Did you know your hotel room key card, which we’ve been taught to place and leave in a slot on the wall to power the lights in our room, may not be needed for that purpose after all? Neither did I. At least not until earlier this year when I read about London resident Katyagar Moonagon who showed her Twitter followers that using another card with the same shape and size was possible. She came up with this innovative solution when she wanted to charge her battery pack while eating dinner (downstairs), but needed her keycard. Naturally, her tweet went viral.
Cool, huh? That bit of news got me wondering if there were other hotel room hacks (i.e. tips and insider tricks) I could be unaware of that could change everything I thought I knew about vacation stays. So, I did some research and put this short list together.
Convert your AC unit into a room humidifier.
You can add moisture to the sometimes unbearable dry air in these no-open-window-allowed rooms (that can parch your skin and make your nostrils burn) by placing a wet towel near the room’s air conditioning unit and waiting for a little breeze to kick in. Give it a few minutes to circulate and you’ll soon be breathing easier.
No iron? No problem.
Whether your room lacks an iron, or you just lack the energy to pull out a board and press that rebellious, wrinkled shirt or dress into submission, don’t despair. All you have to do is hang your creased item of clothing near to where you’re living your best life (while singing and dancing to Despacito)) in your piping hot morning shower and— ba ba boom — the mist acts as a natural steamer that zaps the crushed look in no time.
The heated towel rack (or A/C) moonlights as a clothes dryer.
If you’re away from home for more than a week and did not travel with two or more suitcases, at some point you’ll have to do laundry. Before you spend a fortune using the property’s dry-cleaning service, throw yourself into a little light hand washing party and then use the heated towel racks to dry your clothes. If there are none, hang them by the a/c instead and crank it to almost frigid. That works like a charm!
Want to binge watch a few movies? Well, go big or go home.
Did you know you can use an HDMI cable to connect your laptop to your in-room television to get that big screen experience without the on-demand movie cost? Just sign in to your Netflix account and hook yourself up to that flat screen, baby! After all, their tag line doesn’t say “watch anywhere” without good reason.
Make your own curtain claps.
Are you one of those people who can’t sleep well if there is even a slither of light filtering into the room? If that’s the case, grab a few pants/skirt hangers from the closet and use them to clip the edges of the drapes together to get the room to your acceptable level of dark. Many people vouch for this trick to get a night filled with satisfying zzzs.
A simple trick of plastic proportions.
Ever notice there’s a plastic bag in your ice bucket and a free shower cap on the bathroom counter that you may not use? Both of them can come in handy if you need to wrap up a wet swim suit before stowing it in your suitcase, or if you need something to act as a divider between your clothes and dirty shoes. Having access to that plastic makes you a better packer, my friends.
Use your television as a charging station.
When you travel internationally you often see power outlets that look nothing like the ones we’re used to at home. If you don’t have the right plug adapter with you (keeping in mind there are about 15 types of electrical outlets in use worldwide), things can get a little tricky. Fortunately for us, manufacturers are now making televisions with a USB slot on the back we can use to charge small devices like phones and camera battery packs. All you have to do is take off the plug, attach the cord, turn on the TV, and…VOILA, the power juice will flow.
What hotel room hacks do you use? Please share them in the comments section below.