6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money
When you book a hotel room, the price tag is not everything. If you pay attention to what's included in the nightly rate, you may find that a more expensive hotel room could give you much more value than the budget options. Here are several add-ons and features that may make the premium you pay for an expensive room worth it. (See also: Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards)
1. Location, Location, Location
As comfortable as your hotel room is, you probably didn't travel just to enjoy it. You need to get around, so abide by the old real estate mantra: Location is everything.
You have limited vacation time, and you don't want to waste it getting from point A to point B. When you stay at a well-located hotel in a pedestrian-friendly city, you can get to many places just by walking. And if public transport is safe and convenient, you could save a lot of money on taxi fares or car rental. You may even find yourself with enough time to visit a particularly interesting attraction more than once.
This convenience factor goes beyond transportation. Midnight cravings? Forget the overpriced room service food. You can take a short walk to the 24-hour restaurant around the corner instead.
2. Free Breakfast
There's no such thing as a free lunch, but you could get a free breakfast if you stay at the right hotel. Many premium hotels include a free breakfast for two in the nightly rate.
When you choose a hotel, take into account that a hot breakfast buffet could easily cost you about $15 per person elsewhere. So if it comes down to two hotels with the same nightly rate, you would save about $30 by going with the hotel that offers free breakfast.
Also consider the amount of time and transport costs that a free breakfast could save you. You might get to sleep in for another hour or so, thanks to the free breakfast. If you're a morning person, you can use the extra time to explore the area instead.
3. Small Appliances
Not all hotel rooms are created equal. Before you book, check what small appliances you'll get in the room.
Budget hotels may not provide you with a mini fridge, for example. It doesn't seem like a big deal because you never buy the drinks and peanuts from the fridge anyway. But what would you do if you had some leftover food or drink at the end of the day? And what if you bought some fresh fruits and snacks?
It's less common for a hotel to provide a microwave in the room, but you may need it to heat up those leftovers and frozen meals you stored in the fridge. You may also need a kettle or a coffee maker to make the accompanying hot beverages.
If your hotel doesn't provide these small appliances in the room, check if they have them in the common areas like the lobby for all guests to share. This arrangement is slightly less convenient, but it's better than not having them at all.
4. On-Site Facilities
Even if you plan to spend all your waking time exploring, hotel amenities can help make or break the trip.
Forgot your sunscreen? On top of on-site restaurants and cafes, some hotels also have convenience stores. The hotel prices may be higher than the drugstore prices, but you'll be saving yourself some precious vacation time.
If you like to maintain a regular workout schedule even during a vacation, sports and recreation facilities are indispensable. Besides a fitness center and a swimming pool, high-end resorts often have tennis courts and even golf courses.
5. Personal Care Items
Most hotels provide soap, shampoo, and shower caps for free. If you ask the front desk, you may also be able to get a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Other personal care items commonly provided in the room include a hair dryer, an iron, and an ironing board.
Having these things available could lighten your bag and help you avoid airline baggage fees, but only if you would actually use them. Many women pack hair dryers in their bags anyway because the hotel ones are often of questionable qualify.
Some hotels put in more effort into the personal care items they provide. For example, they may equip the rooms with toiletries of a certain brand, professional-grade powerful hair dryers, or even hair straighteners.
6. Free Wi-Fi
Some hotels still charge extra fees for Wi-Fi, even though it's becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. It's not just business travelers who use Wi-Fi for work and emails anymore.
Internet connection can greatly improve your trip. You need Wi-Fi to check out online travel guides, maps, and restaurant reviews. With a good Internet connection, you can use your laptop or smartphone to call home without incurring expensive long-distance phone charges.
In fact, you may not need a local phone plan at all if there's Wi-Fi at the hotel. Even with no data connection on your smartphone, you can download whatever you need to your phone before leaving the hotel so you can explore without getting lost along the way.
Depending on the hotel, you may have to pay exorbitant hourly or daily rates just to get on the Internet. There are other accommodation options that provide you with free Wi-Fi, so just say no to expensive Wi-Fi fees.
What hotel perks are you willing to pay for? Please share in comments!