Are you a frequent traveler? Since accommodation is one of your biggest expenses, chances are that you opt for the cheapest hotel room possible to maximize your travel budget. But what if we tell you that it’s possible to score an upgrade on your standard hotel room for free?
Yes, top hotel managers and hotel insiders shared some exclusive insider hacks on how to get a free hotel upgrade. Check out these secret hacks to take your next trip to the next level.
1. Call the hotel directly
Fact: you’re more likely to get better experiences and upgrades if you make reservations directly with the hotel than when you book via third-party booking sites. Make your stay more memorable by calling the hotel directly than booking via e-mail and online.
Calling the front desk gives you a better opportunity to share some details about the reason for your stay. Perhaps, you and your husband are looking into Kilkenny hotels for your unforgettable Irish honeymoon getaway, or it’s your first solo trip after recovering from a breakup.
Speaking on the phone helps establish a personal connection between the staff and the guest, which may lead to the hotel serving them better. Another factor is hotels pay third-party booking sites 10% to 20% of the price. If the hotel isn’t paying third-party sites, they are more willing to throw you a free upgrade and add some special touches to your room.
2. Travel with your partner on your special day
Are you traveling with your lover? Hotel insiders recommend traveling on a special day, like your anniversary or a once-in-a-lifetime couples getaway away from kids, and inform your hotel about it. The same goes for your honeymoon.
There’s a big chance the hotel staff will be generous enough to make your stay special, such as offering upgrades and couple packages, giving access to other amenities, and sending a bottle of Champagne to your room.
3. Travel on your birthday
Another way to score a free upgrade is to let the hotel know that you or a member of your party is celebrating their birthday. Hotels love recognizing special days, so they’re more likely to grant you a better room, a prettier view, and extra amenities without adding to your bill.
4. Travel with your baby bump
Are you an expecting mom? Once your doctor suggests it’s totally fine to travel, snag that opportunity to hop onto the babymoon trend and reward yourself a vacation. Let the staff know you’re having a babymoon and you want to relax and feel special, with your pronounced baby bump.
5. Be loyal
Upgrades for return guests are common. Business travelers and seasoned travelers who tend to visit the same places frequently have a great chance of getting a hotel upgrade. Just make sure to find a suitable hotel, keep booking the same property, and get to know the staff (and establish a good impression, of course). You may even sign up for loyalty programs if they have any.
6. Join membership programs
What if you don’t travel frequently? Or you don’t have a life milestone to celebrate? You can score upgrades by joining membership programs, which allow guests to use their points for upgrades. The great thing is you’re still earning points for staying in an upgraded room.
7. Bribe them with small gifts
Okay, “bribe” is a strong word. The idea is that hotels love it when guests show genuine appreciation for their services. You may bring a few small gifts, like some chocolates from Duty-Free, or even packaged local snacks from a land far away.
8. Tip graciously
Hotel insiders have said this and we’ll say it again: a small tip can go a long way. The desk agent can assign you to a better, bigger room, and grant you certain privileges intended for VIPs.
9. Look pleasant
Yes, that corporate attire of yours can go a long way. It’s safe to say that hotels are more likely to give upgrades to well-dressed guests, probably those in a nice dress or business suit.
10. Just ask, but be courteous
Have you ever met an entitled guest who acts like they own the place and talks down to the manager just because they’re a “paying customer”? Don’t be that guy.
When asking for bigger rooms, corner rooms, more windows, better views, and other common requests, don’t forget your manners. Remember your “ pleases” and “thank yous”.