Can You Use A Hotel Room For A Few Hours – Why pay a ton of money to sleep somewhere? Here are some money-saving tips for hotels.
This means, if you have second thoughts about the trip and want to withdraw to a non-refundable hotel room, you may be out of luck.
Can You Use A Hotel Room For A Few Hours
Sometimes, you don’t even have a choice. Consider what happened to Liam Goodman. She booked a last-minute non-refundable hotel room in New York through Priceline. When the property ran out of rooms and she had to stay at another hotel, Priceline did not refund her money.
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“Priceline says I never checked in and it was a no-show,” says Goodman, a photographer in Beacon, New York.
Non-refundable – or “prepaid” – hotel rooms seem to be becoming the norm. The deal is simple: you pay in advance for a hotel room, and you get a small discount. Unlike airline tickets, there are no refunds if you change your mind within 24 hours of making your reservation.
If you’re stuck with one of these non-refundable hotel rooms, don’t worry. There are actually ways to get your money back. But perhaps the best strategy is to avoid those pesky hotel reservations in the first place.
He had what Goodman wanted. He can avoid the hassle by asking his parent hotel to “walk” to a comparable property, which is standard hotel industry practice. Instead, he contacted Priceline for help — and was turned down. I asked Priceline about its case. The company reviewed his record and found that he was a no-show, and the agency offered him a full refund.
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When the hotel is not advertised. I have seen many cases where the hotel fell short of expectations. When that happens, all bets are off. Take lots of pictures and appeal to the highest level possible – and, if necessary, to your credit card company. If the answer is still “no”, you may be able to secure your stay. For example, when Heidi Vanderlee found out that she had to share a bathroom with another guest at her London hotel, she appealed to her online travel agent. Much later, the online agency managed her reservation, allowing her to be upgraded to a quarter with a private bathroom. “It could be a lot worse,” says Vanderlee, a New York-based publicist.
When You’re Sick Grant Sabatier recently discovered this when he got sick and canceled a non-refundable hotel room in Washington, DC. A valid medical excuse may secure a full refund. But he had to call the hotel three times before he could look his way. “The only thing that worked for me was booking directly with the hotel,” says Sabatier, founder of financial advice site Millennial Money.
When your circumstances change. Hotels understand that your plans may change. Chris Michaels recently requested a refund for two non-refundable nights at a chain hotel in Chicago. “In a friendly manner, I told the front desk staff that I was part of a big tournament in town and that my team was out of the competition. I also mentioned that I was a rewards member of the chain. And the place I went. In the past,” founder of personal finance site Frugal Realty Michaels remembers. “The hotel offered to charge me a $50 cleaning fee to get me out of the night’s outstanding balance. I paid that and went home.”
When there is a death in your family. Alex Benny had to cancel a non-refundable reservation due to the death of a relative. The hotel referred him to a “suspicious” manager. “But when I offered to provide the documents, he offered to revoke my stay and apologized,” says Benny, who works in the state of Tennessee. “The mere thought that you have written a justification for canceling a non-refundable stay will show the hotel how serious you are about the claim.”
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Sometimes, people want to return to a non-refundable room for a good reason. And why not? Hotels can often resell rooms, so it’s only fair that we get at least some money back, right?
Frequent hotel guests like Anna DiTomaso, who owns a web design firm in Dallas, say it’s at least worth a try.
“The hotel has a legal right to keep the money,” she says. “But I’ve found that if you have a valid excuse for canceling a room, most places will offer you a refund without asking.”
I agree. “Prepaid” rooms and non-refundable rates are not applicable for customers. The concession is too small and the risk too great. Often, guests don’t even know they have a nonrefundable rate until it’s too late. Yes, hotels like other travel companies bury the terms in their good impression.
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Bottom line: Non-refundable hotel rooms should not exist. But they do. Now you can have a way around them.
Travel insurance. If you must cancel your hotel stay for a covered reason, you may receive reimbursement from your insurance company for the cost of your non-refundable hotel stay. Seven Corners CEO Justin Tisdall recommended that the benefit be “cancelled for any reason.” “It allows you to cancel your trip for any reason,” he says. “That way, if something unexpected happens, you can cancel your trip and get back at least 75% of the cost of your non-refundable trip.”
Change your reservation date. Sometimes, non-refundable hotel rooms can be changed to a future date. Andy Abramson, who runs a communications firm in Los Angeles, says that for some hotels, once you move the date, you can ask for and get a refund. “I’ve used this trick many times.”
Resell the room. Yes, it is possible. “You can resell your non-refundable hotel bookings to other people and get a refund that way,” says Galina Stureva, CEO of SpareFare.net, which facilitates these room changes. She says hotels allow the name of the chief guest to be changed under the reservation. Booking and Expedia also provide facility to change name. You may be reimbursed for some or all of the cost of your hotel room. My name is John and I am used to leaving my luggage in hotel rooms. I have good news – I haven’t done this in over a month now and my sponsor (Gia) thinks I have a very good chance of finally fixing this problem. I left the phone charger, phone, SD card and portable hard drives for myself. I left almost all my underwear in a hotel room in Greece. I left my favorite t-shirt in the guest house room in Laos. I had a problem, but I found a 10-step program that has served alcoholics well for years. I corrected the people who had wronged me (including the guy who owned the hotel in Greece who thought it was all some kind of protest), keeping my faith in a higher power. Dala and I are now committed to helping all God’s children. Avoid leaving your luggage in the hotel room.
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It’s much easier to see clothes scattered on the floor than a neat pile in the corner of the room. Don’t be too organized with your stuff – try and avoid putting your clothes in the closet because I lost my favorite t-shirt. I’d say the best place to put anything you think you might forget is next to the door – if you won’t forget it on your way out.
Wall sockets are popular places to hide your stuff so make sure you check them all before you go. Another place I’ve run into monsters before is the USB outlet on the hotel TV. In addition to the fact that hotel TVs almost never manage to play my movies, I’ve left my portable hard drive in this location 3 times. All went well this time, but the 500 GB hard drive I called “Blue” now lives with another family in Indonesia – I hope he misses me as much as I do. (And all the TV shows and movies on it).
It’s really hard to leave anything in a room without furniture – there’s nowhere to hide your things. Obviously you can still leave something under the bed so the best idea is to get a room without a bed. A mattress on the floor is basically the same as a bed anyway and the room will probably be much cheaper, so you’re not only saving your luggage, you’re saving your money too!
Not having complete control over your mind is a sure way to forget something while packing. We all had to get up at 4am for an early flight…it’s all dark and you’re basically still sleeping – it’s almost a miracle if you don’t miss anything. If you are facing this situation, it is safe to pack the night before. You will be able to sleep so long.
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