Dubai, 28 January: Experts at Hotels.com™ share their insider tips and tricks to help you find the best bed for your buck, secure that elusive upgrade and open your eyes to the hotel freebies you never knew existed.
The travel hackers at Hotels.com are giving you the inside scoop by sharing 18 of the best hotel hacks for 2018 – including booking tips, upgrade insight and in-stay perks to watch out for.
Try out these travel tips for yourself and visit Hotels.com to choose from hundreds of thousands of properties around the world.
- January is the cheapest month to travel –January is one of the quietest travel months and the perfect time to grab a bargain.
- Sunday nights are usually the cheapest night to stay in a city hotel – The weekend travelers have left the city and hotels often have fantastic deals on Sunday nights and it’s also the night you’re more likely to get an upgrade, as hotels may be less occupied.
- Book on mobile – More travelers are booking hotels on the go, in fact according to the 2017 Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker¥, 54% of people globally have booked a hotel on their smartphone and this number is rising. These days it pays to think mobile as special deals are frequently offered exclusively to mobile users.
- Stay in the business district – Many cities which are popular for business travelers, such as Tokyo, London, Brussels and Sao Paulo, have fantastic room rates during the weekend once the ‘suits’ have left. You can sometimes find 5-star hotels for under AED 500 per night.
- Loyalty programmes – It really does pay to be loyal. Sign up to loyalty programmes to enjoy access to the best rates, discount coupons, free nights and VIP services and extras. Hotels.com Rewards™ is unique in that when you book and stay 10 nights, you then get one reward night**.
- Travel with man’s best friend for more space – Sometimes pet-friendly hotels allocate the biggest rooms to those traveling with pets because, let’s face it, their comfort is more important than yours. Consider taking your furry friend away with you, as you might get a more spacious and comfortable room.
- Leave it late to book – Gone are the days when you book your hotel stay months in advance. In fact, booking right at the last minute can save you lots of money. For example, on Hotels.com you can now book all the way up until 5am, so if you fancy a hotel after a night out you’ll be sure to get a bargain, as often the later it gets, the cheaper it gets!
- Request a higher floor to get a top room – The suites and more premium rooms are usually located on the higher floors of a hotel, so request a room in the sky. Even if you don’t quite make it into the presidential suite, you’ll be further away from the street noise.
- Check in as late as possible for an upgrade – If you check in late, then there is a chance that the hotel might have run out of standard rooms, which is generally the room category the everyday traveler books, so an upgrade to a higher room category could be on the cards.
- Be sure to mention special occasions – Make sure you give the hotel a heads-up about any special occasions and ask them for a nice room to celebrate in. Telling them in advance gives them the chance to assign a set room and you may find a bottle of champagne waiting in your super swish suite. Top tip: Don’t call the hotel between 10am and 1pm with a special request, as the chances are they’ll have a long line of guests waiting to check out.
- The power of reviews and social media – Guest reviews and social media exposure are so important to hotels these days. At check in tell them you’ll be writing a review and that you follow them on Instagram and will be tagging and snapping the hotel at every opportunity. Ahem nice room please!
- Ask for a corner room – Always snap up a corner room if one is available. Due to the structural layout of a building, these rooms generally have the most square footage and windows, while also offering the lowest noise level. It will feel like you have a nicer room, without actually paying for one. It’s also worth finding out if the hotel has undergone any recent renovations and if so, request one of the newer rooms.
- Become the staff’s best friend– When you arrive at the hotel, if it’s hectic and super busy, show the hotel staff that you’re on their side and offer to wait. Be friendly and polite with reception staff and this can often lead to a better room and even perks like late checkout, breakfast certificates, fruit baskets, or waived minibar charges.
- Posh freebies – Hotel freebies have had a serious upgrade over the past few years. Forget soap in the shower; you can often enjoy designer toiletries, including body lotion, face masks and beauty utensils. Other items to watch out for are exotic teas and snacks, slippers, high end magazines, stationery and some hotels even have items for the day usage such as portable WiFi units, umbrellas and bikes.
- Ask about breakfast deals on check in – If your room package doesn’t include breakfast, always ask at check in if there are any special deals for the on-site restaurant, especially for breakfast. You could land yourself large discounts on food, an invite to guests-only happy hours or special 2 for 1 deals.
- Consider paying for club or executive level – Some hotels, especially business hotels, have an executive club that gives you access to a whole host of amenities, services and freebies. For a small fee you can enjoy a dedicated lounge with free drinks and snacks, laundry services, upgraded rooms, free WiFi and complimentary newspapers and magazines. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little to get a lot.
- One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – So many things get left behind at hotels, from simple, practical essentials such as adapters and hairbrushes, all the way up to designer luxuries. The lost property is a treasure trove, so if you think of something you need, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Secret pillow menus – A menu in your room might not just be for room service or laundry. Many hotels these days want to offer travelers the luxuries of home, so pillow menus are the new norm. If you are prone to neck and back pains, ask about pillow options. The front desk usually has a huge selection from super firm to melty marshmallow.