Travel Tips on Accommodations
Hotel rooms are
notoriously dry. Increase the moisture in the room by placing wet
towels near the bed while you sleep, or lightly sprinkle the carpet
Look for hotels and
B&Bs that include breakfast in the cost of the room. Not only will
this speed your morning along, you can save your money for a more
tasty meal later in the day.
information on remaining safe while staying in a hotel, including what
to do in case of fire, read the pamphlet
by International Security Consultant Peter Savage, compiled expressly
for WTA members.
Great rates (up to
65% off) can be found at hotels through the
Click here to find a hotel
thatís right for your destination and budget.
become teenagers, travel accommodations may need to change as well. To
aid privacy, consider reserving a multi-room suite rather than a
standard hotel room.
arenít always placed in the most convenient spots. Pack an extension
cord so you can use your laptop computer or the ironing board from
your preferred spot.
On your next trip,
compare the cost of a condo or hotel suite with kitchen facilities to
a regular room. If you are willing to commit to eating in rather than
at restaurants, the savings on meals may more than offset the
additional cost for lodging.
Ever wondered how
much to tip a hotel employee? If service is good, here are the
standard guidelines for the U.S.: $1 per bag for a bellman who carries
your luggage; $1-$2 for a doorman to hail a taxi; $1-$2/day left on
your dresser for the housekeeper; $5 and up for a concierge who makes
reservations or performs some service for you. As with all tipping,
pay more for exceptional service/attitude, and less for sub-standard
If you are
traveling to a high-crime area, be sure to book a room at a vertical,
business-oriented hotel rather than one that has several buildings
spread out over the property.
Items stolen from a
hotel room (whether out in the room or in the safe) are rarely covered
by hotel insurance. If you must bring valuables along, ask the front
desk staff to put them in the hotel safe. Check to see what the
hotelís liability limit is to make sure there is sufficient coverage
if they are stolen.
If a hotelís
nationwide toll-free operator tells you the hotel is booked up for the
nights youíre interested in, call the hotel directly; thereís a chance
the nationwide operator has outdated information.
If your favorite
hotel is booked solid, donít give up yet. Be strategic and call back
when cancellations are likely to occur. Find out the date and time
that cancellation penalties kick in for the date youíre interested in.
Then call the hotel that day, right up until penalty time. Hopefully
others will call to cancel and you can get their room.
Hotel parking lots
can have dark areas surrounded by trees, dumpsters, etc. Park in a
spot that is well lit, close to the main entrance, and away from an
attackerís potential hiding place. If in doubt, park at the check-in
spot and ask someone from the hotel to accompany you while you park
When selecting a
hotel room, ask for one between the second and seventh floors.
According to safety experts, this is high enough to deter thieves, yet
low enough for fire equipment to reach.
Most hotels charge
a fee to use their phone for outside calls whether local or long
distance. These fees typically are $.50 to $1.00 or more just to use
the line. Long distance rates through the hotel are usually very
high, much higher than regular rates you get for home service. There
are alternatives. Before traveling, get a calling card whose service
you can access with a toll-free number. Then you can use that card
from the hotel room and pay those low rates and avoid being hit with
unexpected phone call charges on your hotel bill when you check out. Alternatively, increase the service area on your cell
phone so that it covers the area to which you are traveling.
It sounds obvious
for seasoned travelers, but itís worth repeating: ALWAYS remember to
check under the bed before checking out of a hotel to make sure you
leave nothing behind.
For added security
while youíre in your hotel room, take along a rubber doorstopper.
Place this under the door from the inside and make sure itís lodged
securely to supplement the existing door lock(s).
Travelers on a
budget will find 3-star hotels perfectly acceptable in most cases. Go
for a 5-star hotel for those extra-special occasions.
Pack a little
sewing kit for emergencies. You can use safety pins to keep those
hotel curtains closed!
If youíre traveling
with children, call the hotel ahead of time and see if they can
childproof the room for you. Donít forget to ask them to block adult
movie channels and to remove any magazines with suggestive
Save precious luggage space by checking what amenities the hotel
provides. If they provide hair dryer, robe, and basic toiletries,
leave yours at home.
Your hotel may
offer business services (faxing, etc.) and Internet access. If not (or
if their cost is too high), get a list of local Kinkos or Cyber Cafes
before leaving home by checking this website: