are low that you will be blessed with a hot plate or microwave oven in a budget hotel room, there's no need for one if you still have a clothing iron.
How to Hack the Card System
These days, many hotels are attempting to cut down on their electrical bills by using the key card system. The idea is that you place your room key card into a slot on the wall when you're in the room to activate the room's electricity.
Defrost the Buffet Butter
One of the major drawbacks of continental breakfasts everywhere is those ice-cold blocks of butter that tend to be served with the toast. Mostly they result in either torn bread and muffins or a piece of toast with one big buttery spot in the middle. If you'd prefer a nice, creamy spread, then try this hack next time.
Use a Mug for DIY Speakers
If you're a light sleeper, then noisy hotels can be a big issue. Always request a room as far away from the pool and stairwells as possible for this reason. If you're looking to drown out any extra sounds at night, then you could try turning the room’s air conditioner to the fan setting to fill your room with ambient noise that doesn’t interfere with sleeping.
Check Out the Perks at the Hotel Gym
Hotel gyms offer a great way to stay in shape for those who have the discipline to work out while traveling. For the rest of us, they also come with a few unexpected advantages. If you run out of water, you can probably find a few complimentary bottles hanging out in there.
Use a Towel to Block Out Light and Noise
It's funny how many ways light can find to creep into the average hotel room at night. A simple way to block out that annoying stream of light that's certain to flood under your door is to block it with a used bath towel.
Forget Your Phone Charger?
There's nothing more annoying than arriving at your destination, only to discover that you left your phone charger at home. Rather than heading to the nearest store and dropping a bundle to buy a new one, check out your surroundings first.
Make Your Own Humidifier
If you ever find yourself sick on a trip or simply feeling a little dried out, then try making your own humidifier out of the air conditioning unit in your room. Some say this trick can even help reduce the antics of a snoring roommate!
Use Ice Bucket Bags for Swimsuits
If you're traveling with kids, then you probably plan to take advantage of the hotel’s swimming pool when you have free time. While this may be fun during your stay, things can get a little trickier when it's time to check out. Who wants a bunch of wet swimsuits in their luggage?
Refluff Your Own Pillows
Let's face it, a good pillow can be hard to find. For whatever reason, hotel pillows always seem to be either overly fluffy or just plain flat. The next time you find yourself in the middle of a sleepless hotel night, try taking matters into your own hands.
Hide Your Cash in Plain Sight
It can be nervewracking to travel with cash, especially if you'd rather leave it in your room than carry it around. If your room isn't equipped with a safe, then try hiding your loot in plain sight when you go out for the day.
The Dry Cleaning Bag and Its Many Uses
To this day, many hotels offer their guests free plastic dry cleaning bags, even though few people actually take advantage of dry cleaning services while on vacation. However, the bags can be useful for several other things.
Redirect the Air Conditioner
Ever notice how the a/c unit always seems to be positioned right beside the bed in many hotel rooms? Often, your choices at night are few. Either you can try to sleep in the heat or spend the night with a stream of frigid air blowing directly on your body or even your face.
Leave Your “Do Not Disturb” Sign on the Door When You Go Out
Easy on the "room cleaning" sign! While it's nice to have your room cleaned from time to time, you can place a call to the front desk to request a cleaning anytime. While the cleaning sign will likely do the trick as far as getting your room tidied, it's also an unnecessary advertisement that you're not in the room.
Use the Shower Caps for Shoe Storage
Trying to keep your clothes clean while bouncing from hotel to hotel? Well “bouncing” normally requires footwear, and your shoes often step in things you’d rather not have touch the rest of your luggage.
Bring Electrical Tape for Those Pesky Lights
We get it. Sometimes it can be hard to sleep in a new bed. You want to minimize distractions to keep you from staying up. This is precisely why smoke detectors and various electronics can be the worst culprits at keeping you up at night.
Use a Matchbook as a Nail File
We all know that smoking in almost all hotels has been banned for quite some time. However, hotels still like offering matchbooks to guests. If you’re ever in the mood for a quick nail touch-up, grab one of their matchbooks.
Avoid Room Service and Just Go Downstairs
It can be obnoxiously tempting to reach for the menu and order room service. They make it so easy for you to relax, unwind and pay $25 for chicken fingers to be brought to you on a silver platter.
Sugar Packets Make Great Exfoliants
Doctors have been telling us for years to stop adding sugar to our foods. Hotels don’t seem to listen to doctors, much, because there are always sugar packets next to the coffeemaker. But you can up your beauty game with those little packets.