Things Hotels Don't Want You To Know

1.  You get the best rate by calling the hotel's local number, not the 800 number which usually links callers to an off-site, centralized all center.  Instead of asking for the reservations desk, ask to speak with the manager on duty, the general manager, or the director of sales.  They have the authority to negotiate room rates.
2. Rooms are more expensive in the morning.  The best time of day to make a reservation by phone is right after 6pm.  This is when hotels wipe out all the no-show reservations that were unsecured by a credit card.  In cities like New York or San Francisco, the deadline in 4pm. Also, if you're planning a weekend away - hotel rates are usually lower on a Sunday, Monday & Tuesday.  Switch it up a little.  You'll save money and it'll be less crowded.
3. Everything is negotiable.  Even parking.  If the lot seems empty, offer less than the daily rate.
4. A thief takes one credit card, not your entire wallet.  It's no secret that crime is common in hotels.  The new twist is that some hotel thieves now take just one credit card when they find a wallet in a room and leave everything else untouched.  Often, the victim doesn't notice the card is missing until the credit line is maxed out.  Travel with only the cards you really need, and check your wallet carefully.  We recently had our credit card number stolen from the hotel staff in New York.  We used one credit card to hold the reservation and another one to actually pay for it upon check-out.  Since we never used the first card during our trip, we notice the fraudulent charges right away. They're not always big or obvious. Someone used our stolen card number to charge $60 at Walmart.  It raised a flag for me because I'm a Target shopper, but to someone else it might go unnoticed for a long time.
5.  Tip and greet your housekeeper if possible. She'll know your face and if someone enters your room while she's cleaning she'll know something's up.
6.  Your bags aren't always safe with the bellmenIf your bag will be sitting for more than a few minutes ask for it to be stored in a secure room and get a claim ticket.
7.  Hotels really are infested with germs.  I really have to do some mental gymnastics to get over the "ickies" sometimes - even in what appears to be the cleanest hotel room.  There are certain items that never get cleaned.  A friend of mine who is married to an airline pilot said that he always takes the plastic wrap off of the cup (if there is one) and puts it over the TV remote.  Pack some anti-bacterial wipes and use them on the telephone and alarm clock as well. Also, the sheets may be changed out daily but the bedspreads almost never are.  I usually make sure there is always a sheet between the spread and me or I just remove it all together. 
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3 comments:

Charlotte said...

YUCK! Ignorance is bliss - you should rate sleep sacks or personal Blue Lights.

NAOMI THOMPSON said...

Good idea!

Fei Dong Anhui said...
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I didn’t dip my toe in an ocean until I turned 25 and my friend Sandy and I traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. After that week, I was hooked. I loved being somewhere new; smelling the smells, tasting new food, seeing how other people lived. It energized me. As luck would have it, I landed a job that allowed me to travel all over the US and often to Canada. Being a sports event television producer, I was on the road all the time. That's when my love affair with travel began. Now, its 20 years later and still no one gets more “geeked up” about planning a vacation than I do. All I need is a destination and some travel companions and my fire is lit! I start delving into my favorite hotel sites, sifting through photos and reviews, comparing, contrasting -it’s like an addiction. The travel shows with tips and trends? I study them like a playbook. I LOVE doing the things most people hate doing before they go on vacation. Whether it be searching for a food tasting tour with a local or discovering a romantic B&B in the middle of New York - I’ve found it and I’ll share it with you. So....where should we go?