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Tip 76: Ask the hotel for available upgrades

You don’t know what is possible until you ask. When checking in, see if there are options to upgrade for a better view. Often there is a cost, and you might find it’s not worth it. But sometimes the upgrades are complementary so it never hurts to ask!

Why miss out on the beach view, if you can help it!

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Tip 47: Room key turns on electrify in many global hotels

Many hotel rooms in Europe, Mexico and beyond require the room key to be placed into a receptacle to power the room on. This is brilliant for energy savings, but it takes some getting used to.

In Germany, I had to make two different trips to the desk to request a new key as I walked out without mine. Shame on me…but I often leave my TV on when I am leaving the room so that habit overrode the one to check for my key in my purse before I walked out. :/. Thankfully this receptacle is most always right by the front door so it should be a good reminder before you head out.

As a hint, if you need to use your key (maybe someone else in your room needs to go somewhere and needs a key later), often – but not always – you can also slide the envelope for your key in this slot as a placeholder.

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Tip 44: Hotel apps are becoming more useful

Recently I had an overnight flight and arrived at the hotel many hours before the typical check-in time. I had assumed I would have to check my luggage with the hotel desk and walk around town sightseeing for a few hours before I would be able to access my room, however I had “checked in” to my hotel via the mobile app which I can only believe is what led to me being so lucky as to have priority to a ready room.

Just has checking in to planes as soon as possible allows you to pick good seats, it appears hotel app Check-in also has advantages. In addition, you can use these apps to order room service, request items you forgot, or ask for more towels, etc. We also enjoy having a “mobile key” where our phone serves as a replacement (or backup) to a physical key.

In essence, hotels are becoming more “digital” so you just may want to take advantage of that on your next stay!

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Tip 43: Motels vs Hotels in the US

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel completely safe when people can access the door to your room without another layer of security. For this reason, I almost never stay in anything labeled a “motel” in the US as they are more often configured like the picture above.

We also never book a hotel without taking a detailed look at the photos on the hotel or booking website.

Reviews from past customers are also really helpful to give you a sense of the hotel security and safety of the surrounding area.

More on the definitions of hotel and motel here: http://traveltips.usatoday.com/difference-between-hotels-motels-2976.html