Have you ever stayed at a motel or hotel and it wasn’t exactly…luxury? Maybe there were just certain amenities that were missing. Or maybe they didn’t have any room service as you wanted. That’s okay…just use these hacks to immediately upgrade your stay.
Here are 42 hotel hacks and tips to make your stay way more comfy and pleasurable.
1. Portable cooler
Want to take some beers or sodas out by the pool but don’t have a cooler? Place a fresh trash bag in the trash can, fill it up with ice, and you’re good to go! Of course, check whether or not the hotel allows glass outside the room.
2. Makeshift nail file
Sometimes hotels offer vanity kits with little nail files, but if you’ve found yourself with a scraggly nail with no file in sight, just ask them for a book of matches! Use the place where you’d strike the match as a makeshift nail file.
3. Close that annoying gap in your blackout curtains
Oh, yes. Blackout curtains. They are God’s gift for those of us who like to sleep in past the sun rising (which, isn’t that all of us?). Use those little clips on the hangers found in the closet to secure the curtains closed. Sleep well!
4. Never forget your keys or charger again
We’ve all done it. Hit the road or hopped a plane only to realize that we’ve left our house keys or our charger in the room. Never let that happen again by attaching the keys TO the phone charger. Now, you won’t forget either!
5. Get rid of that funky motel/hotel smell
Have you ever walked into your motel or hotel room and it smells a little…off? Grab that car air freshener from your vents and place it on the heater or A/C vents in your room. Be gone nasty odors!
6. No wall charger? No problem!
If you forgot to bring the wall charger for your phone on your trip, but still have your cord, there’s an easy hack for you. Many newer TVs offer USB outlets on the side or back of them where you can plug the cord right in!
7. Create a speaker with a coffee mug
Want a little mood music? Or perhaps you just want some tunes while you get ready. Either way, use the hotel coffee mug to create a makeshift speaker. Just drop your phone inside and you’re good to go!
8. Prevent toiletry leaks
Nothing is worse than opening your suitcase to find that your shampoo or conditioner has exploded everywhere. Next time you’re staying at a hotel, use the plastic covering the cups and screw them underneath the caps. No more leaks!
9. Keep your toothbrush off the counter
We all want to trust that the housekeepers do a great job at cleaning the bathroom counters. But at the same time–we really just can’t be sure. To keep your toothbrush clean, create a hole in the bottom of a paper cup, flip it upside down, and place your toothbrush in the hole!
10. Defrost that continental breakfast butter
Lots of hotels and motels offer a free continental breakfast before you hit the road. But way too often, the butter is hard as a rock–how are you supposed to spread that? Here’s an easy hack. While you’re toasting your bread, set a couple packets of the butter on top of the toaster so it melts.
11. Get free water from the gym
Does your hotel gym offer free water from a water dispenser? Make sure you fill up your water bottle there before you leave. You’ll save a couple of bucks by not having to purchase bottled water at your next gas station stop.
12. Create your own “nightstand”
Don’t have a nightstand handy? That’s okay! Just use the folds of your fitted sheet to create a little pocket for all the things that you need handy like your cellphone, eyeglasses, remote control, or whatever else you need at an arm’s length.
13. Bring in your belongings with ease
Most hotel and motel doors are built heavy so that they close if you accidentally leave them open. But, if you’re bringing in loads of luggage, this can really be a pain. Prop the door open by using one of the hangers and the top lock.
14. Forget your charger entirely?
If it’s not the wall plug-in that you forgot, but your phone charger entirely, fret not! Ask the front desk if they happen to have one that you can borrow. Many people leave theirs behind and they might have an extra to loan you.
15. Avoid crazy mini-bar charges
Mini bars! Who doesn’t love a mini bar? Delicious treats and drinks at your fingertips! The problem is–they’re expensive. Avoid the ungodly fees by simply replacing them from purchases at a local convenience or liquor store (so much cheaper!). Be aware though–lots of new hotels have pressure plates that know if you’ve taken something out of the fridge.
16. Avoid yucky germs
If you’re a germaphobe, the last thing you want to do is touch a remote control that’s been touched by who-knows-how-many people. Keep your hands germ-free by wrapping the remote in the plastic ice bucket bag that the hotel or motel has provided you.
17. Block noise and light with a towel
Is there hallway light or noise creeping in from the door of your hotel room? Block it out by placing a towel down at the opening. It might not be totally soundproof but it’s definitely a massive help.
18. Keep drinks and food cold without a mini fridge
If your room didn’t come with a mini-fridge, you can make your own cooler by putting some ice in the sink. Just be sure to leave the drain open so that the melting ice has somewhere to go.
19. Keep the power on while you’re away
Many newly-designed hotels and motels require you to keep your key card in a slot to have the power on inside your room. To keep the lights or A/C on while you’re away, simply slip any card in the slot to ensure a nice cool room upon your return.
20. Use a coffee cup at the juice machine
The tiny little juice cups that the hotel provides you at breakast forces you to return to the machine over and over again if you want a refill. Save yourself the hassle and just fill it up with a bigger coffee cup instead.
21. Cook ramen noodles
Life on the road means grabbing food that is easy and convenient. Whip up some ramen noodles by using hot water from a coffee machine. Those little pots will create the perfect amount of water you’ll need.
22. DIY humidifier
Does the air in your room feel a little dry? Add some moisture to the air with a makeshift DIY humidifier. Just run a towel under some hot water and drape it over the luggage holder near the fan.
23. Stream your favorite shows on the hotel TV
“Can’t wait to see your favorite shows? Stream shows to the hotel TV. If you don’t already own a Chromecast (or similar device), it might be worth it just for this — as long as the hotel room has Wi-Fi and the TV has an HDMI input, you can easily stream shows from your phone, tablet, or laptop. This is also handy for work trips — if your small screen isn’t cutting it, you can enlarge your work via the wireless streaming device,” says TravelZoo.
24. Use the shower as a steamer
Find yourself with a wrinkly shirt after unpacking your bag? Steam it in the bathroom! Just hang your item of clothing as close to the shower as possible without getting wet. Crank up the heat of the water and let the room envelope with steam. The wrinkles will release in just a few minutes.
25. Or try the hair dryer
If you don’t have time to wait for your shirt to steam, ‘iron’ your shirt with the hotel hair dryer. Just put it on medium heat, and rub it up and down your item of clothing fairly closely. The wrinkles should fall right out.
26. Use duct tape to childproof your room
Some hotels have childproofing items that they can set up for you if you call ahead of time. But if not, always keep some duct tape handy. You can cover outlets, tape down loose cords, and tape washcloths to sharp corners.
27. Use an ice bucket bag for wet swimsuits
Having a pool at your hotel or motel is always a bonus, but when you pack up to leave, your swimsuit may not have had time to fully dry. Just toss it in the plastic bag they give you for your ice bucket. Now it won’t get the other items in your suitcase wet.
28. Use a shower cap to save leftovers
Don’t toss out that room service just because you couldn’t finish it. Slip a shower cap over the plate and place it in the mini-fridge so you can eat it later.
29. Multi-uses for conditioner
Conditioner is often supplied in your hotel room and it can do so much more than just moisturize your hair. You can use it as a makeup remover, cuticle cream, or shaving cream too. It’s quite a versatile product!
30. Don’t underestimate the power of a tip
“Slip the front office staff your credit card together with a $20 note and ask if there are any ‘complimentary upgrades’ available and just wait for the magic to happen,” says Ovolo Hotels.
31. Be your own room service
Many hotels will charge a fee for room service. Avoid this by simply going down to the hotel’s restaurant and ordering it to go. Sure, you might not have fancy plates but the food is just as tasty. Plus, no extra charge!
32. Pack dirty shoes in a shower cap
Another great way to use the motel shower cap is to store your dirty shoes before packing them in your suitcase. Place the soles down inside the cap and now your clothes won’t get any dirt or grime on them.
33. Make a facial treatment with sugar packets
Hotel rooms usually have sugar packets next to the coffee supplies. Give yourself a DIY spa treatment by using the sugar and some lotion as a facial scrub and exfoliant. Your skin will feel so incredibly soft without having to spend a fortune.
34. Take the toiletries
Those tiny little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and mouthwash were put out for your use! Even if you don’t use all of them, be sure to take them anyway. They’re the perfect size for plane travel, camping, or having hand lotion in your purse. You could even donate them!
35. Ask for items that you forgot
What’s given to you in your hotel room for toiletries usually aren’t the only extra supplies they have on hand for your use. Often times they’ll have sewing kits, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and more. You just have to ask!
36. Let the hotel know about special occasions
Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, honeymoon, or exciting milestone, be sure to the hotel know about any special occasion you might be celebrating. Sometimes they’ll give you a free upgrade or leave chocolates or champagne in your room.
37. Make a bed divider with extra pillows
Siblings aren’t often thrilled when they have to share a bed with one another at the hotel. Make a bed divider with pillows. If you don’t have enough in the room, just call the front desk and they’ll bring you more.
38. Hand wash clothes in the tub
“If you’re in desperate need of clean clothes while staying in a hotel, don’t have someone do your laundry for you – instead, do it yourself in your hotel’s bathroom by filling up the bathtub with warm water and soap and hand-washing your clothes. It might be kind of a pain, but it will definitely save you money!” says Guff.
39. Offer them a review
When you’re checking in, ask if they’re on TripAdvisor and that you’d love to leave them a raving review. Sometimes, they’ll provide you with an upgrade, free breakfast, or other perks.
40. Get instant status at check-in
“Al-Nawaz Rajan generally pays 2-star prices for 4-star hotels, and shares his travel hacking tips on Credit Walk. He’s a fan of using platinum cards that get you upgraded status at hotels just for being a card member. Some of those cards come with a hefty fee, but the upgraded status is worth its weight: “Some of the benefits of higher status include late checkout, free breakfast, Internet, upgrades to suites/better rooms, additional point earning, and welcome gifts,” said WiseBread.
41. Ask for dishware
If you brought snacks or takeout into your hotel room, call the front desk and ask them for plates and dishware. They’ll often grab some from their restaurant and deliver them to your room.