On a work trip a hotel becomes your home away from home. It also plays a huge role in you having a successful business trip, or not. Abad night’s sleep or something malfunctioning can quickly turn a trip sour. There are some things, like an uncomfortable bed, that there’s really not a work around for, but there are some common hotel complaints that have a solution. Here are four things people dislike about hotels and what to do about it.
Noisy environment. Hearing your neighbor through the wall, the icemaker in the hallway, water move through plumbing, footsteps above, or the highway outside your window are just some of the things that can make you crazy when trying to sleep. Early on I tried ear plugs but could never get used to them. Plus my alarm sometimes would be going off for several minutes before I would realize it, which made me super paranoid I would oversleep. Then I found a free White Noise app and I’ve never looked back. I drift off almost instantly when I’m using this app, and I hardly ever have environmental noise overpower it. Plus, since it’s on my phone the white noise pauses when my phone alarm goes off. I highly recommend you download it if you haven’t already.
Dirty room. Every once in a while I’ll check into a room that wasn’t cleaned properly. If this happens I have no issue calling the front desk to complain and ask for something in return. Usually the least I’ll accept is a new room, but sometimes they’ll concede points, or on a good day I’ll get an upgrade. I could request immediate special maid service but you never know how long that will take (plus having to deal with the person you potentially were complaining about can be awkward). One thing I’ll add: when asking for early check-in on more than one occasion I’ve had a completely uncleaned room. This is probably due to the lack of communication between the front desk and cleaning service. When this happens be sure you at least ask for a new room! You’re entitled to it.
Paying for WiFi. Some of the prices hotels charge for WiFi are completely ridiculous. It’s often one of the biggest complaints hotel guests have during their stay. One way you possibly could avoid a charge for WiFi is through status. For instance, Hilton HHonors offers free WiFi to their Gold and Diamond members for most properties. (If you haven’t signed up for your hotel rewards program you can find a list of where to do so here.) Another way to avoid a WiFi charge is to use your phone as a tethering device. On an iPhone you can do this in “settings” under “personal hotspot”. If you choose this option be careful as you’re using your phone’s data plan, and if you exceed your plan it will obviously offset the benefit of avoiding the hotel WiFi charge. A good way to know how much data you’ll use tethering is to check your carrier’s website before you begin tethering to see your data usage balance, then check the balance after using it for a day. You can also use mobile WiFi devices such as these to gain internet access. These devices essentially connect to a cellular network and provide internet access and usually for multiple devices. Last, you can always try finding a local coffee shop nearby for access. Not only does this help you avoid the charge but you also get a nice change of scenery.
When stuff doesn’t work. Ugh. Is there anything more frustrating than stuff just not working? Whether it’s the WiFi connection, TV, bathroom sink, or anything else, when we pay good money for a room we expect everything to work the way it’s supposed to. It’s annoying that this can even be an issue, but I have found that a quick call to the front desk results in maintenance coming up to fix the issue rather quickly for everything except WiFi.
Unfortunately, hotel WiFi (free or not) often times just won’t connect. When this happens I first turn off my WiFi connection then turn it back on (this should be an option somewhere in your settings depending on the device). If that doesn’t work I’ll try to restart my computer hoping that does the trick. If those two things don’t work I contact the front desk for tech help. They usually can fix the problem if I can’t. Another trick I use when it’s available is a hard-wired connection to connect via Ethernet cable. You’ll often see these connections on or near the desk in your room. Connecting via Ethernet provides a much smoother, reliable, and faster connection. I recommend a long compact retractable Ethernet cable such as this eight foot one from Belkin. Sometimes the hotel will have a non-removable Ethernet cable built in to the wall or desk. Problem with this is the cable is often too short to give much flexibility on where you work in your room. If you’ve got a retractable cord with you then you can use an adapter to connect your cable to the hotel’s Ethernet cable.
Readers, what are your biggest pet peeves about staying in hotel rooms?
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