While hotel accommodations can eat up a large portion of your travel budget, savvy travelers know that hotels offer a ton of amenities that you can usually get for free just by asking.
Growing up with a parent in the hotel and hospitality industry, I’ve had the opportunity to stay (and live temporarily) in luxury hotels, which has taught me several things about what you can get for free at many hotel properties.
A few of these amenities are not usually found in your hotel room, which is why many guests don’t realize that these items are even available.
You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so it’s helpful to check what free amenities your next hotel provides before you book. This can also help trim down your packing list if you know what to expect ahead of time.
Here are 25 free things you can get at hotels:
1. Shampoo & Conditioner
Complimentary shampoo and conditioner is pretty standard in hotel rooms, however some hotels have started to provide luxury brand products, which is a nice touch.
I always bring my own shampoo and conditioner when traveling, but I also like to take the ones provided at the hotel for future use.
2. Soap or Shower Gel
This is another standard product in many hotels, which is great if you forgot to bring your own bar of soap or shower gel.
I find that many luxury and boutique hotels have stepped up their game in recent years and started to provide better brands, which leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized.
While mouthwash is not always provided in your hotel room, I have seen travel-size bottles available at the front desk (just ask) or in the hotel lobby bathrooms.
4. Disposable razor
If you forgot to bring a razor, just ask the front desk if they have any complimentary razors for guests. Chances are they have some available, if it’s not already provided in your hotel room.
5. Body lotion
My hands tend to get dry when traveling and I find that I’m constantly reaching for my moisturizer. I also like to take the one provided for free in the hotel room, which is great to have for future use.
6. Shower cap
One of my favorite travel hacks is to wrap your shoes with the free hotel shower cap. This is a great way to keep your luggage contents clean.
7. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
I always like to keep a travel kit toothbrush and toothpaste in my carry-on bag, but sometimes life happens and I forget it at home.
Instead of heading to the drugstore to purchase a new one, check to see if the hotel front desk has any complimentary kits available.
8. Sewing kit
A good hotel knows that wardrobe emergencies can (and do) happen, which is why it’s essential to provide a travel sewing kit. These are great for mending fallen hems, missing buttons, etc.
9. Laundry bag
Forgot to bring an extra bag to store your dirty clothes? Don’t worry. Many hotels provide a free laundry bag, which is great to store wet clothing from the beach or your dirty undergarments.
10. Tea & Coffee
Most hotels provide complimentary tea and coffee in the lobby, however many guest rooms are equipped with these facilities as well.
However, I always recommend checking to make sure that the tea and coffee provided in your room is actually free. Finding surprise charges on your hotel room bill is not fun.
Many luxury and boutique hotels provide cozy bathrobes in each guest room. I don’t usually bring my own bathrobe when I’m traveling, so this is great to use if you want to enjoy breakfast in bed before starting your day.
While most hotel bathrobes are not meant to be taken home with you, they are free to use during your stay.
It doesn’t matter how luxurious your hotel is, I always recommend wearing slippers in your hotel room to stay clean. If you forgot to bring your own from home, check to see if your hotel provides complimentary slippers.
13. Pens & Notepad
Almost every hotel room today is stocked with a pen and notepad. This is great for jotting down addresses of places you wish to visit or just general notes for your trip.
I also like to keep the pen in my purse since it often comes in handy when traveling, like filling out customs forms or declaration cards on the plane.
14. Extra pillows & blankets
If you’re picky like me about which pillow you like to sleep on, or how many you like to use, some hotels have gotten on board with anticipating these needs.
Check to see if your hotel offers a pillow menu, which is a list of different pillows you can use during your stay. Yes, this actually exists and it’s pretty awesome!
Extra blankets are also available if you get chilly during the night, or if you’re unable to adjust the room thermostat.
15. Phone charger
If you forgot your phone charger at home, don’t worry. Ask the hotel front desk to see if they have any available.
Many people forget to their phone charger in the hotel room after they have checked out, so you might get lucky and find a spare one to use.
16. Blow dryer
Many hotels provide complimentary blow dryers, however they tend to be low quality and not healthy for your hair.
Some luxury and boutique hotels however now provide quality blow dryers for guests to use, which is great if you don’t want to bring your own from home. Check ahead to see what’s available.
17. Straightening iron or Curling iron
If you forgot to bring your own straightening iron or curling iron from home, check the hotel front desk to see if they have any available for guests. Some luxury and boutique hotels carry a variety of hair tools for guests to use during their stay.
18. Free food or drink at the hotel restaurant
Some hotels offer a complimentary breakfast in the morning or free drinks and snacks in the lobby. If the hotel has a restaurant on the property, they may offer guests a discount to dine there or a free drink at the bar.
This is not always the case, so it’s important to check ahead and see what discounts your hotel offers.
If you’re traveling with kids or prefer to sleep with a nightlight on, ask the hotel front desk if they have any available.
20. Workout gear
If you want to squeeze in a workout while you’re traveling, but forgot to bring your gear, check to see if you can rent items from your hotel. Some hotels offer yoga mats for guests to use, or you can rent New Balance shoes and workout clothing for only $5.00 at Westin Hotels.
21. Local map of the city
If it’s your first time at your chosen destination, check at the hotel front desk to see if they offer a complimentary city map. Usually someone will be happy to give you a few pointers or tips on attractions to visit during your stay.
22. Beach towel & Chairs
Some popular beaches charge a fee if you want to rent towels or chairs. However, if you’re staying at a hotel nearby, you might be able to rent these items for free from you accommodations.
For example, when I went to Clearwater Beach in Florida, my hotel offered free towels, chairs and beach umbrellas for guests staying at the hotel. This saved me from spending extra money to rent them at the beach.
While we always hope for the best weather when traveling, sometimes that’s not always the case. If you forgot to bring a travel umbrella, check with the hotel front desk to see if they have any available for guests to use.
24. Travel adapters
If you’re traveling internationally and forgot to bring a travel adapter, check with the hotel front desk to see if they have any available. This could save you money from buying a new one at the store.
25. Kids activities
If you’re traveling with kids, sometimes your hotel might offer free activities for children. This may include coloring books, board games, movies or books.
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Over to you — what are some free things you like to get at hotels?
*Feature image scene still from “The Grand Budapest Hotel”(Credit: Martin Scali)