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Travel Hacks – How to make the most of your hotel stay

Julia Gralberg


Although you might have booked a pretty ace 5-star hotel there are always tips and tricks to make your stay absolutely totes amaze.

However, if sneaking well-buttered bread rolls from the breakfast buffet into a shower cap or making a grilled cheese sandwich by using an iron (God I wish I had those cooking skills) is a bit too much MacGyver for you, there are other ways to join the hotel hack club.

Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, there are some seriously slick hacks available to ensure you’ll never have to pack muddy shoes with crisp clean shirts, run out of exfoliator or miss out on your favourite TV-shows, ever again.

I’m talking hotel hacks so clever you wish you had invented them yourself. Some of them are, quite frankly, genius.


Use a trouser hanger

Use a hanger with clips to keep the curtains together and the lights out. Simply nail the curtains together by using the two clips on the trouser hanger.


Connect Netflix to the hotel room TV

You don’t need to be a tech whiz to master this trick (trust me). If your hotel room has a flat screen TV with an HDMI port and your room has wifi, bingo! Now you can hook Netflix up to the TV directly from your laptop, tablet or smartphone and binge watch all your favourite TV-shows. Of course staying at a place like Ovolo makes this even simpler thanks to them hooking you up with an Apple TV in every room ;-)


Slip ’em a $20 note (for an upgrade)

Flutter your eyelashes? NO. Cash.Is.King.

Slip the front office staff your credit card together with a $20 note and ask if there are any ‘complimentary upgrades’ available and just wait for the magic to happen.


Pack your favourite tea

Sadly, sometimes your favourite hotels don’t stock your favourite tea. Not every hotel can be like Ovolo and stocked with the Uber-popular T2 after all! Oh, the horror. Solution? Bring a plastic zipper bag with your own tea bags.


Make (real) use of the shower cap

Leave those bread rolls alone! There are by far more valuable ways to make use of the magic shower cap. For example, place your dirty shoes in the plastic cap before packing them in your suitcase or wrap it around the germy TV remote control.


Use the heated towel rack as a clothes dryer

If you’re a full-time traveller a little hand laundry is impossible to avoid. Instead of spending a small fortune on the hotel laundry service, use the towel heat racks in the bathroom to dry your hand-washed clothes.


Keep the power on

Always ask for two key cards when you check in. Leave one card in the slot by the door to ensure the air-conditioner is on whilst you’re out and your laptop, camera and iPhone are being charged.


Make use of those sugar packs

Tired of travelling with your seven-step skincare products making your wash bag look like a small suitcase?

Save on the number of products you pack by mixing the facial cleanse with a packet of sugar and voila (!) you’ll have an exfoliator.


Create your own surround system

Drop your iPhone into (an empty) glass to host your own house party. This is how to turn the beats up, baby! Chances are though you probably won’t need to do this little hack at Ovolo thanks to their jaw-dropping wireless Harmon Kardon speakers in every room ;-)


Book directly through the hotel

By using the hotel’s own website for bookings or even by calling the hotel directly, you may receive “off the books” discounts or upgrades. The off-season is usually when the best deals are available.



Julia Gralberg

Julia Gralberg is a freelance travel writer, editor of Hotel & Resort Guide, Lux Nomade and founder of Boutique Communications Consultancy, Lux Collective. When she isn’t busy jumping in hotel beds and eating her way through breakfast buffets you’ll find her on her yoga mat.