I take quite a few trips where I visit several locations in a row and let me tell you, being able to check in early when I reach my hotel can be a life-saver! Much as I love traveling, it can be exhausting, especially when I have to take early flights or am severely jet lagged.
There are several advantages to being able to check into a hotel early. One is that you can unload your bags and valuables securely in your room. Another is if you have crossed a lot of time zones you will be able to go straight to bed, and then wake up at midnight unfortunately. There’s a few different ways you can try to get into your hotel room before official check-in time.
1. Just ask. Many times hotels will have rooms cleaned and available long before check in. Ask if they will let you in and sometimes they just will. This can especially work if you call up the hotel ahead of time and ask.
2. Use a hotel rewards program. Some hotel chains, such as Preferred hotels have rewards programs you can sign up for and get access to early check-in and late check-out. Usually it’s only an hour or two difference but that beats waiting around for an hour.
3. Pay more. If money is not an issue, a hotel will often let you into any cleaned vacant room if you pay for the previous night, or some fraction thereof. I consider this unfair since no one else was going to use this room during that time anyway, and it will have to be cleaned the next morning the same as usual, but it’s another way hotels nickel and dime you.
These are some of the ways I have gotten an early check-in before. Keep in mind each of these involve talking to someone working at the hotel who can hopefully assist you. Kindness and generosity goes a long way while treating these hard working folk and the nicer you are to them will often yield more favorable results for you. Palming them a $20 probably won’t hurt either.