Whether you’ve booked a 5-star luxury hotel or a Super 8 off the highway–there are some incredibly genius ways to take your hotel or motel stay to the next level.
Thanks to our friends across the internet, we’ve found the best tips, tricks, and hacks to make your stay absolutely amazing.
Here are 55 hotel hacks that will totally blow your mind and make you wish you knew them years ago.
Continue to the next slide for some game-changing hacks.
1) 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!
2) 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!
3) 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!
4) Prevent toiletry leaks
Nothing is worse than opening your suitcase to find that your shampoo or conditioner has exploded everywhere. Next tim you’re staying at a hotel, use the plastic covering the cups and screw them underneath the caps. No more leaks!
5) Create a speak 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!
6) 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!
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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.
11) 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!
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 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.
16) 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.
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) 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.
22) 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.
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) 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!
31) 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.
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) 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.
40) 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.
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.
42) Keep your “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door
If you’re feeling uncomfortable with people coming into your room to do housekeeping, just keep the DND sign on your door. They won’t know if you’re in there or not and will not disturb your room for your stay.
43) Don’t use the “Clean Room” sign
If the area of your motel or hotel doesn’t feel like the safest, avoid using the “Clean Room” sign. Although it’s an indicator for the housekeeping staff to enter, it also lets potential thieves know that you’re not in the room.
44) Borrow blenders and crock-pots
Believe it or not, hotels that have restaurants will often be able to supply you with quite a few items if you just ask. Sometimes they’ll let you borrow blenders or slow cookers if you’d like to do some of your own cooking.
45) Use the ironing board for extra dining space
If the entire family is sharing a hotel room, there isn’t a lot of space to sit down and eat. Turn the hotel room ironing board into a makeshift dining table. Just throw down a towel for a tablecloth and use the bed as a bench. Plus, it adjusts in height!
46) Create a bath or sink plug
Sometimes you might find that your motel’s sink or bathtub doesn’t stay full because the plug is missing or broken. Use the plastic bag from the ice bin and push it into the drain. Then, place coins inside to create a plug. Simply pull up the bag when you’re done!
47) Use the free laundry bag to hold dirty diapers
If you’re traveling with a baby or toddler and are constantly changing diapers, you definitely don’t want to just throw them in those tiny hotel trash cans. Use the free laundry bag that’s provided in your room and place the soiled diapers in there instead.
48) Bring painter’s tape
Keep kids from getting bored in the hotel room by bringing some painter’s tape. You can create tracks for the toy cars, a game board for tic-tac-toe, or anything else you can think of!
49) Email the manager beforehand
“According to financial advice website Wise Bread, traveler Elizabeth Houck is now consistently upgraded to the king suite at a particular hotel, all thanks to a simple e-mail to the GM regarding her first hotel stay that led to many future advantages and upgrades,” explains Travel Awaits.
50) Check-in late in the day
Try your best to check in as late in the day as you can. The later it is, the fewer the customers that are coming in. It’s less likely that the hotel will book the better rooms and you’ll be more likely to get one or get an upgrade.
51) Earn freebies through social media
Be sure to check your hotel’s social media pages before staying. Sometimes, if you check-in via a social media app, you can get a discount. Or, you might be able to use a certain hashtag that gives you perks when you check-in.
52) Fix an overstuffed pillow
Hotel pillows aren’t going to be suited for everyone. If there’s a pillow that is too big and overstuffed to get comfortable, take out the pillow and stuff the pillowcase with some clothes or a towel instead.
53) Take the plastic laundry bag with you
If you didn’t use your hotel’s plastic laundry bag, take it with you anyway. It’s a great item that you can keep in the car for trash from snacks or stops along the journey.
54) Use your iron to cook
Put your iron to good use by using it cook! Place a piece of tin foil over the hot iron and use it to cook up foods like eggs or pre-cooked sausage patties. You could even heat up english muffins to make a yummy breakfast sandwich!
55) Use an empty trash can as a step stool
Do you have little ones that just can’t reach the hotel bathroom’s counter? If the trash can is still empty, just flip it over and use it as a step stool. Now they can reach the sink to wash their hands or brush their teeth.
The next time you’re staying at a hotel or motel, give yourself little upgrades all over the place by following these awesomely clever hotel hacks. Your road trips and vacations just got a whole lot better.
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