Your nightly hotel rate generally includes the cost of your guest room and use of the property’s facilities, such as the gym, pool, sun deck or beach, and other offerings.
But even if you do your own research to get the best room rate, there are even more ways you can stretch the value of your hotel stay.
Travel pros revealed their hacks and tips in response to queries from FOX Business so that everyone can reap more value from a hotel stay.
Check out these three strategies from those in the know.
1. Join hotel loyalty programs
Maximize your hotel stay by taking advantage of hotel loyalty programs, as specific hotel brands offer extra benefits to its loyalty members.
With these programs, you can enjoy the “automatic late check-outs, room upgrades, or free daily coffee — including espresso drinks,” said Katy Nastro, a travel expert with Going.com.
Most loyalty programs are free to join — and your perks increase as your stays accrue.
For example, the Hilton Honors loyalty program invites travelers to earn points for each stay that accumulate toward free nights on future travel.
“Not only will travelers find the guaranteed lowest prices when booking direct on Hilton.com, but Hilton’s unique Points & Money tool creates a more flexible way to travel by allowing travelers to combine Points with cash to complete bookings,” said Lara Hernandez, senior vice president, global brand strategy, planning and innovation with Hilton.
The Hilton Honors loyalty program invites travelers to earn points for each stay that accumulate toward free nights.
She is based in the Washington, D.C., region.
2. Eat on the hotel’s dime
Many hotels include a free breakfast, which can stretch a vacation budget, especially if it’s a breakfast buffet feeding a large family, said Sally French, travel expert at NerdWallet, who is based in the San Francisco Bay area.
One brand, Embassy Suites by Hilton, for example, offers an included omelet station with the buffet as well as a nightly happy hour with two drinks included as well as light bites.
Some Kimpton brand hotels also offer this type nightly reception for free as well.
In addition, be upfront about allergies.
Speaking of free food, many hotels have become more accommodating of allergies or other dietary restrictions, added French.
“People with severe allergies might have previously skipped breakfast buffets over concerns about cross-contamination. While certainly not true everywhere, many more hotels have taken steps to be more allergy-friendly. More buffets now offer items like gluten-free pastries or alternative milks,” she said.
Of note, DoubleTree by Hilton, for instance, recently started offering an allergy-friendly version of its iconic cookie.
“You might also ask if the kitchen can make you a separate entrée if the public buffet brings cross-contamination risks,” French suggested.
3. Use the amenities on check-out day
Nastro with Going.com suggested taking advantage of the hotel amenities such as pools and gyms even after check out. It’s like getting a free day of vacation.
“These facilities not only are great ways to kill time before a flight, but also include showers and changing areas which can make prepping for a flight even easier,” Nastro told FOX Business.
“Most hotels will allow guests in these areas even after checkout and will even hold bags until departure, depending on capacity.”
Beyond the pool, visit the fitness center to get in a workout or keep up your streak.
“Travelers can stop by the fitness centers at any Hilton-branded hotels in the U.S., Canada, U.K, Germany and Puerto Rico,” said Hernandez with Hilton.
“Hilton properties make it easy for travelers to continue their wellness routines.”
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