It isn't a secret to anyone that traveling is super expensive. Between the hotel stay, flights, rental cars, dining, and other destination activities, you can easily spend many hundreds of dollars a day just to have a great trip. Budget travel is becoming more and more popular, and it's easy to tell that everyone wants to save money on trips - just look at how many websites have popped up dedicated to offering better deals. What many travelers don't realize is that you can also save money in a bunch of smaller ways during any trip if you just know where to look!
Hotels will generally provide a lot of extra perks and amenities that guests may not notice. They won't usually be offered unless you ask, so you need to have the inside knowledge to know what youneed. Not only does your hotel provide you a lot of extra amenities that can help you save costs, but they can save you in a pinch if you forget anything super important or essential, even if it isn't budget related.
Instead of trudging along without your travel necessities, check in with your lodging next time to see if you can be helped. Here are some of the best things your hotel will usually provide if you know to ask for them.
20 20. A Free Umbrella: Stay Dry At No Cost
Rain is never wanted on vacation, but if you're staying someplace like Seattle, Hawaii, or Florida, rain is bound to join your vacation at some point.
Perhaps you're staying in Seattle's number one ranked hotel, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, or the historic Island Hotel in Florida, and whilst packing, you forget your umbrella. As stunning as hotels are, you probably want to visit the city's top spots outside of the venue you're staying at.
A forgotten umbrella won't ruin your vacation: just ask the hotel concierge for one. Hotels are usually prepared for the weather, even when you aren't.
19 19. A Free Nightlight: You Don't Have to be Scared of the Dark
Did you know that a Gallup study in 2010 concluded that nearly 4 in 10 people fear walking alone in the dark at night? If you're one of those four individuals, don't fear: you're not alone.
You don't have to be afraid to ask for a nightlight no matter your age because hotels are prepared to ward off the darkness with a complimentary nightlight.
Even if you're staying in one of the darkest cities in the United States, like Chemung Mine in California or Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, there's no need to be afraid of the dark with the companion of a free nightlight.
18 18. A Free Map of the Local City: Find Your Way Around With Help
Unless you're doing a stay-cation, it's unlikely you'll know the routes to your destination's hottest spots, or even just to a gas station. If a map of the local city wasn't provided to you and you're low on gas (or ready to hit the city's hottest club or best restaurant), just ask.
Hotel concierges are able to provide you with a map so you can make the most out of your visit. While you're there, ask them to highlight a few must-sees: hotel staff members most likely live in the area and will know where you need to visit before you head back to the familiarity of home.
17 17. A Free Phone Charger: Don't Miss Out On Pictures!
It costs an average of $10 to buy a brand-new phone charger for a smartphone. Save your money (and your gas) and ask a hotel staff member for a compatible phone charger for your phone.
Avoid the disappointment of a missing the best photos due to a dead phone battery, especially when you're visiting one of the United States' best botanical gardens, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, or one of the most well-known areas, like the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
Forever memories like photos and videos are free, and a phone charger can be, too.
16 16. Free WiFi: Stay Connected While Away
Everyone is aware just how important WiFi is to post that perfect Instagram shot, latest Facebook update, or check the weather forecast while you're on vacation and trying to save data. On average, it takes only seven minutes for a guest to connect to a hotel's WiFi if it's available.
More than that, a survey recently claimed that WiFi was the second item on a hotel's visitor's wish list, second to a free room upgrade. Yeah, it's that important. Thankfully, most hotels now offer free Wifi with the purchase of a room – all you have to do is ask for it.
15 15. Free Extra or Better Pillows: Sweet Dreams Are Easy
Sleeping in a bed other than your own may be one of the hardest things about vacation. On top of that, pillows from hotel to hotel are vastly different. You never know what kind of pillow you might get. If you need an extra pillow for neck support or an extra one to put in-between your legs: just ask.
Hotels want to make your stay as comfortable as possible, and that includes how you're sleeping at night. A great night's sleep is a must when traveling, and if there is one thing hotels are never short on, it is pillows.
14 14. Free Slippers: Treat Your Feet in Style
One of the best ways to relax while on vacation is to visit a spa. Maybe you're a guest at one of the best spas in the U.S., like the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas, The Lodge at Woodloch in Pennsylvania, or The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu in California, and you need a pair of slippers to walk from your yoga class to your massage.
Don't hesitate to ask the hotel for a spare pair. Even if you're not at a spa, slippers are available for your walking and relaxing pleasure at almost every hotel front desk.
13 13. Free Coffee and Tea: The Morning Wake-up Perks
Sometimes your goal while vacationing is to be as far away from society as you can get. Resorts in places such as The Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas, and The Apostle Islands in Wisconsin are known for both their beauty and seclusion. There are many benefits to vacationing in solitude, but there's one definite disadvantage: the lack of coffee and tea shops.
Whether you're in need of a dark roast wake-up call or a calming cup of lavender tea before bed, just ask the front desk for the nearest complimentary drink station.
12 12. A Free Sewing Kit: Fix Your Clothes at no Charge
One of the most popular reasons for booking at a resort is to host a wedding. Some of the most beautiful weddings are held at The Mayflower Grace in Washington, Connecticut, and Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, New York. It could be everything you ever dream of. Unless, of course, the hem of your dress unravels ten minutes before your walk down the aisle or a bridesmaid strap snaps before the bridal party portrait.
It may sound like a nightmare, but with the help of hotel concierge, your nightmare will soon return to a dream. Most hotels have a sewing kit on hand to use as needed, with multiple different thread colors and the tools to help you out.
11 11. Free Bikes: Get Around Easily
Bikes might not be in every hotel's back room, but there are a few hotels that specifically let you bike around town for free.
Hotel Monaco in Portland offers both cruisers and single-speed bikes for guests to bike around one of the U.S.'s top cyclist cities. Heywood Hotel in East Austin, Texas gives visitors the opportunity to bike around to the best BBQ joints and scenic routes in the city. In New York City, there are a handful of hotels that cater to cyclists, including The Jane Hotel, The James Hotel, and The Maritime Hotel.
Wherever you go, you can go by bike in these cities and more. Whether you want to workout or have an easier way to sightsee, a bike is perfect.
10 10. Free Drinking Water: Stay Hydrated While Away
Keeping up with your water intake is a must no matter where you visit, but it's especially important when visiting some of America's hottest locations, like Texas, Arizona, and Florida. You're guaranteed to have both a good time and some sweat on your body when you visit hotels like the Omni Austin Hotel in Texas and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.
If you're feeling a little overheated, don't sweat it: ask the nearest staff member for a bottle or glass of drinking water to cool off. They'd be more than happy to give you some ice-cold water to quench your thirst and save your favorite white blouse. Be sure to check if there are any prices on the bottles in your room, and if there is, look in the lobby for ice water.
9 9. Free Laundry Bags: Keep Your Organization Skills Fresh
Whether you're packing for two nights or 14, you're likely to need some sort of laundry service while staying at a hotel away from home, especially if you're staying in one of the best-dressed cities in the U.S.
For example, Atlanta, Georgia is known for their pristine Southern outfits. In Los Angeles, California, you can find some of the best boutiques in America. In the middle of the professional dress in Washington D.C., there are certain rebellious areas along 14th and U Street defying what fashion means in our nation's capital.
No matter where you're visiting, if you need laundry service, all you need to do is ask, and your hotel will be happy to provide.
8 8. A Free Disposable Razor: A Clean, Complimentary Shave
There's nothing worse than forgetting your razor while packing for a vacation where your suitcase is filled with swimsuits and sunscreen. Whether you're on a romantic trip with your significant other at Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in Little Torch Key, Florida, on a girl's trip to the Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai, or taking a family vacation to Blue Harbor Resort in Wisconsin, your hotel concierge can get you out of a hairy situation in a pinch.
With disposable razors at the ready, you'll be beach-ready in no time. Whatever you need a razor for, almost any hotel will help you out.
7 7. Free Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Ask For the Essentials
Say you're visiting Chicago, Illinois and you somehow manage to land a reservation at one of the best-named restaurants in America: Everest. Served by Chef J. Joho, guests can choose between the seven-course degustation menu, the seven-course vegetarian menu, or a menu compiled of three- and four-course French dinners. All is going fine until afterward when you're getting ready for bed and you realize you forgot your toothbrush and toothpaste.
Save your significant other your French-flavored breath in the morning and ask the hotel's front desk for a free toothbrush and minty toothpaste – pronto.
6 6. Free Mouthwash: Fresh Breath On Your Hotel
The Food Network recently named the top five dessert locations in the United States. Number three on the list is the Random Order Coffeehouse and Bakery in Portland, Oregon, famous for its mouthwatering Vanilla Sugar Salted Caramel Apple Pie. Second-best on the list is Salty Tart Bakery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, known for its chocolate Surly Cake. Rising to the top of the list is Fentons Creamery in Oakland, California, with its Banana Special ice cream dessert drawing people in from all over the U.S.
Now that you're in the mood for dessert, don't forget: mouthwash is the dessert equivalent to toothpaste. Don't forget to ask for it along with your brush and paste.
5 5. Free Shower Products: Stay Clean While Away
One of the most exhilarating activities to do on a vacation is hiking. Hiking can take you all over the United States: nestled in the glorious San Juan Mountain Range is Telluride Ski Resort, where the iconic peaks are used on the Coors branded bottles and cans; northern Montana is home to Whitefish Mountain resort where you can enjoy hiking views of the Canadian Rockies; Colorado houses Crested Butte, where you can hike forest trails, alpine tundra, and meadows alike.
After a day full of hiking, you're bound to need a shower. Head down to the desk and ask for your basic shower needs to avoid smelling like a bear the next day. This is an amenity that literally every hotel will offer!
4 4. A Free Room Upgrade: Better Views and More Room - why not?
Room upgrades can come with a hefty price tag, but only if you pay for it before you ask. Even if you receive a "no", at least you asked, right? Hotel staff are surprisingly willing to allow a guest to upgrade to a better room if it's available and there's no other impending reservation. Very kindly ask and you may be surprised by the answer. Even better, if you're celebrating a special occasion, be sure to mention it. They may want to celebrate along with you and upgrade your room, at the very least.
It never hurts to ask, especially if you can think of any reason at all why you could potentially get an upgrade!
3 3. A Free Curling Iron: Stay Up On Your Beauty Routine
First and second-day curls are aimed for; third and fourth-day curls, well, not so much. Whether you're sitting beachside at The Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida, getting ready for a night out with the girls at the ARIA Sky Suites in Las Vegas, or planning a day at Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, good curls can make or break your day.
Even though curling irons aren't provided in rooms like hair-dryers, hotel staff probably have a couple on hand that you can use to perfect your curls. As a last resort, ask if they have a flat iron you could use and Pinterest how to curl your hair via straightener.
Most luxury hotels are prepared for any beauty-related issue!
2 2. A Free Kindle: Move Your Mind
Book-lovers travel, too. There's only an issue when they forget their favorite books miles away at home. If you're yearning for a book while sitting on a private beach at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego, California or relaxing in a rocking chair at a cabin at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, check with your resort's front desk to see if they have a Kindle you could use to get your book-fix in.
Now that more books are becoming digital, it's not uncommon for Kindles to be loaned out free of charge to hotel guests. This is especially handy if you're traveling on a rainy day or need to relax for a while in your room!
1 1. Free Nail Polish Remover: Fresh Nails, Fresh Experiences
It's a ritual to get your nails done before you leave for vacation. As much as you hope your nail polish stays in-tact, it's a huge disappointment to see a chip in your favorite polish color. Nail polish remover isn't a packing staple, but thankfully, most hotels have small bottles on hand for polish emergencies.
Aside from your nails, nail polish can also be used to get rid of ink stains on clothes, smooth minor scratches on your watch, and thin out thick nail polish that you need to fix your chip. You can easily keep up your beauty routine, completely for free, at almost any hotel!