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Get a hotel upgrade, or at least a few extra perks

Who wouldn’t love a room with a view and extra plush 400-count Egyptian cotton sheets—but is it worth the price? With a polite demeanor, good timing, and a little research, you can get the VIP treatment—or at least a few extra perks—while paying for a standard room.

    • First and foremost, join a free hotel loyalty program, such as Starwood Preferred Guest or Wyndham ByRequest. The programs don’t cost you anything, and members get first dibs on upgrades.
    • Timing is everything. Travel during the low season. Go to family resorts when school is in session or to Florida in late summer. When the hotels aren’t at full capacity, filling a suite with a guest not paying the full rate is better than not filling it at all. Also, check in as late in the evening as possible. By late in the day, hotels know which rooms will not be filled that night, so you will have a better chance of snagging that great room.
    • Know the hotel and be specific. Knowing the property will make the front desk clerk’s job easier. In some hotels, all the suites end in a certain number or are on a specific floor. Scope out the hotel website ahead of time and find out which room numbers have the best view, and request one specifically by number.
    • And remember, be polite. If a better room is open, the front desk clerk can determine if you get the upgrade or not.

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