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Hotel Hacks – Tips for Booking and Room Tricks


How to Spot a Bad Hotel While Booking Online - Common Red Flags and Tips

Make sure you pin these hotel hacks that detail tips for booking and room tricks that will save you money and make your stay easier.


Avid readers of Tourist Meets Traveler will know that we insist on calling hotels to book a room after you’ve done your research. Compare “discounted” rates with aggregators and third party sites, but call the hotel’s direct number – not the generic 800 number – to book the actual room. Ask the hotel to beat the deal, or at least honor the discounted rate with a perk like free wifi or room upgrade. Don’t forget – hotels can see how you booked and those less than desirable rooms typically go to the less than brand-loyal customers.

Related: Hotel Secrets, Confessions, and How to Score to Freebies

Another tactic is to email the specific hotel’s general manager. Try this tactic if you have stayed at the hotel before and want to praise the aspects of your stay. This will segway you into asking for a deal.

Last Minute Deals

Hotels want to pack every room nightly, so if you’re not traveling during peak season, aim for nabbing a last minute deal. Call to book a room the afternoon you want to stay and ask for any special last minute incentives, upgrades, or discounts.


Paying for wifi is for suckers. Most hotel loyalty programs offer free connection for its members, but if you aren’t a loyalty reward fan, you can still get free wifi. Check out your hotel’s lobby for wifi access at no charge.

If you have Chromecast or other portable streaming device, bring it with you on trips where you know you’ll need access to Netflix or whatever your favorite steaming service is. This is great for families who need Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on demand. All you’ll need is a TV with an HDMI input and wifi. Bonus – you can also charge your phone through the TV, too!

Related: How to Spot a Bad Hotel While Booking Online – Common Red Flags and Tips

Shower Hacks

Turn your bathroom into a steamy dream for wrinkled suits or dresses. Turn the hot water on, hang your garment, and close the door. The steam will build and de-wrinkle your clothing in no time.

Don’t toss that shower cap! They are great for wrapping around footwear and preventing your shoes from getting your luggage and other items dirty. Or, if you have some leftover room service, use the shower cap like plastic wrap and cover your food before popping in the fridge to stay fresh.

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  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    We travel quite a bit and I will definitely be trying a few of these. We book on Expedia and Orbitz a lot and save tons.

  2. Alli says

    I always call directly to the hotel, too. Even when I’m booking tropical getaways with my timeshare, I always call the resort to make sure my room is oceanfront before booking it. Then a month before I arrive at my destination, I sent the resort/hotel manager an email stating that I’m looking forward to the trip and mentioning any special occasions that I may be celebrating. I’ve found that building a rapport with the manager makes for a better stay.

  3. Tammy says

    We don’t travel that much, but when we do, I always do a lot of research for deals and read what each hotel offers. Thanks for the suggestions

  4. Travel Blogger says

    Great tips! I always use the shower trick ever at home lol. I love the shower cap tricks. I have never thought of using it for other purposes.

  5. Tina says

    I never call hotels for reservations because it’s just easier to do it online but after reading this I’ll definitely give the hotel a call and ask them to match the online price. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Jerusha ( says

    I love the shower cap trick! I do racecations all the time and I tend to have dirty shoes… This is a great way to keep everything straight and clean (as well as justify why I need to take everything that isn’t nailed down home with me… ;)). – Jerusha,

  7. Liz Mays says

    These are great tips. I need to start checking for last minute deals. I could probably be saving a ton.

  8. Elizabeth O. says

    Thanks for sharing these tips. It’s been a while since I last booked for a hotel room. I think it’s about time I gave myself a vacation.

  9. Bri says

    Calling the actual hotel when booking a room really does make a difference. I have got some really great perks from doing this.

  10. OurFamilyWorld says

    We don’t travel that much anymore, but these tips may come in handy. I will bookmark this.

  11. Clo says

    We love using travel deal sites. We travel a bit and it’s great to fine deals.

  12. Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey says

    The last minute deal sounds like a neat idea! Great tips, this would help me in planning our next trip!

  13. Chantal says

    Hotels can make going on a trip very costly if you don’t do enough research. These are grreat tips to ensure it is made easy and that you don’t over spend.

  14. Kristen says

    awesome tip about the wi fi – nothing is more frustrating than getting to a hotel and having to pay!

  15. Maurene says

    These are great tips. I always travel so I can use these tips for my next trip. 🙂

  16. Nikki says

    These are good to know, this can’t be hassle on time. I love this advice.

  17. Adriana says

    These are great tips! I travel a lot so I’ll be needing these!

  18. ashleigh says

    Great tip about WIFI! I never knew how much it could be until traveling, now I always look for it included or in a lobby at least.

  19. Dee Francis says

    Getting a last minute deal when it isn’t peak season for hotels seems like a great way to get a discount on a room. It’s good to know that I can ask for upgrades or any other additional discounts by booking the afternoon that I want a room. That could make traveling all the more affordable so that I can take more trips to see new places and visit my family who live out of state.

  20. emily bennette says

    Cara, these are some really great tips on how to score a good hotel room. I liked your tip on waiting for last minute deals. That does sound like a good way to get a very nice room for a low amount of money. Do you know if it is best to book last minute deals directly with the hotel or through a third party website?

  21. Justin Knox says

    Thank you for the help. My wife and I are planning a trip soon and will be staying in various hotels or motels. I didn’t realize that last minute deals could be so beneficial. Since we will be moving a lot, that makes me tempted to wait to book places until we are on the road. Should we deal with the hotel directly when we book a night?

  22. Zequek Estrada says

    There seems to be many tips and tricks that can be beneficial to your travels when booking or staying at a hotel. I wouldn’t have thought that emailing the general manager and giving praises about my stay could possible lead to a good deal. I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I travel.

  23. Maggie Allen says

    I had no idea that calling the hotel you want to stay at can help you get a better discount or upgrade. That sounds really nice, especially if you can nab a suite at an already low price. Are your chances for getting a discount affected by talking to a manager as opposed to the clerk?

  24. emily bennette says

    I like what you said about checking for different discounts for each hotel you are looking into. That way you know you are getting a good deal on where you are staying. It seems like a good idea to get in touch with a professional if you are having a hard time finding a good hotel or motel.

  25. Shanti Kala says

    These hotel hacks can ensure that the hotel that you choose for your next trip will be easy on your pocketbook. I liked the idea of calling the hotel directly because third party booking isn’t cheaper. Nice read!! Very helpful hacks.

  26. judy wilson says

    I think one of my friends told me to book a hotel at the last minute, so it helps that you clarified when I should do this. Calling to book a room during the afternoon when it isn’t the busy season seems really smart. I can see how I would get a good deal on a room using this method when I call for a room in the city I’m staying in for a business trip this week.

  27. Lillian Schaeffer says

    This is some great information, and I appreciate your suggestion to check if a hotel has free WiFi. My husband and I are going to be taking a trip in a few months, so I want to start booking our hotel rooms. He’s going to need access to the internet to do some work one or two days, so I’ll definitely make sure free WiFi is available before I book. Thanks for the great post!

  28. Chris Winters says

    Cara, I like the idea to find a loyalty program that could help you to find wifi wherever you travel. My wife and I have been planning on traveling across the world this upcoming summer. I can only hope that we can find affordable and convenient places to stay during our trip.

  29. Ivy Baker says

    I liked that you talked about how it would be a good idea to compare the discount prices for a hotel room. Personally, I would like it if a hotel could have a virtual tour of a room. That way, I could know what the room looked like before I booked it. Then I could know if the price was worth the space I was paying for.

  30. Ivy Baker says

    This is some really good information about hotels and how to book a room. I want to go on a vacation this winter, but I have never booked my own hotel room. I liked that you talked about how I could book last minute. That gives me a little less stress about finding a room right away.

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