Here’s my little list of things I’ve learned from years of traveling and a few too many sleepless nights:
- If you can be a little spontaneous and go without reservations, ask for a “walk in rate” and any discounts, triple A, etc.
- Sometimes just “walking in” will get you a room for less than half the advertised rate. *Note this doesn’t work with large chain hotels.
- If you’re traveling to an unfamiliar area where there are dozens of hotels that seem to have availability, it’s usually safe to go without reservations. There’s nothing worse than finding you’re booked in a hotel across the street from pawn shops and check cashing places, when the “scenic” area is only a couple of blocks away.
- To make reservations, first search sites such as Expedia, Hotels.com, etc., find the ones with availability, then go directly to the hotels site to book. It’s rarely to see a discounted rate on those sites.
- Always Google search the hotel to look for unbiased reviews. Never trust only one source. It’s surprisingly easy for people to post false reviews.
- Join Triple A. The card will usually save you 10- 15% per night off of your room. For frequent travelers, the membership cost of around $60 per year is well worth it.
- Ask for a room a few levels up and not on the ground level, especially if you’re traveling alone. Do you really want people walking past your window all night? Noise levels always seem to be worse and then there’s the creep factor.
- Ask for a quiet room away from stairs and elevators and ice machines. Otherwise, you’ll hear security going in and out the doors all night or the elevator bell chiming as people get on and off, or the dreadful sound of the ice machine, which sounds a lot like breaking glass when you’re suddenly awakened and disoriented.
- If there’s a bar/ nightclub in your hotel, ask to make sure the 1am disco music won’t be coming through your walls, unless you enjoy that sort of thing 🙂
- Try to get a room not too close to the lobby, otherwise the traffic coming in and out of the hotel and the front desk employees chatting might keep you awake. If you’re not an early-riser, you may not want to be awakened by the clang of dishes from the staff prepping for breakfast.
Most hotel staff want to make you happy and will try to accommodate you when you ask for a quiet room. Feel free to add any tips or experiences of your own.