If you’re like most travelers, you’re always looking for special hotel secrets that will help you upgrade, enhance, or further enjoy your stay when you’re on vacation or a business trip.
There are many moving parts to a hotel, and knowing how they’re all connected and how they all work may make your hotel stay more enjoyable. SmarterTravel.com recently published an article about hotel secrets from a hotel professional, and we wanted to share our favorite ones with you.
1. Bring wipes with you
Hotels are usually great about cleaning rooms between guests, but sometimes things get missed, or you just want to be extra careful for your own peace of mind. So you may need a little more sanitation.
Before you check-in (or maybe before you leave), buy a small pack of disposable sanitation wipes and wipe down frequently-touched items, like the TV remote and the lampstands and switches. They collect germs and could be overlooked by the housekeeping staff during the turnover.
2. White sheets are the best
If you’re looking for sanitation and assurances that everything is clean, white sheets are the best because they can be bleached. If there’s a stain on a sheet, it’s usually left in a bleach solution overnight. Management switches out white sheets after every guest leaves, just to avoid any embarrassing stains.
This is also true for bedspreads. You should never sit on a bedspread anyway because they’re not cleaned that often — the patterned bedspreads especially so. One of the hotel secrets the author shared was that they would not book a room that shows patterned bedspreads in their photos.
While we’re thinking about hotel secrets about cleaning, our friend and former hotel professional tells us to be careful about walking on the carpets in our bare feet, especially in the hallways. The carpets aren’t vacuumed that often, and they’re certainly not cleaned more than once a quarter.
3. Hotels are always offering last-minute deals
Hotels want to fill all of their rooms every night, but unless they’re a convention hotel in a big city, they don’t always get to do that. Filling up rooms looks great on paper, so many hotels will do what they can to get people in.
Through their own site and third-party sites and travel apps like Expedia and Hotel Tonight, hotels offer some pretty sweet deals for immediate check-in. Depending on your next vacation, you could risk finding a good hotel just by booking one for the night using their app or even just walking in and trying your luck.
You can also find discounts in some unexpected places. There are discounts for AAA and AARP members, teachers with valid ID and active and veteran military personnel. And, of course, one of the worst-kept hotel secrets is the hotel rewards programs. It’s a secret because no one seems to remember them, but they can be fairly valuable.
4. Bring your own soap if you have skin allergies
The soap and shampoo that hotels use are just your normal run-of-the-mill soap. It does the job, but it’s not ideal for people with any kind of skin allergy or condition. It’s possible the hotel soap can irritate your skin, so bring a soap that’s safe for you. The same may be true with the lotion and shampoo, so be sure to pack travel-sized bottles of your favorite toiletries if you’re not sure.
Otherwise, it’s possible to travel without taking any soap or shampoo, since the hotel provides them. You could even slip a bottle of shampoo or lotion into your toiletry bag as an emergency backup, although you didn’t hear that from us.
5. The front desk has more than extra hand towels
Did you forget your toothbrush? What about your phone charger?
The front desk is a great resource for commonly forgotten items. They usually have Apple and Android phone chargers available to be borrowed, travel-size toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouthwash. If not, they more likely can get those things for you.
In some cases, they may even be able to check their lost-and-found box for a comparable charger, including for your forgotten laptop charger. So before you go to the convenience store, call the front desk and ask them if they’ve got what you need.
What are your hotel secrets? Do you have anything you use to enhance your hotel stay? Tell us your best secrets on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: Liz Lawley (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0)