Budget-conscious travelers are typically looking to spend as little as they can on accommodations. Hotels especially can run up the tab for a vacation.
But sometimes your travel situation calls for certain hotel room upgrades or additional amenities. And if you can make room in your budget, these splurges can majorly enhance the experience.
We asked experts in the travel space to share the hotel upgrades and add-ons they believe are worth the extra money.
A Room With A View
“There’s nothing that elevates a stay quite like some breathtaking views,” said travel blogger Sean Lau. “An upgrade to a room with a vista — whether it’s the city skyline, rolling hills or a tranquil ocean, is always worth the extra cost. Bonus points if the room has a balcony or terrace where you can relax, dine, or simply breathe in the local atmosphere while you enjoy the stunning views.”
Although it’s hard to quantify, there’s something special about a scenic ocean, city or mountain view that can enhance the mood of a trip.
“To me, accommodations aren’t just a place to sleep — they’re a place to relax and reset your mind, especially after a long day of exploring or working,” said Gabby Beckford, a travel expert and founder of Packs Light. “Having a picturesque view to take in helps me enjoy the room I am staying in.”
Of course, this isn’t necessarily the move for everyone, especially if you aren’t planning to spend much time in your room at all.
“If your hotel has a rooftop terrace or bar, skip the view upgrade,” advised Jessica van Dop DeJesus, founder and editor at The Dining Traveler.
Additional Space For Kids
“If the price is reasonable, I like to upgrade to a larger room if I’m traveling with my family, so we can have a bit more space,” van Dop DeJesus said.
You might even find that upgrading to a larger room or suite with additional square footage is preferable to two conjoining rooms.
“If you’re traveling with kids, more space be a huge benefit,” said Laura Motta, digital editorial director at Lonely Planet. “It really depends on your needs as a traveler.”
“If you aren’t spending too much time in your room, consider splurging on amenities if offered,” said Katy Nastro, spokesperson for the flight alert service Going. “Hotel spas, most of the time, offer day passes with services, so you can take advantage of hot and cold pools, chaise longues and refreshments, which really make you feel pampered long after the treatment is done.”
Spending time in the spa can offer some much-needed relaxation during your getaway from the demands of everyday life. Check on the options for getting a treatments or simply spending a few hours using the facilities.
Quieter Rooms On Higher Floors
“I do everything possible to ensure my hotel room is as quiet as possible,” said Phil Dengler, co-founder of The Vacationer. “That includes selecting a room that is on a high floor and away from elevators.“
Staying on a higher floor typically means less street noise, and opting for the top floor ensures you won’t hear other guests shuffling around in their rooms above you.
“Depending on the hotel, this may be an extra charge during booking,” Dengler said. “In other situations, you can request it for free during the booking process or ask when you arrive at the hotel.“
If quiet is your priority, he also recommended putting in a request for a room away from the elevators when you book or check in, as there tends to be more foot traffic and noise around that area.
“As a light sleeper, I am always willing to pay extra for high-floor rooms away from the elevators,” Dengler said. “Additionally, I opt for a corner room if it is available for more privacy and the potential for less noise. Like high-floor rooms, there is often an additional charge for corner rooms. In many cases, these rooms are often larger, offer better views and are quieter.”
Early Check-In And Late Checkout
“Early check-in and late checkout are the two perks that are almost always worth it,” said Melissa DaSilva, president of Trafalgar, North America. “Early check-in is ideal for travelers getting in early, especially after a red-eye, to freshen up or get some pillow time before exploring a new place. Late checkout is great to maximize your last day on a trip with comfort and convenience.”
She recommended checking your credit card options, as many travel cards come with perks that allow you to get hotel upgrades without paying extra.
“I always will try and get early check-in or late checkout with my room,” echoed travel blogger Esther Susag. “it really can just make your travel experience so much smoother.”
“The last thing that I think is very worth it is airport transfers,” said Susag. “If I have a super early or super late flight, I find using the hotel’s transfers is generally more reliable and just takes the stress out of things.”
Still, she always compares the prices of their airport transfer to what an Uber would cost just in case there’s a great deal.
“An upgrade that I think can really be worth it depending on where you are is the breakfast,” Susag said. “If I am at a more expensive destination, I will opt for the hotel breakfast because I can usually make myself a snack for later and save some money on a meal rather than going to a more expensive restaurant in the city.”
Look into room upgrades or other options that come with breakfast to optimize your food budget.
“I tend to save my big splurge meal for lunch or dinner when I travel, so eating breakfast at the hotel is a quick, convenient way to help save on meal costs,” Beckford said.