Traveling is a wonderful privilege that many enjoy, but no matter where we stay, it never feels like home. Whether we travel for work or pleasure, one thing is universally acknowledged – hotel stays can be pretty expensive.
According to various news outlets, the average cost of a hotel room continues to rise. On average, it now costs $180.12 per night, just in non-populous cities. If you plan to stay in a hotel in New York, be prepared to spend even more, with an average daily rate of $392.95.
The expenses can add up quickly when you factor in dining out every night at restaurants like Darden’s Olive Garden, paying for laundry services, or replacing toiletries that unexpectedly explode. However, some clever hacks can help you save both time and money during your travels.
Make a DIY Humidifier
Having dry air in a hot hotel room can be quite unpleasant, especially if the place is a bit dusty. While humidifiers are a convenient gadget to have in luxurious hotels, they may not be affordable if you’re traveling on a budget and staying in more modest accommodations.
Dry air is a common issue in hotels, often leading to allergies or dry eyes for many guests. The air conditioning unit is often a culprit in causing dryness. However, we have a clever solution that can transform the AC unit from a problem into a solution.
Believe it or not, you can create your makeshift humidifier for less than a dollar, as long as there’s a fan or an AC unit nearby. Simply take a damp flannel and position it in front of the unit. Within seconds, the air will become suitably moist, saving you the expense of purchasing a travel-sized humidifier from online retailers like Amazon.
Use a “Clean” Remote
Every seasoned traveler understands the importance of cleanliness, as it is often associated with a sense of purity. However, despite the best efforts of inns and motels, numerous individuals have inevitably occupied the room before you. Even with the most diligent cleaning staff, there may be some areas that are overlooked.
It is astonishing to discover the extent of bacteria accumulation on hotel room light switches, as highlighted by USA Today. The University of Houston conducted a study on hotel room surfaces and identified the main light switch as the most contaminated area, harboring a significant amount of germs and bacteria.
Interestingly, another highly germ-infested location in hotels is the TV remote. Bacteria tend to accumulate between the buttons, and it is unlikely that you will be provided with a brand-new remote control. However, you can take precautions by purchasing a pack of sandwich bags from Walmart and covering the remote with one, ensuring a germ-free viewing experience.
Don’t Worry If You Forget Your Bottle Opener
If you find yourself in a place without a complimentary minibar or a kitchen equipped with utensils, you might consider purchasing a six-pack and bringing it back to your room. After all, the prices at the minibar can be quite steep. However, there’s one obstacle standing between you and enjoying a refreshing beer: you forgot to pack a bottle opener.
Fortunately, hotel room doors can serve as makeshift bottle openers. Simply utilize the arm at the top of the door to pry off the cap, and you’ll be able to indulge in your beverage in no time. Now, the only decision left to make is what to stream on Amazon Prime using your laptop and intermittent wifi.
If you encounter any difficulties with this trick, Delish has compiled a list of alternative methods to open bottles. These include using a metal fork or spoon, keys, a lighter, a tree branch, or even a ring (although it’s advisable to avoid using an expensive or easily damaged one, depending on the stubbornness of your bottle).
Make Additional Table Space
We’ve all witnessed the extravagant suites that celebrities love to showcase on social media. These suites boast lavish bathrooms with separate his and hers sinks, spacious dressing rooms, and living areas that surpass the size of an average apartment. Unfortunately, for us ordinary folks, unless we’re willing to shell out a fortune, standard hotel rooms tend to lack sufficient counter space.
However, most hotel rooms do provide ironing boards discreetly tucked away in the closet, just in case we want to achieve a polished, wrinkle-free look. But here’s a little secret: even if you despise ironing, you can still make use of the ironing board by unfolding it and utilizing it as a convenient folding table. Take that, Instagram!
If you happen to be a frequent traveler, particularly a business traveler who requires well-pressed clothes, it might be worth considering purchasing your ironing board for personal use. Perilla offers a compact, portable ironing board measuring 12″ x 30″ on Amazon, priced at $14.99. This mini ironing board can come in handy if you can’t locate one in your hotel room.
Use the Coffee Machine as a Ramen Noodle Cooker
Having a coffee machine in your hotel room is a delightful little perk. While it may not be as extravagant as a complimentary mini-bar, it does offer a perfect way to kickstart your day. Interestingly, coffee machines can serve more than just brewing coffee. If you’re not keen on dining out and spending a fortune, you can make use of the coffee machine in a different way. Simply head to the local store and grab a packet of ramen.
To prepare your instant, piping-hot dinner, peel off the lid of the ramen packet and position it under the water stream of the coffee machine. Voila! You now have a quick and satisfying meal that can’t be beaten. Of course, it may not compare to a lavish three-course dinner at a renowned restaurant like Darden’s Olive Garden, but sometimes beggars can’t be choosers.
One of the best things about ramen is its affordability. On average, a packet costs a mere thirteen cents, which means that technically, you could have three meals a day for under $143. However, we certainly don’t recommend following such a diet. It’s worth noting that the average U.S. citizen spends $6,372 per year on food, providing a point of comparison.