Hacking Your Hotel Room, A Podcast


*** SHOW NOTES ***

Last week was spent in New Jersey. The food and the people there are wonderful, but there are a few things that frustrate me. First, I’ve been coming here for the better part of 15 years, and not once have I ever left the airport and arrived at my hotel using the exact same route. Car service, Uber, Waze or Google maps it seems that they all have their own preferred route. The second thing is that you can’t make a left turn… never… they use right turns to go left and call them jug handles, this is BS.

The last thing is you can’t pump your own gas, seriously!  Last week I pulled in got out of the car handed the attendant my card told him my zip code and he graciously poured 4, $3.19 per gallon of go-juice into my rental. Yep, a .90 surcharge for some rando to slide my card squeeze the handle and flip the little handle holder thingy… then he walked away.

Two solid food stops this trip, both on Passaic Ave. Boardwalk Pizza is as good as it gets when it comes to pizza. Two cheese slices and a drink for less than $7.00… it’s a lunchtime winner.

For dinner, it was 20 hungry folks at Tavern 292. Everything was perfect from the starters to appetizers to the main course it was all great. The menu was varied from chicken to fish then add the accompanying wine menu do yourself a favor and stop in.

I always look to #drinklocal and I found it at Magnify. Tucked in an industrial park this is a hipsters paradise. However, that’s overlooked by the quality of their beer. Try their Vine Shine IPA it’s always on tap and delicious.

I spend between 3 and 4 nights each week in hotels and along the way, I’ve picked up numerous tips or hacks. Some work others depend on your delivery.


Hotel Hacks

  • Before Checking In
    • Call the hotel directly – Website says no rooms….. pick up the phone.
    • Sign up for the hotel loyalty program, even if you travel once or twice each year. Often they come with free WiFi, parking and other benefits.
    • Canceling a reservation – Go online and change the date.
    • Get two room keys, more than likely one will flake out on you.
    • Immediately remove your keys from the paper envelope. That envelope has your room number on it and if you drop it with one of the keys still in it……. not good.
    • Ask for the upgrade, it works.
  • In Your Room
    • Missing a charging cable – go downstairs and ask for the lost and found.
    • Check the alarm clock.
    • Check the shower plunger.
    • Need water? – check the hotel gym most have a water cooler.
    • Lysol the air conditioning filter and add a car air freshener
    • A wet rag draped over the AC Unit acts a poor-mans humidifier, especially during the winter.
    • TV Remotes are dirty, Bring a sandwich bag to act as a TV Remote condom.
    • Want a dark room – Use clothes hangers to pin the drapes shut.
    • Working out?  The hotel might have a relationship with a local hotel.
    • Buy an outlet converter – Bedside outlets can be scarce. One outlet is used by the clock and lamp and it leaves no room for CPAP’s, phone or tablet chargers. This is small, lightweight and cheap.
    • Is the room too warm? Hack the thermostat.
    • Bring your own booze – Hotel drinking is expensive, I bought one beer last week it was $7.00.
    • No fridge for your booze? Fill the sink or trashcan with ice.
    • No bottle opener? Wedge the cap under the handle on the dresser, more times than not it’ll work. Better solution throw a $1.00 opener in your luggage.
    • Forget room service – Uber eats works.
    • Bring a crockpot and cook a meal while you’re out
    • Need a table where the kids can eat? The ironing board will work.
    • Grab your Firestick
    • Need a place to charge your phone or tablet? Most TV’s have a USB slot on the back.
    • Doggie poop bags – Great for containing most everything – wet bathing suits, shells on the beach.
    • Only use paper drinking cups. I’m not a germaphobe but don’t use the glass ones. Too easy for the patron before you to have done God knows what, plus there’s always this video.

  • Never place your suitcase on the bed. In case there are bed bugs, you just infected your suitcase, perfect for bringing back home.
  • Breakfast Area
    • Coffee cups hold more than juice cups
    • Want softened butter? Lay the packages on the toaster while your bread toasts
    • Staying at a Hampton Inn – Grab a to-go bag. They usually contain a water bottle, breakfast bar, and fruit… a perfect mid-morning snack.

Thanks for listening and safe travels.

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