I may have stayed in hotels around the world, but I’ve seen hotels from the other side of the desk too. I’ve been a guest, a housekeeper and worked at the front desk. Here are some inside tips on how to save some money and some little tricks to make things that bit easier for you!
If you’re looking to save a bit of money, always choose location over facilities. It’s better to have just a bed and a shower and be really central to where you need to be, than to have to fork out for a taxi or public transport at least twice a day.
Negotiate Long-Term Rates / Contacting The Hotel Directly
Staying in a hotel long-term? Send a quick e-mail (or call) to the hotel and they’ll likely give you a good rate for staying long-term. If not, just ask. They’d rather give you some money off than to lose a guest altogether.
Hotels pay commission on bookings made via the famous online booking sites so if you book direct with them, they like to throw in a free breakfast or give you 10% off so that you’ll do it again next time. You’ll never know if you never ask!
When you first get into your room, take the bar of soap (or the liquid stuff) and rub it against the part of the mirror you need to be clear after your shower. Use a lot now. Then with a dry towel, scrub most of it off again to stop the mist condensing there. This should last for a few days… and mystify the next guests.
We all know this one. If you want to go somewhere and you don’t mind which time of year you go, pick the off-season. Not only will the price of your room be significantly less, but 9 times out of 10 you’ll be upgraded. If the hotel isn’t too full, they would rather you saw their nicer rooms than the budget ones.
I went to a gorgeous skiing village in Tirol, Austria last summer. I paid an average of €30 a night for a huge apartment. Separate bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, and a whopper of a balcony with stunning mountain views. I checked the rates for winter, and wow, I did well!
If this is one of those rooms where you have to use your key card to activate the electricity, take out a business card (if not one of yours, one from reception) and use that. That way you can keep the air-con running while you’re down at the shops.
Another sly one here. If the deadline (for refunds) has past for a reservation you’ve made and you don’t think that you’ll make it, simply ring up early on in the day and move the reservation forward. Then, in the evening (usually different staff), ring again and cancel the entire reservation and because the new deadline won’t have past yet, you should get a refund or your deposit back.
This isn’t 100% guaranteed though.
If you want to be really cheeky, hint when you’re checking in (or ask for restaurant recommendations later on) that it’s a special occasion, like your anniversary or honeymoon or something like that. Some hotels will upgrade your room for free, send up free breakfast in the morning, ask housekeeping to leave flowers or chocolates. You’d be surprised what they’ll do a good review!
Long-Term Business Stays:
If you’re staying somewhere (for business) long-term, say 3 weeks, but you have to go home for a handful of those days (weekends), sometimes it’s cheaper to remain checked into your hotel rather than checking out and then in again when you’re back.
When you book long-term, you usually get quite a good deal and so you’d probably end up paying more for those separate bookings. You’d also have somewhere to keep your work luggage if needs be.
More often than not, hotels tend to give you more than enough towels. If your room has air conditioning and you find yourself waking up in the mornings with a dry nose and mouth, I have the solution for you:
Wet one of those leftover towels and hang it beside you while you’re sleeping. Either on the back of a chair or over the headboard or somewhere similar.
That’s all I have for now. I hope you can make use of at least one of these on your next adventure!