You CAN Beat Strict Hotel Check-In Times
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination early, exhausted from a long flight and looking for some relaxation, only to find that you can’t check into your hotel room yet. Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent this situation.
Hotels tend to have strict check in and checkout times, because they need to have enough time for housekeeping to “turn over” the rooms before they are ready for the next guests. Depending on the hotel, check out times are anywhere from 10am to noon, and check in times range from 2pm to 5pm. If you don’t request an early check in, and arrive while rooms are being cleaned, you’ll have to wait.
Hotel Loyalty Programs
Some hotel-branded or traveler-friendly credit cards, like the HH Hilton Honors Card, or American Express Platinum card, provide you with special privileges, including early check in and late checkout times. Other hotel chains have loyalty programs that aren’t connected to credit cards (they work similar to grocery store cards, only with better perks) that may allow for some flexibility as well. If you can prove that you’re loyal to a particular hotel or hotel chain, and stay there frequently, they will want to accommodate you.
Requesting Early Check In/Late Check Outs
You can request a late check out (if you have a later flight and don’t want to vacate your room early in the day) or an early check in when you book your hotel room. Most hotels allow you to do this, but will charge a fee for the option. However, that small fee can be the difference between having a room ready and waiting for you, or having to sit in the lobby for hours, so it can be absolutely worth it.
Ask When You Get There
It doesn’t hurt to ask. You might get lucky and find that your hotel is not fully booked. You might be able to check into a temporary room for a short time period, or they may simply switch you from your booked room to an empty one. This is more likely to happen if you booked your trip through a travel agency. Hotels want to retain these agencies’ business, so they will make sure that you’re satisfied, particularly if someone from the agency calls them on your behalf while you wait.
What to Do If These Options Don’t Work
Of course, there’s a chance that these methods will not work. If this happens, you still have options. You can ask the front desk staff if you can utilize the fitness center, shower facilities or spa. Most hotels will store your luggage for you, even if you aren’t able to check in yet, so you can take advantage of this and go sightseeing. And, lastly, there are always the business centers in hotels, complete with free wi-fi access. You might be able to get some work done while you wait!
The World is Yours to Explore!