How to Get a Free Hotel Room Upgrade
Not having to make the bed, checking out the mini-bar, using the shampoos in cute containers…one of the best parts of family travel is staying in a hotel! No matter what room you originally booked, here are my tips for requesting a free hotel room upgrade.
Join Hotel Loyalty Programs
It is considered an “upgrade” when a hotel gives you a nicer room free of charge. This happens when the hotel is not crowded and there are extra rooms available.
By joining a hotel’s loyalty program such as Hilton Honors and becoming a frequent guest, you can earn enough points to qualify for a free upgrade. For example, for those Hilton Honors members at level Gold and above, you will always receive an upgrade to a preferred room if one is available.
Arrive Later in the Day
Hotels will be more likely to upgrade, or give away a nicer room, once they are certain they cannot book that room for more money. If you ask first thing in the morning when there is still a chance that rooms can be booked for that night, then you will most likely be declined. Late afternoon and early evening are the best times to request your upgrade.
Reserve Directly Through the Hotel
If you would like to request an upgrade or ask for any changes, it helps if you have reserved your room directly with the hotel company rather than through a third party service such as the online hotel booking sites.
Share Your Special Occasions
If you are traveling to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion, don’t be shy about letting the hotel know. You can ask them to make a note of it when you reserve your room and then request your upgrade when you arrive at the front desk.
Even if you aren’t a member of a hotel’s loyalty program and you aren’t celebrating a special event, it is still worth asking politely at check-in if there is any chance for an upgrade. It may not be possible but it can’t hurt to ask.
Depending on how crowded a hotel is, these tips may or may not result in a room upgrade. But if it works out you may find yourself with a better view, a balcony, or even a more spacious room. Good luck!