Three weeks of moving from one US state after another helped me figure out several free things you can get at a hotel. However, be sure to check that the hotels you book do not specifically indicate that you can’t have any of the things I listed below because you got your room on a promo rate. I make sure that when I travel with family (or when I just feel like I need more than a bed to sleep in), I book the hotels that have a good track record of providing great service. Here are the free things you can get at a hotel and more if you get really lucky:
Forgot your shampoo or your soap? Worry no more because your hotel will most likely provide you with toiletries and…you can ask for more if you still need more. One of the free things you can get at a hotel is a set of toiletries that you can reuse for your next travel trip. They are usually small and handy and you can take them with you when you leave for your next destination.
2. Guidebooks/Travel Books
There’s a lot of them in the hotel lobby or the business center. In our recent travel, I had the twins pick the travel books that they liked (based on the colorful pictures on the cover) and we brought them along with us in our road trip from Provo (Utah) to Las Vegas. They are educational too and if you plan to write about your trip, guidebooks or travel books are best resources for facts and figures.
3. Bottled Water
I particularly listed this because God knows how much bottled water our family used up to make milk for the twins. We would call the front desk to bring us more complimentary bottled water at least twice a day. If you’re drinking the water for your personal consumption and you are not satisfied with the small refrigerator in your room, go ahead and call reception and tell them you need a bucket of ice cubes. They usually deliver.
4. Travel Tips/advice
I think that people assigned at the concierge hold a very crucial task in making sure that hotel guests are guided well in their trip. Guests go to the concierge to ask for directions on where to go to buy souvenir items, have a great lunch (outside of the hotel) or find nearby attractions that can be enjoyed. Usually, free travel tips and advice (that you can’t find in a guidebook) are shared by hotel staff, so be sure to strike some friendly conversation and let it go from there.
If you happen to be an elite member of a hotel chain, you will surely get complimentary breakfast at the executive lounge of the property. If you’re not, make sure that breakfast is included in your booking. Hotel websites often indicate that, so be sure to highlight that part because you don't want to miss the most important meal of the day.
Even cheap hostels have free wifi because let’s face it, wifi is now a necessity, not a luxury. Your hotel should offer it free of charge. It’s outrageous if they charge you for it!
Delivered right at your doorstep is news. But if you’re not fond of opening broadsheets to read the news (and would rather browse the internet to check out the latest in world trends), don’t throw away the newspaper. You can always use it when you need to repack your things. It may come in handy.
Did I miss anything? What other free things can you get from a hotel?