We’ve all been there: You arrive at your hotel after a long flight, unzip your suitcase, and start to unpack, only to realize you’ve forgotten an important item. Fear not, intrepid traveler: Free hotel amenities are here to save the day.
Free Hotel Amenities
Long gone are the days when the best you could hope for was a disposable razor or a tiny tube of toothpaste—many hotels have upped their game and are prepared with everything from flat irons to phone chargers. Read on to discover nine key items you may be able to borrow (or keep) from your next hotel.
Hair dryers are a standard free hotel amenity at most U.S. hotel chains, but many properties now offer—upon request, of course—more serious styling tools like flat irons and curling irons. Pro tip: Instead of lugging your styling tools next time you travel, call ahead to your hotel and see if it can lend you what you need. It just might save you enough room to pack an extra pair of shoes.
No one needs stain remover wipes until they need stain remover wipes, and then there’s simply no substitute. And as anyone who has saved a tomato-splashed shirt or an ink-stained skirt knows, time is of the essence when it comes to treating stains. Instead of waiting until you’re home to deal with a stain, call down to the front desk and ask if they have stain remover wipes on hand. Hotels that cater to business travelers are especially likely to offer such wipes among their free hotel amenities.
Your cat or dog may have stayed home, but they may have left you a little something to remember them by. Putting on a carefully chosen travel outfit only to realize it’s covered in a thin layer of pet hair or lint can send unprepared travelers into a tape-seeking frenzy. But included in many stashes of free hotel amenities are lint rollers, usually miniature versions that still work surprisingly well. And even if a hotel doesn’t have a purpose-built lint roller for you, it might have some tape you can repurpose.
Workout gear can be too bulky to pack, but that doesn’t mean you need for forgo your fitness regimen when you’re on the road. Yoga mats, in-room fitness programming, and even workout clothing and shoes are available on loan at some hotels. Before you travel, check your hotel’s website or simply call the front desk directly to ask about what fitness gear it has to lend. You might be surprised.
Consider raiding a hotel’s lost and found to be a classier form of dumpster diving—one guest’s abandoned cords are another guest’s treasure. Phone chargers are among the most commonly forgotten items at hotels, which means many hotels end up with a stash of every type of phone charger. If you discover you’ve forgotten yours, ask the front desk if they have some on hand. Chances are they will, and might be willing to lend you the cord for the length of your stay.
You’ve arrived in a foreign country ready for adventure—but forgetting an outlet adapter to recharge your electronics was not the adventure you had in mind. Some hotel guests neglect to remove their adapters from the outlets before checking out, while others forget to bring theirs along in the first place. And that means that hotels usually have a small store of adapters from many lands on hand to lend to guests, a perk that can save you both the time and expense of trying to track down an adapter in a foreign country.
TSA-Approved 3-1-1 Liquid Bags
Behold the plastic quart-sized bag. For carry-on-only travelers, these little bags have a big job: to contain the toiletries that keep us looking our best on the road. But plastic bags break (or get lost or repurposed), and no one wants to have to go to the local grocery store and buy an entire bag of baggies just to use one. Hotels, knowing how much guests rely on these modest plastic zip-tops, often keep a stash of them at the ready. All you have to do is ask.
In the rush to pack, it’s easy to miss a key item like a toothbrush or shaving cream. And while you can generally assume you’ll find a stock of shampoo and soap in your room, hotels often have many more items on hand. From hair gel to toothpaste and lip balm to deodorant, the free hotel amenities stockpile at many properties rivals the best-stocked home bathroom. So the next time you forget a key item, call down to the desk before you head out in search of an all-night convenience store. You just might save yourself some time and money.
From books to board games, hotels have your downtime covered, even when you don’t. More hotels are stepping up with lending libraries of books and movies, stacks of board games you can play in the hotel lobby or your room, and streaming-enabled in-room TVs so you can watch your favorites from your own Netflix account.