Planning a staycation soon? From making your hotel feel more like home to saving money on things you can DIY, here are 15 hotel hacks to keep in mind to make the most out of your hotel stay.

1. Inform the hotel about a special occasion in advance

Are you staying at a hotel for special occasions such as celebrating your anniversary, preparing for your wedding, or spending your honeymoon? Let the property know about your special event when making your booking. Chances are that you’ll be lucky enough to score a complimentary upgrade.

You can make your anniversary, wedding, or honeymoon extra sweeter with a deluxe suite with wine and chocolates awaiting your arrival. 

2. Offer to write a review

Hotels love digital-savvy guests who can spread the word about how great their experiences are with the property. So when you offer to rate and write a review on a popular travel site, like Tripadvisor, they’re more likely to deliver top-notch services to make a good impression. 

3. Control appliances with your smartphone

Did you know that you can use your smartphone as a remote control? From overriding your hotel room thermostat to remotely controlling the dimmers, you can access the appliances around you with the latest apps. So if you feel like secretly changing the temperature in the humid hotel lobby, remember that the power is in your hands – in a literal sense. 

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4. Ask for a corner room

While it’s often true that all hotel rooms are of the same size, some rooms give better views than the rest – such as corner rooms. 

5. Cover a remote with a plastic bag

Germaphobe or not, you wouldn’t use the TV remote the same way again after learning how much germs thrive in it. Save yourself from this nasty item by covering it with plastic before using it. 

6. De-wrinkle your clothes

Planning to stay at the hotel for more than a day? Want to make your hotel room feel more like home? Don’t want to have wrinkled clothes messing up your OOTD? If you say “yes” to all these questions, the best thing you can do is unpack, use the hangers, and the in-room iron.

Don’t have an iron? You can use another trick: A shower steam. De-wrinkle your clothes for 5-10 minutes in the steam while showering. 

7. Watch Netflix in your hotel room

Let’s admit it – hotel televisions, whose channels are often boring and outdated, are just worthless. Want to watch your favorite movies and series on your 40” in-room TV? Everything’s possible as long as you have Google Chromecast with you. Plug it into your TV and it grants you easy access to several streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play.

But if you’re in a picturesque location, like in a hotel in Kilkenny Ireland, we strongly suggest you get out of bed and explore.

8. Ask for plates and utensils

Unless it comes with your rate, try not to spend on hotel food. You can save money while having the same pleasurable in-room dining experience, by buying cheaper takeout food or (make your own food) and asking for hotel dinnerware. Who wants to eat food from a takeout box anyway? 

9. Stock the minibar with your own items

Minibars are cash-burning machines, let’s get that straight. To enjoy the same treats without these pesky hotel fees, consider using it solely for cooling your own booze and soda. Disclaimer: Make sure the minibar doesn’t have fancy pressure sensors and you keep them separate from the original minibar items. 

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10. Use the bathroom as a laundry room

Hotel laundry services are expensive. If you’re having a long vacation, you can save by doing a little hand laundry in the bathroom and use the towel heat racks as dryers. 

11. Put any type of card in the key card holder

Does your hotel room require a hotel key card for power to stay on? If you need to charge your devices while you’re away, you can use any type of card in the holder to keep the power on. 

12. Use the “Do Not Disturb” sign when leaving

The sign isn’t just handy when you, well, don’t want to be disturbed. You can also use it for security reasons, especially when you’re staying in a cheap or sketchy hotel. Hanging the sign implies that someone’s inside the room, making the room protected from theft. 

13. Stuff a towel underneath the door

Hate the noise created my rowdy kids (and adults) roaming the hallways? Or the annoying sound of elevators and bellman luggage carts? This old trick of covering the slits of the door helps reduce the noise coming from outside, 

14. Pack with compartments

Upon checking out, chances are that your luggage and your entire room look like a mess. Make packing easier by getting small collapsible cloth boxes you can use inside your suitcase. There should be a box for toiletries, underwear, dry clothes, wet clothes, dirty clothes, gadgets, and more. 

15. Treat the front desk agents and other hotel staff right 

Front desk people can be agents of karma. They know there’s always a larger room, a corner room, a standard room with better views, a room with a bigger flat screen and a larger bath. Treat them nicely, with a small tip, and you might get an upgrade.

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Carmina Natividad is a passionate blogger who'd rather write helpful and engaging posts online than rant on social media. This free-spirited damsel enjoys writing articles about travel, fashion, food, home design, career, relationships, and lifestyle. When she's not writing, you can find her drawing monster doodles, eating Japanese food and petting her boyfriend's cat.

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