Congratulations, you’ve made it to your hotel, your “home away from home” for however long you’re staying. Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, there are some positive steps you can take to make living in hotels, even briefly, less stressful. Here are 27 amazing hotel room hacks that make the most of your environment.
Front door hacks
1. The most important part of your stay is your safety, so here are some tips on how to maintain that. First of all, put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign and keep it on your door. No one needs to know if you’re in the room or not. When you’re ready to have maid service, do not turn the sign over: just take it off the door. Putting the “maid service” sign out is like putting out a sign that says “I’m not here, but all my stuff is.”
2. At night, put a towel under the door to block out the bright hallway lights and noises.
3. Don’t forget, your door hinge doubles as a bottle opener!
4. Especially if you’re traveling for business, keeping your devices charged is a major concern. It pays to invest in a power adapter for overseas so you’re never caught without the right plug. But if you run out of power outlets and need to charge quickly, your television will probably have an empty USB port you can plug into.
5. But what if you forgot a charger cord? Call down to the front desk; guests leave them behind all the time so they can send one up.
6. If you’re in the kind of hotel room where the electricity is controlled by putting your key in a slot, here’s some good news: any kind of similar card will work. Time to put your library card or empty rewards card to good use!
7. If you don’t like missing your favorite shows, then you can use your laptop or your phone to fix that. First you can hook up your device to the television so you can watch on the big screen rather than the small one.
8. Also, there are apps that can turn your phone into a television remote, so you never have to touch the one in the room that may not be as clean as you’d like.
9. If you can’t or don’t want to download an app for that, hack the remote by either sealing it in a plastic zipper bag or you can even use the shower cap. And bringing your own supply of disinfectant wipes is always a good idea.
10. If your hotel does not have a toothbrush holder you can make one from a paper cup by just poking it through the bottom and turning it over.
11. If you need to quickly smooth out some wrinkled clothes and don’t have an iron or board, hang them on the hook in the bathroom and then shower. The hot, moist air will take care of the wrinkles.
12. Don’t be afraid to take the shower gel, shampoo and soap with you, that’s what they’re there for. Just don’t go overboard and raid the maid cart because that makes workers unhappy.
Oh those hotel windows. You’re peacefully asleep and suddenly a beam of light like a laser goes right across your eyes. No one is really sure why hotel curtains just don’t close right, but they don’t, so it’s up to you to fix it.
13. Take one of the pants hangers out of the closet and use the clips to close the blinds snugly. If your closet doesn’t have any or if they aren’t removable from the closet, bringing a few black binder clips (aka alligator clips) will do just as well.
Hotel mini-fridges are tricky. Some of them will charge you for opening it, and some will charge you depending on what you’ve used. And some will charge you for moving stuff, because there’s a pressure plate in the fridge. If you can’t work your way around the fridge charging you, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep stuff cold.
14. Forget the tiny ice bucket and fill one of the room’s trash cans with ice; you can chill a six pack or more that way.
15. It’s also possible to replace items from the fridge: just buy them at the much cheaper convenience store around the corner.
Air conditioner hacks
16. In rooms without air conditioner, you can make an impromptu swamp cooler by letting the fan flow air over a bucket of ice.
17. In dry places, you can make an impromptu humidifier by letting the air flow over a hot, wet towel.
18. If your room is a bit musty, attach your car’s clip-on freshener to the air unit and let it do its job.
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19. Never forget where you put your phone by using the fold in the sheet corner as a makeshift phone holder.
20. Hotel room desks are notoriously awful. The chairs are either too tall or too short and it’s a pain to sit and work at the desks for very long. Fortunately, if you have an in-room ironing board, you can use that for your workspace. It’s adjustable and you can work anywhere in the room; you’re not stuck at that desk in front of the mirror.
21. Put your shoes in a shower cap to keep them from dirtying the rest of your stuff in your luggage.
22. Hotel laundry services are massively expensive. If you really want to save money and time while traveling, be prepared to do a little clothes washing every now and then. Buy or bring some travel detergent, or hand wash small items with the bar of soap you never fully use anyway and hang items to dry. If you have a heated towel rack in your room, so much the better.
23. Or, if you don’t want to do laundry, here’s a great hotel tip: grab the complimentary dry cleaning bag out of the closet and use it for your dirty clothes hamper. That will keep them away from your clean, fresh clothes and remind you which ones need washing when you get home.
Last-minute travel hacks
24. Don’t fret if you didn’t bring all the face creams and products with you. You can make a simple exfoliant just by using soap and a packet of sugar from the coffee stand.
25. Do you have a sudden hangnail? The strike strip of a matchbook doubles as an emery board.
26. Have a run in your stockings? Clear nail polish will stop it in its tracks, literally.
27. The mini bottle of conditioner can be used in place of shaving cream or makeup remover.
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