Staying at a budget hotel doesn’t mean you have to compromise on all the great services and amenities you would expect from a deluxe property. Many budget hotels offer perks such as complimentary breakfasts, room upgrades, and even free nights for multiple bookings. However, only some travelers really take advantage of all the perks available at any given time. Whether you’re planning a short-term business trip or an extended stay vacation, make sure you’re getting the best value by seeking out some special offers, discounts, and freebies.
Here are six ways to get extra perks from your budget hotel:
1. Mention a celebration. While budget hotels may not have onsite catering and flower delivery services available, they may be able to go the extra mile to make your celebration that much more special. If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion during your stay, let the front desk or reservations agent know about the event and they might be able to treat you and your guests to a freebie (or two). Something as simple as a bottle of wine from the local wine store or a gift certificate to a local restaurant could be waiting for you when you arrive. Complimentary perks like these may be easier to snag when you’re staying at a boutique hotel or locally-owned property.
2. Ask about free nights. If you booked your hotel stay directly through the reservations department, you might be missing out on some great deals and packages. Ask about bed and breakfast packages that include a complimentary breakfast and beverages, or a free night offer if you stay multiple nights. Reservation agents aren’t likely to offer this to you when you book so you have to go out of your way to find the deal. Some budget hotels also offer last-minute weekend specials, extended stay rates, and family packages from time to time. Even if these aren’t listed on the website, make sure you ask before booking your reservation.
3. Jump on Twitter or Facebook. Find out if your budget hotel of choice is active on Facebook and Twitter to catch some Web-only deals and freebies. Some hotels will post free upgrade offers and complimentary services for guests who can catch a deal through social media. Most will post a code that you must use when making your reservation. Others might just ask you to mention that you saw the deal on Facebook or Twitter. These freebies and discounts are usually very random so you need to make sure you’re checking the hotel’s feeds regularly.
4. Use a travel credit card to make your reservation. Some of the best credit cards for budget hotels offer discounts on reservations with a particular hotel or property, free upgrades, and bonus points for extended stays. Consider using a travel rewards credit card or a credit card that offers points for hotel bookings when planning a stay at a budget hotel. Many cardholders are eligible for free room upgrades and other perks when they stay during a promotional period. Review your credit card’s benefits and perks list to make sure you’re booking with the right hotel chain or property, and are able to take full advantage of any exclusive discounts and deals.
5. Sign up for the newsletter. Some boutique hotels send out newsletters to all past and prospective guests. Find out how you can subscribe and take advantage of promotional offers and discounts during your next visit. Some of these offers are exclusive to subscribers and can help you make the most out of your stay. You would either need to make your reservation with a special code included in the newsletter, or print out the newsletter and present it at check-in.
6. Ask for in-room amenities. Not all in-room amenities might be listed on the hotel’s main website or marketing brochure. For example, some budget hotels do have sleeper sofas, mini refrigerators, extra pillows and other amenities available but only by request. If you really need some items that you would expect to find at a deluxe hotel, ask your budget hotel if they can accommodate. Many will be happy to deliver extra appliances and bedding packages to your room at no extra charge – you just have to ask.