Double check reservations – Hotel tip

There’s no sadder sob story than the one that involves showing up at a hotel only to discover there’s no room reserved for you. To avoid that scenario it’s a good idea to double check your reservation.

You can do this online, or you call the hotel 24 hours before you arrive. If the booking never went through, this will give you plenty of time to reserve a room there — or to reserve a room elsewhere, if that hotel is booked.

It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of the transaction or online confirmation page just to verify that you did, indeed, pay for a room. Being able to prove the rate you paid may help protect you from any “gotcha” fees the hotel tries to levy.

Treat your kids – Hotel tip

In an effort to keep a hotel stay low key and peaceful, many parents may opt to downgrade from premium accommodations. However, this is one of the worst things a parent can do.

Children, like adults, can enjoy a dip in the hot tub, room service, and other amenities of staying in a four star hotel. Allowing the child to partake in these simple luxuries can help diffuse the restlessness that may often accompany a hotel stay.

In addition, it teaches children how to behave properly in “grown-up” situations, which is key for travel.

Remember their names – Hotel tip

The best way to get extra special treatment during your hotel stay is to remember the names of the hotel employees who assist you.

People love it when they’re acknowledged in a more personal way. Instead of the usual “Sir” or “Ma’am,” make it a point to address them by their first names (as in, “Thanks, Robert, I appreciate the fast and efficient check-in” or “Thank you, Angela, for sending extra towels to my room.”).

By adding the personal touch, they will be more likely to remember you and make your stay as pleasant as possible.

Warm your sheets – Hotel tip

You’ve turned up the thermostat and called hotel management but your room still won’t get warm. A chilly hotel room can make for an unpleasant night’s sleep but there’s a simple — albeit goofy — solution to this frustrating problem: Find the iron, and warm the sheets.

Right before crawling into bed, pull back the comforter and iron the sheets. Set the iron on its lowest setting to avoid potential scorching.

The sheets and mattress pad will lock in the iron’s heat for several hours, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep in a cold hotel room!

Twenty bucks could get you a sweet Vegas hotel upgrade

We all know that hotels have various tiers of room quality; one can pay 50$ for that smoke stained single on the first floor or 1000$ for the honeymoon suite on the 60th. And for most of us, the cheap room is fine — we just need a place to stay for the night. But what if you could stay in a nicer room for at or near the price of the cheap one?

Upgrades aren’t all that uncommon; occasionally a hotel will sell out of a particular tier of a room and bump any latecomers into the next tier up (car rental companies do the same thing). But usually upgrades only come if you’re an elite hotel club member or the hotel is overbooked.

Suppose then, that you were to subtly increase the chances of obtaining an upgrade when you got to the desk to check in. Suppose, say, that a twenty dollar bill found its way under your credit card when you handed it to the clerk and you asked politely if there were any upgrades available. Would that help the cause?

Apparently it could. actually has a thread on the topic centered around Las Vegas that I’ve been following for the last couple of years (yes, years) with an astonishing success rate of over 74%.

Forum members are split on how exactly this works. Some think that the desk agent is actually just giving you a room that’s 20$ higher in the fare bracket. But most have reported getting significant upgrades, from beautiful rooms with views, to concierge service to other goodies, all for the extra twenty bucks.

Of course, I’ve never been brave enough to try this myself (I also never visit Vegas). The whole awkwardness of potentially being turned down is too much for me. But for those of you brave souls out there willing to give it a try, you’ve got a good chance of being upgraded. Check out the tread for some tips.