Getting a free upgrade at a hotel feels fantastic. What was supposed to just be a relaxing vacation will now be a luxurious vacation as well.
But, if you want the upgrade, you need to have some tricks up your sleeves. Here are some ways to get upgraded for free.
A Babymoon, Perhaps?
A babymoon is a vacation that many people take before the birth of their first child. It is typically to celebrate the beginning of a new stage in life.
If your doctor gives you the thumbs up, plan a babymoon in your late second, or early third trimester.
Make sure you show off the bump when you get to the hotel, and advertise that it’s your babymoon.
Keeping guests comfortable is the hotelier’s priority, especially if that guest is a pregnant woman. In this case, the upgrade will be yours.
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The One Time It’s Better to Be Late
When you check into a hotel, try to be late rather than early. By the late evening, the employees will get a feel of how many people will check-in for the day.
They’ll also know how many premium suites will be empty. Most hotels will try to make at least some money from these rooms, even if discounted.
If you have an early flight, this may not be an option. But, if you’re traveling light, spend the day seeing the sights and check-in at around six in the evening.
It also helps if the room you’ve booked isn’t the cheapest one available.
Flaunt Your Special Day
When you’re planning a vacation, time it around a special day like an anniversary or a birthday. When you’re making the reservation, tell the staff what the occasion is.
There is a trick for bringing the topic around to the special day. Make it sound genuine and not like you’re trying to get the upgrade.
When you get to the hotel, let the front desk employees know what you are celebrating. Most hotel staff want their guests to have a good time, especially on special days. So, getting an upgrade this way is extremely easy.
Get Into the Rewards Program
Hotels like loyal customers. The best way to prove your loyalty is by enrolling into their rewards program.
Most hotels with more than one branch will have loyalty programs that will be offered to you on check-in. But, if it isn’t, ask if they have a similar program.
Frequent stays at a chain of hotels will earn you reward points. With these points, hotels offer upgrades and extended stays.
Some travel apps also let you accumulate reward points. These include Trip.com, Loyalty Wallet, and Award Wallet. These apps will calculate miles, bookings, or other purchases you’ve made, and depending on that, they’ll award you points. You can then receive discounts with the points.
No Season Better Than Offseason
Families with children typically travel during school vacation months, and February is another popular vacation month due to Valentine’s Day.
Avoid traveling during these seasons. The demand for rooms will be high, and because of that, hotels won’t be able to upgrade you even if they want to.
Slow months, like September and October, won’t have such a high volume of travelers. More rooms are likely to be empty, and the more rooms that are empty, the greater the chance you have for an upgrade.
Visit Newly Opened Hotels
Hardly anyone pays attention to the new kid on the block. When on vacation, try to check out new hotels.
Newly opened hotels will be enthusiastic to give guests the time of their lives. They need to build a following of loyal guests.
More often than not, employees will be jumping through hoops to ensure that you have a good time. Take advantage of this, albeit in a nice way.
When you stay at a new hotel, remember to go home and leave reviews. They will appreciate that, and the next time you go there, you might be the first on the list for an upgrade.
Kindness Can Take You Places, Like the Two-Bedroom Suite
Intimidation and power games will not work in your favor.
Always be nice to the hotel staff. They are toiling day and night to make sure that you enjoy your stay.
Right when you get to the hotel, be kind to the staff. Simple gestures like saying “Please” and “Thank You” will go a long way. Engaging in genuine conversation and being understanding of any unplanned difficulties will go a long way with the staff.
Just an exhibit of manners could earn you benefits and upgrades.
Wave Goodbye to Third-Party Booking Sites
Third-party booking sites claim to have all the benefits in the world, but this is not always true.
Rooms booked via a booking site do not qualify for an upgrade. There may be a room available, and the staff might even be itching to give you the room, but if you haven’t booked the room directly through the hotel, the staff will not be able to give you an upgrade.
Always call the hotel directly to book your room. This helps form a rapport with the staff even before you get there.
When you’re there on the day of your check-in, you will be much more likely to receive an upgrade.
Just Ask Them
There is no harm in flat out asking the hotelier if they can upgrade you. In fact, many people prefer you do this instead of beating around the bush. Don’t forget to be polite when you’re asking.
Put these tricks to use the next time you’re on vacation and you will have a much greater chance of receiving an upgrade.
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When All Else Fails
Perhaps you’ve booked in the offseason, chosen a new hotel, checked in late in the evening, and were as polite and friendly as possible to the staff. However, even after asking, no upgrade is offered. You still may have the option to upgrade to that dream suite by simply paying for it.
Before you shrug this off as an unaffordable solution, consider some alternative ways to save money. You could forgo some of the pricier tourist activities on your trip, and take part in cheap or free ones instead. The difference could allow you to afford that luxury room.
Similarly, if you’re worried about an unplanned travel issue, such as lost baggage, a cancelled flight, or an illness or injury damaging your bank account beyond repair, investing in travel insurance or travel medical insurance can provide you with financial protection so you can worry less about such a possibility.
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