We all know that person who travels all the time for work and always seems to get free upgrades and other perks and most of us have wondered why it can’t be us. Well, now it could be. Travel experts share their tips for getting hotel perks and extra amenities without spending a lot of money.
- Try booking with the hotel directly – Budgeting expert Andrea Woroch says you can sometimes get a better deal when you book with the hotel because they don’t want to lose that reservation to a third-party booking site. And she says they’ll also be more likely to give you some free amenities when you deal directly with the hotel. After you do, try sending an email to the hotel with the details of your stay and tell them how much you’re looking forward to your stay, it may flag you for special attention.
- Do a comparison with third-party sites – Sites like Hotels.com do a good job of promoting the free perks that hotels offer upfront, like free breakfast and free parking, plus they make it easy to compare prices and amenities. Travel blogger Esther Susag prefers Booking.com for free upgrades and amenities.
- Tell the hotel you’re celebrating – Chris Hutchins, a “financial optimizer,” also suggests sending a personal email, but taking it a step further by telling them you’re celebrating anything special. “I’ve seen this work so many times I stopped counting, and people have gotten free upgrades, free breakfast, a bottle of champagne, and one time, the hotel actually monogrammed the guest’s initials on their pillows,” he says.
- Join the loyalty program – Susag says this is the best way to get extra perks, plus she believes hotel staff is extra accommodating when you’re a member of the loyalty program.
- Do your research – Read those Tripadvisor reviews to answer questions about the hotel and talk to the hotel concierge to find out about on-site happy hours, activities, reservations, and anything else you might need.
- Just ask for upgrades – “Perhaps the easiest way to get hotel perks is by asking when you check in,” travel blogger Sean Lau says. They want their guests to be happy, so they’re often willing to accommodate your request. And if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
- Be nice – Susag advises calling the hotel itself because when you’re kind and polite hotel staff are much more likely to help you out. Hutchins says he’s found that just being nice to the person checking you in and asking if there’s anything special they can do for your stay can sometimes result in an unexpected surprise.