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Hotel Room Suite at St. Jame's Club Morgan Bay

7 Unexpectedly Clever Hotel Hacks


Not all hotel stays are the same. The romantic suite you book for your honeymoon is going to be a radically different experience than the barebones room you stay in on a work trip. But no matter what sort of getaway you’re on, you can always make the experience just a little smoother. Below are some of the quirkiest, most unexpected hotel hacks travelers recommend.

  1.  Break out the ironing board

There are certain hotel amenities you are so accustomed to being there you don’t even consider their possibilities. Take an ironing board, for instance. Even if you don’t need to starch your shirt, you can take advantage of an ironing board by using it as extra counter space. In those rooms with no bedside tables, an ironing board does the trick without taking up much space. Some ironing boards can even be used as desks for those really cramped rooms.

  1.  Check out the gym

This is a good idea even if you have absolutely no interest in exercising while on vacation. You’d be surprised how many hotel gyms have luxurious (or luxurious-ish) steam rooms or saunas, even if the actual gym isn’t much to write home about. The gym is also a great place to fill up your water bottle so you don’t drink the bottled water the hotel has secretly priced at $9.00.

  1.  Keep stubborn curtains shut with a trousers hanger

This may be the quintessential hotel hack, and that’s because so many hotels have this one irritating feature: no matter how you tug on them, the curtains just will not close all the way. If you’re sick of trying to ignore the glow of the streetlights outside, or waking up to that rogue beam of sunlight, this is for you. Check the hotel closet for trousers hangers—those are the clothes hangers that have two small clips. Turn that hanger 90 degrees and you have a handy-dandy curtain clasp that’ll force those drapes to behave.

  1. If you don’t ask, you won’t know

Perhaps more a life philosophy than a hack: It doesn’t hurt to ask. When it comes to hotels, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can do a late checkout or if there’s any chance for an upgrade. Sure, it may not work, but the worst they can say is no. 

4-A. Be polite!

Another travel hack that’s important in all manner of other contexts: Be polite! Whether you’re asking for an extra towel or complaining about a broken sink, it’s important to be considerate. People who work in hotels tend to be hospitable people (duh), but it’s a lot easier to be hospitable when the guest is pleasant. 

  1.  Use an easy chair as a makeshift crib

If your hotel room has an easy chair or a small loveseat, you can use this as a bed your little one can’t fall out of. Face the seat toward the wall and it can form a sort of makeshift crib, with the wall as one side, and the arms and back of the chair as the other three. Obviously, you should heed this advice with a healthy dose of common sense. If the chair is on wheels or otherwise unsteady, this is not a great idea.

  1. Heated towel make for good clotheslines

It may not feel as cozy and luxurious as wrapping a warm towel around yourself when you get out of a shower, but drying your swimsuit or lingerie on a heated towel rack will make you feel smart. With a heated towel rack you can shave time off the tedious task of hand-washing your delicates or getting a hot chocolate stain out of your shirt. 

  1. Get a good deal

The hack you’ll feel most clever for is one that happens way before arriving at the hotel: getting a sweet deal on room rates. Do your research and see if you can use credit card points to knock the price down or maybe upgrade to a better room. If your plans are flexible, check which days the hotel is cheapest. AAA members have exclusive access to discounts and perks like free breakfast and hundreds of hotels across the country. There’s nothing quite as clever as saving money on vacation.