· Bright Ideas · 9 Brilliant Hotel Hacks That Will Make Your Stay Better

9 Brilliant Hotel Hacks That Will Make Your Stay Better

hotel hacks

’Tis the season for summer travel! If you’re heading out for a holiday soon, I wish you safe and happy travels. And just in case your travel plans include a hotel stay, I thought I’d share a few helpful hotel hacks!

These brilliantly simple tips are sure to help you make the most of any hotel stay, whether that occurs the coming days or sometime down the road.

For more travel tips that will make your trip easier, be sure to check out my eBook The Getaway Guide! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member.

9 Brilliant Hotel Hacks That Will Improve Your Stay

hotel hacks

1. Clip The Curtains

Irked by the light coming in through that pesky gap in the curtains? Grab one of the pants hangers out of the closet. You can use the clips to clip the two curtains together and block the light more completely.

hotel hacks

2. DIY Toothbrush Holder

Most hotel rooms don’t offer toothbrush holders, but it’s easy to make one yourself. Just turn one of the paper cups upside down, punch a hole in it, and slide your toothbrush right in!

hotel hacks

3. Block Hallway Noise

While many hotels are nice and quiet, some are decidedly not! It can feel like the worst kind of luck to end up with a door that does nothing to block out a noisy hallway.

But there is a simple way to help dampen the noise—add some additional “soundproofing” by tucking a bath towel into the gap underneath the door.

hotel hacks

4. Coffee Maker Cooking

Unless you’re staying in a suite or studio of some sort, your hotel room won’t offer many options for cooking. However, it will likely have a coffee maker you can use to cook a surprising variety of foods.

There’s a wide selection of foods that only require hot water to prepare, like instant noodles, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, instant rice, and more. Just fill the coffee maker’s water reservoir, and run a cycle for hot water you can use to prepare your food.

hotel hacks

5. Instant Speakers

Wish you had a speaker to play your favorite music or podcasts? You can amplify the sound of your smartphone’s speakers by placing it in an empty glass or coffee cup.

hotel hacks

6. Use The Shower Cap

If your hotel room amenities include a disposable shower cap, put it to good use! Even if you don’t need to protect your hair, you can wrap it around a dirty pair of shoes to protect the clothes in your suitcase.

You could also wrap the shower cap around the TV remote to protect your hands from potential germs.

hotel hacks

7. Keep Your Cool

Have something you need to keep cool, but don’t have a mini fridge in your room? Fill the bathroom sink with ice from the ice machine to serve as a makeshift cooler.

You might have to wash your hands in the shower, but it works well in a pinch!

hotel hacks

8. Ironing Board Innovation

It can be tricky to eat a meal or work on your computer in your room if your room doesn’t have a table. But if your room has an ironing board, you’re in luck!

Just set up the ironing board and use that as a dining table or workstation. Complete your setup with a bath towel tablecloth if you’re eating something messy.

hotel hacks

9. Bedside Pocket

In a room with only one nightstand, one person may end up without a place to put their phone or glasses when it’s time to turn the lights out. Instead of resorting to the floor, you can use the flat sheet to fashion a storage pocket that keeps those items within reach!

Do you use any clever hotel hacks when you travel?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Thanks! Great ideas Jillie, as are most of your posts! I’ve used your hangar as a curtain clip hack, not so much to keep out the light but I usually get the room where the heavy curtains don’t quite meet in the middle. So I’ve used the hangar clip to keep out potential Peeping Toms

  • Whenever we travel (military we always travel) you have to travel light and smart. We usually go out for some sort of meal thru the day so picking up wrapped utensils, mints, and wrapped hand wipes, lot more places have these and saves having to carry a tub. Most military carry a mans shave kit and you can pack all those small items in there like clips, loose change for night trips to a vending machine, small plastic cups for rings, earrings and watches. I also carry a small bottle of peroxide which is easier then a can of Lysol. Everything in plastic bags and bags can be used later if needed. If we get pizza we always ask for plates and the USO at most airport help out military. We always leave a donation (not required but appreciated) for our next military brother. Thank you for the great hacks.

  • Just great ideas, Jill! Thank you! One time when we were in Switzerland, the hotel room had a bidet and we COULD NOT figure out how it was supposed to be used. My husband bought a beer, and he used the ice machine to fill the bidet to keep his beer cold!

  • Given how infrequently bedspreads are washed (gross), I never use them. I also can’t sleep under those plastic velour blankets, so I pack a cotton blanket in a dark color to help remember to take it home.

  • I traveled to 8 states over a 10 year period in outside sales and although it’s easier to have things available when traveling by car, I also used some of these methods when traveling by air:

    -Black Binder Clips for the window curtains (1 or 2)
    -Tissue in the door peephole
    -Always run a cycle water through the coffeemaker before anything else
    -Always use the plastic liner for the ice bucket
    -Door stop
    -A can of Lysol to spray everything: remote, door knobs, light switches, frig handles (anything I will potentially touch including the bathtub/shower) and Clorox wipes when traveling by air. Then you will have to use flipflops in the shower.
    -Never leave a toothbrush behind – it’s small enough to put in a bag or backpack when out of the room.

    • I do the same as Satindoll, except I NEVER use the coffee maker. I was mortified when one of my roommates washed her pantyhose in the carafe. Apparently that’s a well known trick. Who knows what else people put in there. eeeewww

      Instead I carry a portable immersion water heater. It’s just a little metal loop on an electric cord and inexpensive. Hang in your cup and it heats water in no time. When practical to pack I also bring my own large ceramic mug. I bring soups, beverage mixes, tea bags, etc. I bring a little vial of dish soap to wash up with.

  • Great tips. I always bring disinfecting wipes and wipe down the tv remote, doorknobs and light switches. Apparently these are the places in a hotel room that don’t get cleaned regularly. If flying on a plane I take them in my carry on and wipe down the armrests and tray tables.

    • Also wipe the headrest area, too. You just don’t know what could be in other people’s hair that could get transferred to the headrest and then into your hair.

  • Hi Jillee
    We travel often through the year for our daughters swim meets – college and high school. Just like home we use only one hand towel for the family. We use another hand towel to lay out on the vanity to protect our toiletries, especially toothbrushes. Earrings or anything you don’t want to get “germy “ goes on the towel. Also, because some hotel vanities have a patterned or marbled surface the white towel on top helps to be able to see all your items so you don’t miss or forget anything when you pack up to leave. Also, if we have an extra bath towel we’ll lay it out on the floor in front of the vanity and use it as rug for bare feet.

  • I always carry an extension cord, small flashlight, little spray bottle (I add essential oils Lavender & Purification / thieves & spray all drawers, under sink area & closet, spray the bathtub), large 55 gal garbage sacks I place my suitcases immediately into them after unpacking (bugs you know-not taking chances), paper tape to cover electronic lights (blister control if I walk a lot) instant oatmeal & cup a soup (I pack an immersion heater tool heats a cup of water for soup/ oatmeal/ hot chocolate), my own silverware, a large cup. I slip a towel under the iron board cover to help with ironing, the spray bottle to mist item, and over the door metal hangar (dollar store), a plastic hanger with clips (close curtains, hang pants, etc) I sometimes have to stay 3 weeks. I copy all my credit cards, driver license, any important info email it to myself couple different addresses & sons. I search out Security, Valet, making a habit of saying good morning etc and strike up a small conversation if they are not busy. I also tape a extra key somewhere in my luggage labeled house/garage/ storage for my car. I have a partial (no add/numbers) pic of my drivers license in my phone incase I lock my self out of room so show security and often take a picture of the inside of the room so I can describe where things are to them or see if anything is stolen.

  • I use repurposed zippered bags for packing. The kind of bags that sheets and pillow cases come in. They are heavy duty, see through, and come in a variety of sizes. No reason to buy packing cubes. These work better.

  • I always pack a roll of black electrical tape so that I can easily cover up any bright lights that might be coming from an electrical source. Of course, I wouldn’t suggest using it for smoke detectors. And, don’t forget to remove the tape before you leave.

  • When we are going to be staying in a hotel room for a few days, we bring along some 3M hooks to add to the bathroom. There are never enough places to hang towels! Then when we leave, we remove the hooks with no trace left behind.

  • EXCELLENT ideas! I will add one. Get a hard rubber door stop. Keep it pushed under the door towards the hallway whenever you are in your room. The door cannot be opened from the hallway.

  • I bring bottles of wrinkle release spray . My clothes always wind up wrinkled from traveling. I. also bring a small pack of disinfecting wipes for stuff like doorknobs and remote control etc.

    • Great ideas. When we visit my Sister we usually get a motel to sleep at.Their house is a small rental. Much less crowded than trying to sleep on a couch.

  • Great ideas. I use a few of them but you gave me several more good ones to try out. Do you carry a set of utensils with you or do you ask the hotel front desk or restaurant?

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