While hotels are bright and comfortable, they just aren’t tailored specifically for you like your own abode. Even luxury hotels lose their charm after a few days, as many start missing all the conveniences of home. But with these amazing hotel hacks, you can revolutionize your travels, and take your creature comforts on the road to a whole new level.
1. Keep Those Curtains Clamped
While hotels can make the average Joe feel like he’s truly living in the lap of luxury, hotels still rarely offer the privacy level of a Beverly Hills mansion. If it isn’t the thin walls or vacuum in the hall that remind you you’re far from alone, it’s those blasted curtains that always leave a small opening.
This little problem can be solved if you have a clothes hanger. However, not any old hanger will work: specifically, you’ll need a hanger with clamps. Turn that hanger sideways, clamp those pesky curtains shut, and never worry about people peeping on you again while you enjoy your stay.
2. Help Your Toothbrush, Help Yourself
Even the most luxurious hotel isn’t necessarily going to be as clean as your home. A cleaner has about an hour at most to tidy up that whole room. While they do their job well enough, the sparkle and smell is mostly just an illusion. This is true even with the bathroom counters.
We’d think twice before laying your toothbrush down on the bathroom sink, as it’s definitely covered in a variety of bacteria from plenty of people. Seeing as hotels don’t usually have toothbrush holders, are you supposed to just shrug and take your chances? No! Take one of those coffee cups, flip it upside down, and cut a little hole in the bottom for your toothbrush.
3. Setting The Mood
While some hotels come with the ability to dim the lights in your room, others will have a single setting. It’s usually something manageable, but definitely nothing worth setting a mood to. If you have a colored shirt or rag, however, your situation might not be completely hopeless.
You can take your drab accommodations and give them a dose of character by throwing that rag or shirt over the lamp, as long as it doesn’t have an exposed bulb. Suddenly, your bright hotel room will be romantic and mysterious. That said, if your room has blinding fluorescent lights, good luck; a hundred shirts and rags won’t save your situation.
4. Better Butter
There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a warm piece of toast topped off with some creamy butter. While many won’t see this as something that’s hard to come by, in hotels they can be. Most continental breakfasts come with an array of freshly served food. The spread will have any foodie seeing stars.
Part of this meal is usually toast and little wrapped pats of butters. While one can’t complain about the toast, the butter is usually as solid as ice. Trying to spread this block of butter will most likely result in that toast being torn apart. Tragic, but it can be easily avoided: simply leave that butter packet on top of a toaster.
5. Your Very Own Garbage Bin Cooler
Generally speaking, travel is going to be expensive. All those savings in your bank account can dwindle quickly in a matter of a few nights. Often, you might save a bit by opting for breakfast at the hotel or making your own lunch. All that food is going to need refrigeration if you plan on it staying fresh — but that’s not a problem, right?
Most hotel rooms come with a mini-fridge, and if you find it’s too full, don’t despair — there’s a great hack for that. You can save all your food by filling your sink or trash can with ice and making a DIY cooler. There is usually no limit on how much ice you can get, so your goods can remain cool for some time.
6. Get Greedy With Those Tiny Shampoos
One of the best things about taking a few nights in a nice hotel are the free things that come with it. Now, don’t get out of hand and snatch anything that isn’t bolted to the ground — there are limits. For instance, don’t take home that bathrobe, as the hotel will charge you for it when you leave.
However, don’t hesitate to take as many of those tiny soaps, shampoos, and conditioners as you can get your hands on. While it doesn’t exactly show up on your bill, you are charged for the service regardless, so you’d might as well snag as much as your heart desires.
7. DIY Drain Plug
Nothing can be more upsetting than checking into your hotel room, feeling like sinking into a hot bath, only to discover there is no drain plug. Does your relaxing trip end there? One can’t be expected to surround themselves with candles and zen music to take a relaxing shower for 45 minutes.
Don’t despair, your dream of a relaxing bath isn’t buried and gone. You can save the situation with ease by putting together a DIY drain stopper. All you need to do is retrieve a plastic bag from the ice bucket, and a few coins from your purse or wallet. Place the plastic over the drain and put a few coins in it. That’ll do a great job of plugging the drain.
8. A Little Plastic a Day Can Keep The Doctor Away
When it comes to a hotel’s cleaning staff, it can be hit or miss. Some cleaners are going to clean their heart out, while others are going to do the bare minimum and cut corners where they can. No matter how nice that room looks when you step inside, there will always be some areas and items that are loaded with bacteria.
Let’s face it, some items in the hotel room are never being cleaned and one of those is that television remote control. You can save yourself a future illness by heading to the room’s ice bucket, grabbing a plastic bag, and draping it over the remote.
9. Expand Your Table Space
Pictures often make a hotel room look about a hundred times greater than it actually is. A lot of beauty can be created with a good camera and the right angle. So many times, you walk into that hotel with a head full of hype, but then find yourself in a room about half the size of what you were expecting.
You might find very little room in terms of tables and counter space. This will likely lead to you living out of your suitcase, packing and unpacking your belongings every day. However, this can all be solved by asking the folks at reception for an ironing board. Use the ironing board as an extra shelf to store some of your things.
10. Keep That Phone Close
Not every hotel comes with a bedside table on both sides of the bed. If that’s the case in your hotel room, you might just have to leave your phone on the desk or stick under your pillow and run the risk of it sliding off the bed and getting stepped on or lost.
Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. You don’t need to be away from your phone: you can simply untuck the top end of your bed sheet and create a horizontal pocket. You can then slide your phone into that horizontal pocket and rest assured that it’ll be a quick grab away.
11. Don’t Settle For Cold Pizza
Most hotel rooms don’t come with a microwave for reheating the leftovers of last night’s dinner that you didn’t finish. This often leads to a lot of people just wasting perfectly good food or eating a cold slice of pizza. Yet while there is no oven or microwave in your hotel room, you can find heat from other sources.
Most hotel rooms have an iron and a blow dryer on hand. You stick some aluminum foil on the bottom side on the iron, place the pizza slice on top of that, and then use the blow dryer to heat the top. In a few minutes that pizza will feel fresh out of the oven.
12. No Keycard? No Worries
The keycard system isn’t just a way to make keys obsolete in the hotel industry, but also ends up saving hotels a ton on their electric bills. Anyone familiar with hotels knows how it works: you place the keycard into a slot on the wall and it activates the room’s electricity.
But what most people don’t know is that their attachment on the wall isn’t activated by your specific keycard. You can literally place any card in there — even a Target gift card would work. Now if you want the air conditioner and lights on when you leave, you can just stick a business card in there and keep everything functioning while you’re away — if you’re so inclined.
13. Turn The Party Up
You aren’t about to check into your hotel room to find a Bluetooth speaker just waiting on the counter. This just isn’t a luxury that’s common in most hotels. Maybe if you order the penthouse room, but not for the average vacationer. Most just settle for playing a song on their phone or using earphones.
You can definitely get the party started by taking a cup or bowl and placing your phone inside of it. While it won’t exactly rock the house, it’ll definitely be louder. However, remember to be considerate: you might not want to keep it too loud, as your next door neighbor probably wants to get some relaxation.
14. A Little Peace and Quiet
If we’re lucky, sleep awaits us the moment our heads hit the pillow. This is purely luck. Most times, we require a very sleep-friendly environment, or we’ll toss and turn for hours on end. Hotels can be hard for some people; not only is the room different from what we’re used to, but we might be disturbed by the elevator, the light sneaking under the door, or people talking in the hall.
These little annoyances can lead to a rough night and low reviews for the hotel in question. You can turn the night around by rolling up a towel and sticking it under the door. It’ll block out any light, and if the towel is thick enough, it’ll even be able to drown out some of the sound.
15. Bring On The Moisture
Hotels are notorious for having very dry air. That air quality can lead to you feeling dried out in the middle of your trip or even getting sick. What you need is some humidity. Luckily for you, this can easily be achieved, and you don’t need to bring your humidifier from home, either.
You can make your room as humid as you need by simply soaking a towel and then leaving it to dry by the heater or air conditioner. Next, you just drape the wet towel over the ironing board or luggage rack. Not only will it make the environment less dry, it might even solve any snoring problems you have.
16. Unlikely Place to Stash Your Cash
A hotel room is not a public space, but it is supposed to serve as your little home away from home. However, despite that, the big difference between a home and hotel is that other people have access to a hotel room and not all of these people are going may have your best interest at heart.
This means that it isn’t really wise to leave valuables out in the open when you are not in the room. While any hotel cleaning staff is usually made up of good, honest people, there could be a shady one among the bunch. You can easily hide your money in your hair brush. It’s an item that most wouldn’t think to open up, let alone steal.
17. Ironing Board Laptop Stand
For some people, the thought of just turning out the lights and going to bed is unheard of. They need their laptop’s blue light and the background noise of YouTube videos to fill the room. That said, you won’t always have room for your laptop on the bed. What do you do at this point?
You don’t have to remove the lamp off of the bedside table, stick your laptop on there, and sleep on your side all night. Instead, you can simply whip out that multi-purpose ironing board, set it up over your bed, and place your laptop on top of it. You might actually find the setup to be pretty comfortable.
18. Get a Shower Cap For Those Sneakers
When it comes to your hotel’s complimentary toiletries, don’t hold back on getting your hands on as much as you need. While you probably won’t need extra shower caps for your hair, ask for two extra for your shoes. You aren’t hearing wrong: that’s right, two extra shower caps for your shoes!
That extra pair of sneakers is walking all over the city. While the sidewalks might look pretty clean, they are full of grime. You don’t want to just toss those shoes into your luggage with all your shirts and pants, and risk them getting dirty. To prevent the filth from spreading to your other clothes, you can wrap those shoes in a shower cap.
19. A Spoon Can Go a Long Way
If you’re unloading your luggage into your hotel’s hallway, you’ll likely be opening and shutting that heavy door multiple times. Anyone who has ever stayed in a hotel knows how annoying the door can be. It doesn’t gently close behind you when you open it, but slams shut — and then you need your room key again.
You can avoid this annoyance by simply jamming a spoon under the door. It’ll hold it open while you move all your luggage out. Any piece of silverware will work for this hack, but given that teaspoons are usually available within the room, those will be the easiest to get your hands on.
20. Blow Dryers: Beyond Hair
Unless your whole wardrobe is dirty, you probably don’t want to use a hotel’s expensive laundry service for just a few items. This can result in a pair of stinky socks or a few sweaty shirts getting stuffed into the bottom of your luggage. From there, they’ll slowly stink up the rest of your clothes.
You can solve this problem by washing your clothes in the bathroom sink. Before you go on and assume that you’ll have to hang dry clothes all over your lavish hotel room, there is a quick solution to your wet clothes. You can bust out that blow dryer and dry your socks or shirts in moments. You can hang them on the cord, or put a sock on the mouth of the dryer before turning it on.
21. Get a Germ Free Sleep
Once you roll into your hotel room, your natural inclination is almost always to put your luggage onto the bed and open it up. However, you should think twice about where you put your bag. Your luggage wheels are rolling all over the city and now you’re going to put them on your bed.
You can always sanitize the wheels with some wipes before placing the luggage, but that is only half the problem. Worst case scenario, if your hotel has any bedbugs in it, they are looking to hitch a ride. You’ll place the luggage on your bed, go to the restroom and basically leave your suitcase wide open for them. You should always opt for putting your luggage on a chair.
22. Avoid Room Service Like The Plague
Who can resist the temptation of having a meal rolled over to your room on a silver platter? We’ve seen room service used extensively on shows and films, and honestly, it looks about a hundred times better than it does in real life.
In actuality, you’ll end up paying $25 on some chicken fingers that’ll lose a great deal of their heat while on the long journey from the kitchen to your room. You’d save 33% on that same meal if you actually went down to the dining area to eat. It may not be served on some silver platter, but it will be hot out of the kitchen.
23. Forget Third Parties, Book Directly
We totally get why people turn to booking websites like Booking.com when they’re looking for a nice hotel room. It’s just so much more convenient than calling a bunch of hotels in a foreign country. You also get to compare prices with other hotels in the area.
However, you can save a pretty penny by simply booking directly with the establishment. Most hotels will offer great deals to guests that book directly with them and will be happy to match any prices found online. The hotel doesn’t have to pay any commissions to middleman websites and might even give you some extra perks.
24. Everyday’s Your Birthday
If you are traveling on a budget, here’s a sneaky trick that can always see you upgrading yourself out of the budget box room and into something a little more snazzy. When you call to book your room, tell the receptionist that it’s your birthday, anniversary, or some other special occasion.
Nine times out of ten, this little white lie will result in the receptionist giving you a free upgrade. They might even throw in a bottle of fine wine or something along those lines. While this might not be for everyone, if your morals are a tad flexible, this ruse will definitely come in handy.
25. Baby Proof With a Band-Aid
While travel used to be relaxing and fun in your young and carefree days, the tables have turned now that the new baby is coming along for the trip. At home, your baby is safe; you have everything from the stove to the doors decked out with baby-proof locks. Hotels, meanwhile, baby-proof nothing before your arrival.
Suddenly, every door, cabinet, and electrical socket is a possible accident. An unprepared family will find every second of a baby’s freedom to be nerve-wracking. Don’t despair, new parents: you can always baby proof electrical sockets with a few band-aids. Now you’ll only have to watch for the doors.
26. Double Your Door Security
If you’re staying in the Hilton in London or something, you can sleep tight without worrying about someone breaking into your room to steal your belongings or you. However, sometimes you find yourself staying in a low end motel that is anything but ideal. In cases like this, that flimsy hotel lock might not be enough to make you feel comfortable.
Thankfully, you can take action and secure yourself. You can take a piece of shoe lace and tie it around the latch lock. This will definitely make breaking in way more of a challenge. With that, you’ll no longer have to sleep with two wide eyes peeking over the blanket.
27. Boil Food In Your Hotel Room
This hotel hack is in no way pleasant. It’s going to suck for the people who stay in the room after you and the cleaners. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there is a method that will prepare any meal in a matter of minutes. Turn your eyes to the kettle sitting on your hotel rooms desk.
This handy device can do a lot more then prepare some hot water. You can do what the people are doing in the photo above and boil some corn and hot dogs in it for lunch. However, you can also cut up some veggies and make an amazing soup in that kettle. Between this hack and the iron and blow dryer hack, you can turn that hotel room into a kitchen.
28. A Little Plastic For Some Spillage
It happens to us all too often. We pack our favorite hair gels into our packs along with our clothes and hope for the best. Then when we get to the hotel we open our bags to absolute nightmare. Amid the shake and stir of the plane ride, the bottle caps have twisted off and have expelled shampoo all over your stuff.
These unfortunate accidents can all be avoided. Get some plastic from the hotel that you’re staying in and twist the caps on over the plastic. This will effectively prevent any spillage. This is definitely a travel practice that you want to be without.
29. Freshen Up Your Surroundings
If you’re staying at some lavish joint in the city’s center, everything will appear brand new and untouched with every visit. However, if you’re at your typical Motel 6, there will be signs that life had been occupying the room before you were ever there.
This will be especially evident once you turn on that air conditioner or heater. Once the on switch is flipped, you’ll smell twenty years of dust and mold build up. You can take that frown and turn it upside down by simply putting a air freshener against the vent. Instead of smelling that dirty filtered air, you’ll be treat to the smell of mint or strawberry.
30. File Those Nails With Fire
Hotels come with a lot of nice little accessories to make you feel like you’re at home. You get those shower caps, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a robe, slippers and even a book of matches. That said, where on earth is that nail filer?
You can look high and low, but there’s a fat chance that you’ll ever find one. However, your nails aren’t just going to eternally grow long and out of control throughout your trip and you don’t have to go to the drugstore and get a nail filer. That handy match book will have no problem filing down your nails.
31. Keeping Track of Your Belongings
It happens too often, we’re on the taxi to the airport, at the airport or at home and realize something is missing. Is it those house keys, our phone charger or perhaps our passport. Slips up like this can result in ton of stress, anxiety and our blood pressure shooting through the roof.
There is a way to make sure that nothing is ever forgotten ever again and that is simply by combining all of your most precious items. The picture above displays this perfectly as it shows a set of keys wrapped around a telephone charger. This person definitely won’t leave anything behind.
32. Door and Bottle Opener
Traveling can be tough, especially on that first day. You just flew in on a flight that was anywhere between three and 13 hours, you walked with a heavy bag from a train station to your apartment and finally got into your room to unwind. You open up that fridge and grab an ice cold coca cola and want nothing more then to crack that bottle open. However, a problem arises.
Your room doesn’t have a bottle opener in the drawer. Does this mean going all the way back down to reception in your bathrobe and getting one or worse, heading to the store? It definitely doesn’t have to. You can always use your door to open up a bottle.
33. Dinner’s Served
Once you have a ton of bills, a spouse, and a few kids, traveling could be more expensive than ever. Let’s face it, none of them are going to be jazzed to spend their faction in the hippie hostel you went to back when you were on your gap year ten years earlier. They’re going to want to stay in a somewhat nice hotel.
This means nothing good for your bank account. You might have to skip out on a few dinners out and settle for a hotel room meal. You’ll definitely be lacking some table space in this situation, but before you have your kids eat on the floor, bust out that ironing board.
34. Another Way To Keep The Door Open
We already talked about the kind of headache that can be caused by a hotel room door. This is especially true when you’re trying to get all of your bags out into the hallway. Imagine how many times one will need to tap their card on the door. It can be like twenty times.
If you lack any forks or spoons to slide under that door, you can be totally screwed. However, hope still does exist if the closet is positioned by the door. You can attach a hanger from the closet to the door and hold it open in that manner. It might even be more ideal then putting a spoon on the floor.
35. Charge That Phone In Style
Hotel rooms come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some can surpass your standard and be a joyful perfect experience, others not so much. They’ll look good in the picture, but reveal themselves to be nothing short of a roach motel.
They’ll lack a bunch of things and in some situations even an outlet to plug your phone into. This can be a nightmare, as a charged phone is definitely an essential thing these days. If your room doesn’t have that outlet, check the back of the television, as most TVs have a phone charger in the back these days.
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