Visiting new places and discovering new cultures may be at the very top of your bucket list, but if your choice of accommodations doesn’t satisfy your expectations, the entire experience could leave you a little underwhelmed. Plan your next trip with the following hotel secrets in mind to enjoy a stress-free vacation and have more time to dine, shop, sightsee, and soak up the local atmosphere.
1. One-Nighters Get “Walked”
Having to “walk guests” is one of the main causes of hotel management headaches. Most hotels overbook whenever possible in hopes that no-shows and cancellations will maximize profits by filling every room. But what happens when overbooking doesn’t work in the hotel’s favor? Most likely, the management will try to “walk” you, which means they’ll offer to cover the expenses of one-night’s room at a comparable establishment somewhere else in the area. You don’t have to accept, of course, but losing that room right near Marienplatz could ruin your carefully planned Munich itinerary. Avoid getting walked by reserving a room for more than one night (one-nighters are the first to go!), or consider booking directly, not through third-party websites.
2. It Pays to Pick Up the Phone
Reserving your room directly not only ensures you’ll actually get a comfortable bed once you arrive, but can also be the quickest way to good rates. Start planning your Chicago vacation by calling the hotel of your choice and asking about available discounts, family rates, and special offers. If you’re trying to save money, there’s no sense in paying the higher rates charged by many third-party sites. Hotels pay hefty commissions to online booking websites, so they’re usually more than happy to offer bargains as an incentive to book directly with them.
3. Bellhops Are Your Friends
Managers run hotels by making big decisions that minimize costs and keep each area properly staffed, but the often-overlooked bellhops hold the keys to many secret perks. Bellhops can help you get free valet parking, tours, shuttle rides, and a range of other services that are sure to make your Budapest holiday one for the history books. All you have to do is ask, so do yourself a favor and get to know your bellhop.
4. Hotel Rooms Aren’t as Clean as They Look
In most hotels, the cleaning staff works part-time hours. Time, therefore, is their biggest enemy, and they often have to speed through their cleaning routine to get to all their allotted rooms. Speed doesn’t usually equal thoroughness, which means that you should think twice before touching certain items. If something doesn’t look like it was cleaned or changed, it probably wasn’t. Avoid getting too cozy with TV remotes and light switches, as the cleaning staff often skips wiping those in favor of vacuuming or changing your towels. Limit your exposure to germs during your Istanbul vacation by using bottled water, and if you suspect that the bathroom glasses don’t get a proper scrub each day, request disposable plastic cups from the front desk.
5. You Get What You Pay For
Here’s a bombshell for you—all hotels are not created equal! You might want to take a budget-friendly Lisbon trip by using public transportation and eating at affordable cafes, but trying to save money on a hotel room could leave a sour taste in your mouth. You really do get what you pay for, and cheaper hotels often provide a “cheaper” experience. This is certainly not true all the time at all hotels, but most establishments offer discounted rates on their worst rooms. Hotels are in the business of making money, and they usually save their best rooms for those who choose their lodgings based on quality, not price.
Knowledge Is Power
In the end, the more you know about hotels in your chosen destination, the more likely you are to make a rewarding decision. It pays to research, call ahead, ask friends with experience, and browse review-based websites. Keep these tips in mind for you next trip, and remember to use Inspirock’s free trip planner to create your dream itinerary.