Tag: #blogging

Eight Hacks to Get the Most Out of Your Hotel Stay

8 hacks to get out of your hotel stay

Hotels are traveller’s temporary homes. They have different amenities, like elegant interiors, cozy bedrooms, gorgeous bathrooms, relaxing balcony views, state-of-the-art public facilities, and warm customer service, which make their guests feel at home. Hotels make you feel nothing but bliss – until it’s time to see the bill.

Hacks for best hotel stay

Let’s admit it. Hotel accommodations are quite expensive. And we’re not just talking about the five-star hotels but all hotels in general. The only way to relieve yourself after spending a couple of dollars for a three-night stay is the fact that you got the best of what you have paid for.

From the tricks in receiving exceptional hotel experience at a lower cost to the list of goods and services you can get for free, here are eight hacks in making the most out of your hotel stay.

8 hacks for making the most of your #hotelstay

Don’t book on discount sites

Thinking of booking on discount sites? Then expect a discounted experience as well. According to Jacob Tomsky, a prominent personality in the hotel industry and author of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, And So-Called Hospitality, reservations made through Internet discount sites are often reserved for the worst hotel rooms.

Hotels usually set aside a certain block of rooms for third-party platforms and save the best rooms and more variety for direct bookings. Additionally, you can negotiate if you call the hotel directly.

Use the time to your advantage

Great timing is key if you want to get the best out of the hotel’s service. If you don’t want to get upset that your room isn’t ready yet, don’t show up at 11 a.m. when your check-in time is 2 pm. For sure, you don’t want the housekeepers to rush in preparing your room. If you have a special request, don’t call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for these are rush hours. Chances are receptionists are serving a long line of guests and they may not be able to process your request effectively.

Still hoping to score an upgrade? Checking in near the end of the day might work. Hotels have a greater sense of occupancy during this time and are more likely to offer available upgrades.

Ask for a corner room

“All rooms are the basically the same”- this is probably one of the top lies of a front desk agent. If you want to have a better room for the same price, always opt for a corner room. These rooms, no matter what floor you’re on, tend to have a square footage.

 Corner rooms also allow you to witness more scenic views from your balcony or windowpane. Just be discreet when asking for an upgrade, especially when other guests are waiting to be assisted.

Request a fresh bed as soon as you arrive

Most hotels wash the sheets everyday but blankets only get washed once a week. Bedspreads, on the other hand, are usually washed once a month, unless there’s a visible stain.

 Never pay for the minibar

Minibar fees are outrageous, and most guests choose not to touch the cabinet to avoid fees. However, you don’t have to pay for the items you consume (or steal) from the minibar. Why? Minibars are known as the most disputed charges on a hotel bill. Delays in checking and restocking, double stocking, keystroke errors, moving rooms and other mistakes make the charges of the minibar the most voided item.

Even if you claimed to never have touched those items even if you did, the hotel management will never accuse you of lying. They won’t go through your trash bin, searching for an empty bag of Lay’s you consumed yesterday.

Steal the toiletries

Or should we say, “take advantage” of the free toiletries? In contrary to what you think, hotels love it when you take home their soap, shampoo, lotion, sanitizer, and other stuff. That is why they put their business name or logo on them. If you want other free hotel stuff, all you must do is pick up the phone and ask.

However, you’re still not entitled to everything. Stealing the bathrobe, bedspreads, pillows, towels, coat hangers, and even toilet seat covers is a different story.

Be a smart complainer

Have complaints? Instead of hysterically talking to the front desk agent, respond in a calm manner, briefly outline your problem and ask whom you should speak with to have the concern addressed. It would also be great to offer a solution if you have one.

Another way to make sure the attendant won’t just nod and forget to solve your problem is by getting his or her name. Just casually say, “I’ll drop by at your desk later to make sure everything has been taken care of, James” and expect the identified employee to be as attentive to your concern as possible.

Tip wisely

The bellman, valet, doorman, and housekeepers can either be friends or foes. Take care of them and you’ll get a higher reward of service; treat them badly and you’ll get, well, nothing special. And since most of them are paid minimum wage, there’s only one word to make them happy – tip.

A decent tip may get a long way. Jacob Tomsky recalled, “when I feel that $20 (£12) you slipped me burning in my pocket, I will find that upgrade for you, as well as other options like late checkout, free movies, free minibar, room service amenities, and more. I’ll do whatever it takes to deserve the tip and then a little bit more in the hope that you’ll hit me again.”


Carmina Natividad is a writer who has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementoes from different places. She also enjoys writing for Holiday Inn, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travellers in Australia.

8 hacks to get out of your hotel stay


Interview with TeaCake Travels

interview with Alice

Friends, I would like to introduce you to travel blogger  Alice from Teacake Travels.

Me:    For the readers, please could you introduce yourself and your blog?

Alice:   Strong-minded, honest, inquisitive, straight-talking and in search of the next thrill, I’m Alice at Teacake Travels! It’s all about solo female travel in Asia and pushing your boundaries to reach your full potential through travel. It’s for the traveller who is on a path to find out more about themselves and test their limits but also for the armchair reader who wants to go deeper into life’s reflections and life lessons through all the experiences I put myself through.

Me:     What was the motivation behind starting this blog?

Alice:    What started out as just writing a piece for my friend’s blog about teaching English abroad quickly turned into an addiction to travel writing and promoting women’s rights. I always had it in my mind that I would write a book or make a zine but discovering blogging through all these ideas into one platform. I absolutely love it. It’s my baby, it’s real, it’s me and it’s proving to be a great resource for women to gain strength, courage and motivation to go out there on their own and conquer their adventurous dreams.

Interview with TeaCake travels
Alice peeking out from Cambodia

Me:      How do you fund your travels?

Alice:     Through many ways! I predominantly funded my travels for the first five years through Teaching English Abroad in South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and China. I adore teaching and get immense satisfaction by giving others the gift of English. Then the other things I love brought my money too. Playing the drums in bands, performing in Burlesque shows and now through Travel Blogging.

Teacake in Shanghai
Teacake in Shanghai

Me:      Which are favourite travel destinations?

Alice:   The challenging ones! I write about solo female travel in Asia and to date my most favourite country has been Bangladesh. The experience was fantastic because of the Bangladeshi people (possibly the nicest people in the world) and the food and the scenery and the architecture and (I could go on and on).

Me:      Where is your next travel destination?

Alice:     In July, I’m driving from the UK to Mongolia across 21 countries with four amazing women in 50 days to raise money for and document women’s rights. It’s all part of the Mongol Rally and it’s going to be one hell of a journey to follow. Make sure to follow along with us! After that, I think I’m gonna need some respite and TLC. I’ll be heading to Bali to catch some waves and recover.

Interview with TeaCake travels
Teacake Motorbike

Me:        What is it like to travel solo? Any tips for the first-time solo travellers?

Alice:       It’s the best! Please don’t be scared. This planet is awesome with amazing people and extraordinary places and if you want to find out who you are, what you want, what you need and what you want from life, solo travel is for you. There’s no better way to educate yourself on these matters. You’ll be challenged and treated to some life-changing experiences and your old-self will be thankful for taking the leap and deciding to travel. No one wants to leave this earth not having fulfilled their dreams. If you’re dreaming, seize the desire! If you’re travelling for the first time, check out my backpacking packing tips and build up for excitement and motivation here.

Me:         The best meal you’ve eaten anywhere?

Alice:         Kimchi Jiggae in South Korea. I’m nuts about Korean food. Even if I’m in Germany or made it to the North Pole, I’d go out of my way to find a Korean Restaurant.

Interview with Teacake travels
Motorbiking through Taiwan

Me:       Who is (are) your inspiration in the travel world?

Alice:      Women who do crazy stuff, strong stuff and stuff other women don’t do are pretty much my heroes. This includes Iris from Mind Of A Hitchhiker and Jessica from Comfort Is For Wimps.

Me:        Are there any books you read as a child that inspired your travel interests?

Alice:       Alice in Wonderland!

Me:       What is your travel motto?

Alice:     Grab fear by the balls, push your boundaries and reach your full potential through solo female travel. I use to travel for life lessons and to be the best person I can be by trying to learn from others and myself.

Me:        Name three hardest things/setbacks that you experienced through your blog?

Alice:      Setting up a blog is a bit of a minefield. I’m constantly learning new things and having to backtrack, making changes, chopping things up…it’s a never-ending learning process. I integrated Pinterest at a much later date than I really should have. I only learnt about SEO six months ago and I have a newsletter advertised but still haven’t sent one out! Rome wasn’t built in a day. That’s what I tell myself ><

Me:       Name 3 (personal travel stories) setbacks that you experienced in your travels?

Alice:     Oh man, where do I start? I accidentally became pregnant on my first serious backpacking trip and had to head to Cambodia for an abortion. Whilst I was there I witnessed a death at a funfair to add a cherry on top of it all and lately, I had to deal heavy-handedly with a Chinese guy.

Me:      Have you ever faced a ‘writer’s block’? If yes, how do you overcome it?

Alice:     Hell yeah. I hate it when that block comes and trust me, it can come every couple of months sometimes. I love writing and I love sharing my experiences with everyone. Sometimes the ideas and experiences come crashing across the ocean with full gusto but other times tumbleweeds are rolling across the desert in my mind. You can’t force yourself to write if the passion isn’t there. I just wait, keep on travelling and try to experience my days with full awareness for that next story to come along. It always does.

Me:      Any tools you can suggest that bloggers could use in their first year?

Alice:    Ooh yes! Travel Blogging is about 20% and 80% social media promotion. There’s no point writing a masterpiece if no one is going to see it. Get clued up on how to use social media and market yourself then use a couple of tools to help you manage all of it. I recommend Tailwind for Pinterest and Hootsuite for Twitter.

Me:     Any comments, suggestions.

Alice:   Feel free to pop me an email at aliceteacake@teacaketravels.com if you want to ask me anything and stay connected with the chaos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

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