Travel Tips: Hotels

Casa Higueras – Valparaiso, Chile, 2010

Here are some hotel tips based on research and my own extensive experience traveling the world:

  • Find out what other travelers are saying about a hotel on Tripadvisor. Unfortunately, many of the reviews are bogus.  If the majority of the reviews are above average or excellent consider staying at the hotel if it meets your needs.
  • Use Kayak and other hotel websites to find the lowest rate for a hotel.  Contact me before booking as I may be able to to find a better deal through a reputable and bonded wholesaler (see link below).
  • Hotel rates are volatile especially at high-end hotels.  Being flexible can save you money.
  • Loyalty counts.  the more you stay with one particular hotel chain the greater your chance is of receiving discounts or room upgrades.
  • Use your hotel miles during peak season or in countries where the dollar is weak.  You’ll get a better deal.
  • Read the hotel’s cancellation policy before booking.  Always obtain a cancellation # if you cancel a reservation.
  • Research hidden fees (e.g. WIFI cost).  Don’t be afraid to negotiate such fees – especially if you are a loyal customer.
  • Use TripIt to manage your trip (air tickets, hotels, care rentals, etc.).  It’s indispensable!
  • Get into a sold out hotel by calling hotels early in the morning (cancellations usually happen at midnight).
  • Subscribe to your favorite hotel mailing lists, Facebook or Twitter accounts to see a list of deals.
  • Let the hotel know if you are celebrating a wedding or other special event.  You can usually obtain a better room by doing so.


  • Smile at the front desk receptionist when checking in.  Treat him or her like a human and you may get extras such as an upgraded room.  Don’t look it as just a transaction.
  • When checking in, ask the front office attendant if they are running any incentives.  Hotels may offer a better room at off-peak times for free or at a nominal cost.  Inform the agent if you are celebrating a wedding anniversary, or if you are sick or traveling with a child, etc.
  • Ask a bout a loyalty program before checking in to your hotel.  Even smaller hotels now have these.  It never hurts!
  • Make sure you get the room you booked.  If you don’t like it, address it immediately.  If there are no other rooms available ask for a partial rebate, free meal, parking or transportation to the airport.
  • See the concierge at top hotels if you would like help in booking hard to get reservations at top restaurants, etc.  Help him or her by explaining you style.
  • If you eat at a restaurant in your hotel make sure you get credit for it if you have a loyalty credit card with that hotel.
  • Had a great experience?  Fill out a comment card and leave it at the Front Desk.  Some hotels offer cash rewards, etc. for doing so.  Better yet, write a formal thank-you letter to the general manager.
  • Don’t be rude to anyone in the hotel as this will be recorded on you profile.  If you have an issue, bring it up in a professional manner with a manager BEFORE checking out.
  • If you are moving from one hotel to another, ask the manager at the current property to make an introductory call on your behalf. This can help you score better rooms at the next hotel, etc.

Click here to see my complete list of travel tips articles.

Got any tips to share?  Comment below or contact me.

Ready to plan your next vacation and save money?  Click here for more information on my services.


About Robert Kavalek

Robert Kavalek is a travel consultant who shares his love for traveling the world on theTRAVELER ( While his specialties are Paris, Mexico and "digital overload escapes", he can advise clients on any type of vacation. In addition, he writes about travel destinations and travel tips on his blog and Facebook page. Robert has visited 31 countries and territories and hopes to check out at least one new country every year. He currently lives in Washington, DC.
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