Do these 5 things after checking into your room - Steve Farzam

Do These 5 Things After Checking Into Your Room

Traveling can be both exciting and stressful. You spent countless hours booking your flight, arranging transportation, and finding the perfect hotel, all for the right price. The last thing you want to experience is discovering your room is not up to par after checking in. While you may not want to create any waves during your stay, do these 5 things as soon as you check into your room. If there are any issues, speak up. Hotels are full of great people that genuinely want to ensure guests to have a memorable stay.

Safety First

Regardless of who you’re traveling with, even if you’re traveling solo, you should always be concerned about your safety. Hotels and their staff care about your safety too, and the rooms are designed to do just that; you just need to ensure their safety measures are in place.

Ensure there is a safe in the room, but that it is also in working condition. Leaving your valuables, like your passport, laptop, and jewelry, in the hotel safe whenever you leave the room will give you peace of mind. However, it will only work if the safe is working too.

Additionally, check the door’s deadbolt lock and ensure you know how to use it. This is an important safety mechanism that should be utilized when you turn in for the evening.

Look for Damages

While you don’t need to do a thorough inspection of every nook and cranny in the room, you should check the lamps, surfaces, electronics, and other room essentials to ensure everything is working properly. Not only will you personally want everything to be in working condition so you can watch TV from your bed and change the channel with ease, but you also don’t want to be charged for any damages that you did not cause. Should you find any damages, let management know immediately.

Inspect the Mattress

After a long flight, the first thing you might want to do after checking into your room is throwing all of your luggage down and flop back onto the bed. While checking the comfort level might be a personal priority, inspecting for bed bugs is even more important. Every hotel, whether 1-star or 5-star, can have them, so save yourself a headache and look on and around the mattress, seams, along the headboard, and under the pillowcases. Pull back the sheets and inspect the tagline and crevices as well, as bed bugs can hide anywhere.

Survey the Mini-Bar

If your room has a mini-bar, double check that it is fully stocked. While you may not want to consume any of the items in the mini-bar, ensuring that nothing is missing will prevent you from being charged for the items.

Prepare for Your Stay

No matter what sort of trip you’re on, taking some time to prepare for your stay will do you wonders. Become familiar with your room and it’s layout. Ask for any additional items you may need, such as pillows or towels. Utilize the hotel concierge and ask for recommendations of fun things to do in the are. Additionally, if you want to start the next day early, order your breakfast from your hotel’s express breakfast menu the night before, allowing you to hit the ground running.

How You Can Book a Hotel Like a Pro - Steve Farzam

How You Can Book a Hotel Like a Pro

Whether you’re just sleeping in your room for the night or intend to spend your entire vacation at the hotel, booking a room at a luxury hotel doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Instead of overpaying for a room, save your extra cash and use these tips to book a hotel room like a pro.

Check Out Business Hotels

Business is often slower during the summer months and on weekends, especially in Europe. This means that hotels that cater to business travelers are slower as well, and they tend to offer deals and lower prices.

Wait to Check-In at the End of the Day

Since most guests have already checked in, ask for a corner room if any are available. Typically, you’ll get more square footage for the same price. Additionally, hotels are more aware of their occupancy by this point in the day, so you’re more likely to be offered an upgrade on your room.

Call the Hotel Directly

Rather than calling the 800-number provided, call the hotel directly, as the employees working will have a greater chance of being able to provide you with an upgrade. Having a good rapport with the employees and booking directly with them will also increase your chances of perks and upgrades if you book at the hotel regularly.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Signing up for the hotel’s loyalty programs is one of the easiest ways to score free upgrades and points. Loyalty programs vary per hotel but can include perks, like free Wi-Fi, free items with your booking, and more. You can also join loyalty programs through third-party sites, such as Hotels.com, which offers one night free with when you book 10 nights.

Get Alerts When the Price Drops

Life gets busy and it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of price changes. When you sign up for alerts through third-party sites, they will notify you when the price drops without spamming your inbox. If you don’t have a set destination, you can also check out Hotel.com’s Hotel Price Index, allowing you to see the increase and decrease in hotel prices around the globe.

Use Your Smartphone

Using hotel-related apps on your smartphone can unlock major discounts. Certain apps will provide you with secret prices for rooms during peak times, like weekends, and get you last-minute deals on rooms.

Utilize Membership Programs and Credit Card Perks

Member programs like AAA and AARP can offer a variety of special discounts to travelers such as a discount on bookings, activity vouchers and more. Many major credit cards also offer travelers a ton of perks, like cash back, points, or miles for flying. Check with each to see what they offer, utilize them along with the hotels’ reward programs and you’re sure to save.

If There Are Any Issues With Your Stay, Follow Up

No one like a noisy neighbor or a messy room, particularly on vacation. If there are any issues, follow up. You could receive an upgrade for the rest of you stay, drink vouchers, or a credit to your account.

The Guest Whisperer: How to Help an Angry Guest

In the hotel industry, a proactive approach is always the best course of action. It’s preferable to head off any potential issues in advance, as this will help to ensure a positive guest experience right off the bat. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans will sometimes go awry, and seasoned professionals will find themselves in the unenviable position of dealing with an angry guest.

Considering the competitive nature of the industry, this is bound to happen, even to the best in the field. Luckily, those with the proper training can come out of the situation unscathed—sometimes even turning it to their advantage. Here’s how.

Put Those Listening Skills to Good Use

An irate customer may not be the best at communicating, but pay close attention to what she’s saying nonetheless. This will help to facilitate a clear and agreeable approach to the issue.

Don’t Belabor Points

Even if the problem was caused largely through the customer’s own fault, it will do no good to point this out to him. Instead, allow him to vent his frustration before taking the floor.

Develop a Thick Skin

The customer’s anger is usually not with the person they’re talking to but with the specific circumstance that initiated the negative response. Remember this even if voices are raised and tempers are running high.

Maintain a Calm Demeanor

It’s the customer service specialist’s job to keep a calm and professional demeanor. It won’t help matters if both parties become aggravated—this will only escalate tension.

Attempt to Fix the Problem

If there’s an immediate solution, then by all means, make it happen. If the situation is beyond the employee’s power to fix, then she should immediately alert the next-highest person on the ladder, and so on, until the situation is resolved.

Don’t Go Overboard

While placating the customer is a must, a sense of fairness has to be retained. For example, it makes no sense to offer a voucher for a free night’s stay simply because the room didn’t have a satisfactory supply of clean washcloths available. Make the compensation commensurate with the complaint.

Follow Up

Reach out to the guest a day or so later, just to ascertain that the situation was resolved. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and be more likely to speak well of the experience.