Tips for Hotel Stays

Whether staying in a hotel for one night or a week of nights, here are some tips for making the experience a more pleasant one.


• Reward Points: I make my own hotel reservation rather than leaving it up to my host. This offers me reward points as well as a bit of control over my digs.
• Proximity & Price: I do a quick search of hotels closest to where I’ll be presenting, call to check on best-price offers (i.e. AAA discount), then run the price and location by my host for approval.
• Breakfast: I need fuel for the day, so I require a hotel that includes breakfast.


• Fan: I like arctic temperatures while sleeping, so I bring along small clip-on fan.
• Lighting: Hotels seem to have switched to LED lighting that is so dim, you have to turn on every single light in the room to actually see anything. I bring along a bright clip-on reading light.  If I’m in one location for a week and expect to write on off-hours, have been known to pack a foldable desk lamp.
• Power strip: Because many hotel room outlets are placed behind beds and heavy equipment, a power strip is a big help.
• Snacks: Trail mix. Anything chocolate. A must for those collapse-on-your-bed-before-dinner moments.
• Vase: To beautify the room on long stays, a few flowers in a collapsible, reusable plastic vase can lift spirits. They pack flat and can be found for anywhere between $1 – $10.


• Map Between Hotel and the Presentation Site:  I’ve had my GPS be incorrect enough times that I now crosscheck multiple sources for my presentation locations before I leave home. If I’m driving, what’s most important to me are the directions and estimated travel time between the hotel and my presentation site. And since that time I was stuck in the middle of the Mojave Desert thanks to Google maps (true!), this has worked really well for me.

Do you have any hotel tips to share? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.

6 Comments on “Tips for Hotel Stays”

  • Alexis,

    I’d like to add a refrigerator to the list. I find when I’m on the road after the schools I like to hermit it up. Ask for a refrigerator if it is not included, sometimes they bring them to the room. If I’m out of state I buy one of those Styrofoam coolers and fill it with ice and snacks. I always travel with plastic utensils. Also I bring along Zip lock bags they can make coolers out of anything. Also the dry cleaning bags in the hotel can double for a cooler. Fill them with ice and wrap the bag in a hotel towel. Hang it from a pants hanger like a hammock.

    On security. Try not to have a bottom floor room or an adjoining room. Also when you are not in the room leave the tv on loud and put on the do not disturb. When I am in a strange town alone I will pass on maid service in favor of security.


  • Thanks for these great tips, TIna! Very helpful.

  • My sister passed this trick on to me. Take a few large paper clips with you and if the black out curtains won’t completely close off the light, paper clip them together! It really works!!

  • Perfect suggestion, Mary. Curtain gaps are annoying, aren’t they! Butterfly clips can also be used to weigh-down curtains that fly up when the air conditioning comes on.

  • I always travel with a night light. They’re small, easy to pack, and I just pop it in the hotel bathroom for easy navigation at night. Comfortable earplugs and eyeshades are also a must. And I always travel with my own pillow. It’s goose down, and I bought a compression sack for it (REI or LL Bean can set you up), the kind backpackers use. By the time I’m done compressing it, the pillow is about the size of a large burrito, and it’s easy to carry onto a plane. Having my own pillow makes ALL the difference in the world in terms of getting a good night’s sleep!

  • I love these suggestions, Heather. Now if only I could get one of my cats to squeeze into the size of a burrito like your pillow, I’d have a furry sleeping buddiy with me, with a built-in white noise machine when she purrs.

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