Prior to becoming Cabin Crew, I didn’t travel very often. Two months into flying and I’m still struggling to pack less and travel light! Despite this, there are a few hotel hacks that I’ve caught onto and thought that they would be worth sharing. Whether you’re currently crew, becoming crew or are even a frequent traveller, here are some things you should take note of:
1. Hotel reward programs are your best friend.
Depending on your airline (if you’re a flight attendant) and the hotel you’re staying at, you may be eligible for some sort of reward program. Usually, airlines book rooms on behalf of their crew using the same chain internationally. If this chain happens to have a reward program that you qualify for, you could start racking up those travel points quite quickly!
While travelling, I was introduced to Marriott Rewards. It was free, and comes with complementary internet service at every Marriott Hotel worldwide. Flight attendants are able to transfer the points accumulated by their airline to this reward card free of charge. Those points can be used to redeem free nights and other rewards.
2. Use those complimentary items!
Hotels generally give guests complementary items such as shampoo, shower caps, soap, slippers…the list goes on. Take it, or leave it, but keep in mind they are free of charge. Saving money as a flight attendant can be a hard thing to do and cutting costs where you can helps. I personally save these items and bring them to a shelter when I collect a large amount. The truth is, a lot of the time these items will be thrown out if not used.
So, what should you do with those items that aren’t able to be donated?
- Shower caps: Believe it or not, but they act as great bags to keep your dirty shoes or smaller laundry (such as undergarments) in before you put them into your suitcase. If you’re Emirates Cabin Crew, it’s the perfect carrying case for your little red hat!
- Notepads and pens: When you’re a flight attendant, your pens and notepads tend disappear out of nowhere. When you’re taking orders or information from customers on a flight, you need to right it down no matter how busy the flight is. When on layovers, I always grab them from my room. They’re also super handy to carry with you in general.
- Tea and coffee: As Cabin Crew, we are able to help ourselves to beverages on the aircraft, but they can get old with time. It’s always nice to be able to try something new, so I tend to grab a few complementary bags of tea and coffee from my room to save for the flight home.
3. If it’s not free, there is a good chance it’s discounted.
Being a flight attendant has it’s perks, and discounts at local tourist attractions and restaurants are usually one of them. When you’re constantly travelling the world, it’s hard to save money. I always make an effort to go out of my way to visit places that are the most affordable. Hotel concierges are usually able to give Cabin Crew a rundown of where to go, but it never hurts to call around/ask the places you are visiting directly if they are able to offer you a special price for their services.
If you’re a frequent flyer, sometimes airlines will have discounts at certain restaurants and businesses too. If not, I always recommend trying “deal finder” websites like Groupon. They often offer deals and coupons for restaurants, spas, hotels, shopping vouchers and things to do.
4. Staying in during your layover? Don’t pay for those movies!
As a flight attendant, you are usually offered free or discounted wifi at the hotel you stay at. If your TV has an HDMI input (which most do), then you can stream video online from your computer, tablet, or phone. You could do this without the TV, but why not make use of it if it’s there?
If your internet isn’t free, it’s most likely better for you to purchase an internet package instead of a single movie. At least that’s been the case in my experience, anyway!
5. Use the “do not disturb” sign.
When you’re travelling, you have almost every form of I.D. imaginable on you, and probably some valuables too. As a result, I always keep my “do not disturb” sign outside my door for the length of my trip. This is to ensure that no one knows if I’m in my room or not. Having my valuables stolen out of my hotel room is actually a huge fear of mine and this helps to put my mind at ease.
6. Don’t use the “clean room” sign, unless you NEED to.
The ‘clean room’ sign not only tells housekeeping that you would like your room cleaned, but it also tells every else in the hotel that you’re not in the room. If you do need your room cleaned, make sure you use the safe.
What hotel hacks are you aware of? Let me know, and I might add it to the list!