Recently running out of shampoo toward the end of a pay period, I reached into my home’s bathroom drawer for a mini bottle of shampoo bearing the Sheraton Hotels logo. It was one of dozens I have collected along my journeys and realized using hotel shampoo can save on my personal budget. Based on personal experience, there are five things frequent travelers almost never have to buy and these range from pens to trading frequent flier miles for magazines.
And for clarification, these items are not stolen hotel goods such as bathrobes, towels, and pillows, but legitimate amenities meant to be enjoyed by travelers.
Frequent Travelers Almost Never Have to Buy Shampoo
In addition to shampoo, frequent travelers almost never have to buy hair conditioner, soap or body lotion. Taking these items can save on a budget traveler’s wallet when not on the road. When traveling, shampoo can double as clothing detergent and conditioner is a great substitute for shaving cream. There is no shame in grabbing these items to take home for personal use, to stock in the guest bathroom or donate to a homeless shelter.
Frequent Travelers Almost Never Have to Buy Stationery
There is a reason pens in rooms are imprinted with the hotel’s name, website and telephone number, it is an advertising item meant to be taken. Frequent travelers never have to purchase pens again if they grab one from each hotel stay. The pads of paper in the rooms are ideal for note taking or message pads back in the office. High-end hotels supply stationery and envelopes while some leave postcards ideal for sending a note home or keep as an inexpensive memento from a trip. Envelopes can be used to collect receipts or take home for future use.
Frequent Travelers Almost Never Have to Buy Upgrades
Savvy travelers know enrolling in hotel, airline and rental car loyalty programs equates to free services and benefits. Utilizing these services as much as possible means frequent travelers are accumulating points and miles to convert to free hotel stays, flights, and car rentals. It also means these road warriors reach levels of status which may result in upgrades to suites, high-end cars and first class flights. Free cocktails, bottled water and an express check in line may be other frequent traveler perks while some hotel brands such as Hilton offer member-only floors with special access to suites stocked with food and beverages.
Frequent Travelers Almost Never Have to Buy Morning Coffee
Although the coffee packets are usually not a traveler’s favorite brand and difficult to open at o’dark-thirty in the morning, this hotel room coffee is usually the right shot of caffeine to jump start the day. Most hotels supply in room complimentary java along with packets of sweetener and creamer and the occasional tea bag. Some hotel brands as Hampton Inn and Comfort Inn & Suites offer free continental breakfast complete with coffee.
Frequent Travelers Almost Never Have to Buy Reading Material
Ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts, most accommodations provide guest with a complimentary newspaper, usually USA Today. Since the national paper is not published on Sundays, some hotels provide guests with an edition of the local paper hotel. Finding a previously read newspaper in the airport gate area is usually easy to find and right for the budget. Additional complimentary reading material includes hotel bibles, destination magazines placed in room, and airline inflight magazines. Some frequent flier programs such as US Airways Dividend Miles allow members to redeem airline miles for free magazine subscriptions.
Travel has its privileges and thinking smart can save money on and off the road.
Source: Personal experience of more than a decade of business and leisure travel and mastering the art of getting something for nothing or almost nothing.