BY: JESSICA HOLMES
There’s no reason you can’t feel at home living out of a suitcase.
Whether you’re traveling the globe or enjoying a weekend away, there are ways to make your accommodation a memorable part of the trip.
Pack creature comforts
Make your hotel room feel more like home by packing a few of your favourite things.
If you’re not venturing too far, why not guarantee a good night’s sleep by bringing your own pillow? You may also want to take a sleeping mask and ear plugs to maximize your chances of quality shut-eye.
If you’re heading overseas, pack your own tea or coffee so you can enjoy a familiar comfort when you need it. Take your regular brand of toiletries and can’t-live-without haircare items.
Essentially, it pays to make yourself at home. Relax and unwind in whatever way you can. Put on your complimentary bathrobe, light a scented candle or even take a picture of loved ones and pop it in a prominent place.
Don’t be afraid to ask
It doesn’t hurt to ask for the best room possible at the front desk when you’re checking in. If you’re a light sleeper, request a room away from the elevators for reduced noise or one a higher floor to minimise traffic noise.
You should also politely ask for a later check-out so you can relax and sleep in on your final day. Also, don’t be afraid to request a room change if something is unsuitable – hotel staff are generally happy to oblige if they can.
Double check for hidden extras
It’s easy to think once you’ve paid for the room, you’ve paid for everything. We’re all wise to the expensive mini bar snacks but check for other hidden costs such as the hotel Wi-Fi rates, use of the in-room telephone, movie and television restrictions and additional parking fees. Get the lowdown upfront to avoid any nasty surprises at the end of your stay.
Oh and with the mini-bar, empty it and fill it with your own supplies bought at a local supermarket BUT make sure to keep the original mini-bar items highly visible so the room attendants don’t charge you for them thinking they’ve been consumed.
Stay warm or cool
It’s a bit naughty but if your hotel room requires your room card to turn on the electricity, you can usually stick an old credit card in there when you leave to keep the heating/cooling going while you’re gone. You might even want to keep the TV on to make it seem like the room is occupied.
Make the most of the freebies
Many hotels offer myriad extras that aren’t advertised. Upon arrival, ask the front desk what they have in terms of facilities. Many hotels will also offer additional services such as a daily newspaper delivered to your door, complimentary slippers or even buffet breakfast. If you ask, you might also find some delightful surprises unique to your hotel such as wine and cheese in the afternoon or complimentary bicycle hire.
Unpack straight away
Settle right in by unpacking your suitcase and hanging up any bulky items in your
cupboard. Not only will this make you feel more relaxed, but it means you won’t waste time
rummaging through your suitcase every morning trying to find that one piece of clothing that by then would be crushed as well.
Canny travellers hang the ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on their doors when they leave their hotel rooms to signal that someone’s inside when they’re actually not. On the flipside, hanging the ‘Please Make up my Room’ sign tells everyone there’s no-one home.
Either way, for peace of mind, store your valuables in the room safe and use a combination you can remember like the first four digits of your mobile phone number.
One final tip, if you forget your wall charger, you can charge your phone by plugging it into the USB port on a TV or on the work station desk.
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