Maybe you’ve been in this situation before. Or maybe you are planning a trip abroad and worried about checking in after midnight.
To make this easier for you, I’ve put together these tips to help you when it comes to checking into a hotel after midnight.
Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll see that checking into a hotel after midnight really is no big deal, and it can potentially save you money. Read on and discover how to do it easily and without messing up your bookings and making checking in smooth and easier.
In this situation, the first thing you need to do is call ahead. Let the front desk of the hotel know that you are going to be arriving quite late, and this will ensure that they won’t give your room to someone else. Unless you are staying at an extremely old-fashioned establishment, you should have no trouble arriving and checking in. Generally speaking, hotel have staff working 24 hours, so there will always be someone to attend to your needs. Normal check in time is between 2-3pm, but don’t let that time window mislead you. You can still check in, hassle free after that time.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “If you don’t ask, you won’t know.” In this case, asking for a discount could potentially save you a hefty chunk of change. You’re hard earned vacation money should be spent wisely, so all you have to do is ask. Technically, you will be using the room for a shorter time, so that could entitle you to a discount of some sort. Larger hotel chains might not always be sympathetic, but smaller, boutique hotels have been known to do this from time to time. It certainly won’t hurt to ask, just try to do it when other guests are out of earshot.
I’ve made this mistake before. I showed up to a hotel without my passport. Luckily, the sympathetic concierge let it slide and I was able to check in, but don’t count on the same treatment everywhere. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a strange city, unable to check into any hotels in the middle of the night.
If you don’t have a passport, your driver’s license will often suffice. Also be sure to have your credit card on hand. Another great thing to do is to take pictures of your passport/id and save them into your phone. This alone has gotten me out of a few sticky situations.
I know you’re tired, I know it’s late, but chances are the people manning the front desk are tired too. Not only that, they have the power to upgrade your stay, or to make it even worse. If there is a problem with your reservation, don’t lose your head. Instead ask questions like “Do I need to speak to a manager about this?” or “Do I need to speak to housekeeping about this?”. The front desk usually has the power to solve your problems, but if you rub them the wrong way, they may be less inclined to make your stay pleasant.
Experts assure me that tipping at check-in will not only make the process go smoother, but could earn you amenities. Maybe it will get you a bigger room, extra services, free minibar, or a late checkout. Whatever it is, greasing the wheels with a little cash could just make the difference between a good stay and an excellent one. How much should you tip? Anywhere from $5-20 should do the trick, depending on your budget. If you feel awkward about it, remember that tipping is an act of kindness, so don’t feel bad about your generosity.
Doing this works in your favor for two key reasons. It shows that not only do you respect the staff enough to use their names, but that you are worthy of respect. Using someone’s name means they are more likely to listen to you, especially if you have a complaint. The old adage “Give respect to get respect” can easily be applied here.
Corner rooms are usually a bit bigger, and if you are checking in late, getting one could be a possibility. Handicapped rooms are also an option. I’m not advocating fraud, but if there is one available, it won’t be used and you will benefit from the extra space.
As you can see, checking into a hotel after midnight is quite easily done, especially if you follow these tips. As I mentioned before, they could save you money and make your stay more enjoyable. I really hope that you find this information useful in your travels, I know I have. It’s amazing what you can do with a smile and a few questions. Be sure to share and comment about your experiences. As always, be safe and happy travels!