The tips below might seem like cheating, but you will (probably) not be found out. Imagine you are in a strange city with eight hours to kill before your flight leaves. Go to one of the large, luxurious, preferably busy hotels. Keeping a low profile, it is amazing what you can get away with. Even if you are found out, the worst that can happen is that you will be asked to leave. Your disguise has to be that you are used to this style of living, you casually stroll around the hotel and importantly are reasonably well dressed.
You don’t want to drag your luggage around with you for hours on end. Hand your bags to the bellboy who will give you a receipt. If he asks you your room number, tell him you have already checked out and will pick your luggage up shortly. Your luggage will be safe and secure until your departure. Cost: $1 tip
Public restrooms are dicey at best. At the hotel, you can use the restrooms and can expect them to be clean and hygienic. Cost: None
This one is perhaps unethical, but then again, you have to eat. Go to a hotel where there are large conferences. Wait for their tea break and mingle with the crowd. Have some snacks, coffee and a few chocolates, then drift to the side and depart. Don’t run. Cost: None
If you are feeling homesick or lonely and want to send a letter or parcel to your family and friends back home, why not do so via a hotel? In a foreign country, finding a post office can be difficult and even if that’s possible, finding out what value stamp to affix to your postcard might be challenging, given the language barrier. Much easier, saunter of to the reception desk of “your” hotel and ask them to assist. Most hotels will do it for you for free. Cost: None
Upmarket hotels have Wi-Fi access in their lobbies. Sit back, check you emails, surf the net and download to your heart’s content. Once again, act nonchalant and slightly bored. Cost: None
If you need to charge your phone, simply ask “your” reception staff. They will be more than happy to oblige. Cost: None
In many cities, getting a taxi is a daunting exercise, particularly at peak hour. At “your” hotel, ask the doorman to hail a cab. He will blow a whistle and a taxi will miraculously appear. Make sure that you approach him from inside the hotel. Cost: $1 tip.
Expensive hotels have very helpful and well informed staff. Ask them for recommendations on where to go and what to see. Also, they usually have an ample supply of brochures, maps and more. Bear in mind that visitors to these hotels tend to have expensive tastes. Tell the staff that you want to visit places off the beaten track, to see how locals really live. They will then recommend the cheaper places. Cost: None
Peace and Serenity
Imagine your friends’ or business guests’ reaction when you tell them to meet you at “your” hotel. You can relax in the lounge and get the best service ever. Expensive hotels tend to have a calm ambience. No-one ever seems to be in a hurry, so no-one will notice if you have your meeting for several hours. Cost: A couple of coffees.
As long as you aren’t dressed as if you’re homeless, no-one will pay you any attention if you sit quietly in a corner reading or working on your tablet. Cost: None
How can you enjoy your visit at a hotel without having to stay there or pay for the benefits? Simple. We have some ideas on how you can do just that.