Whether you love them or hate them, everybody ends up staying at a hotel at some point in his or her life. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to make sure our stays are as enjoyable as possible?

Of course, the answer to that question is a resounding yes! And the best way to guarantee a good stay? By finding and sharing the secrets hotels don’t want us to know— or at least try really hard not to let us discover! Thankfully for all of us, Be Amazed has put together a list of the top 10 tips we all should know. We’ve highlighted our favorites below, and don’t worry— they’re not all about mess. Check them out and make your vacations better.

  1. Skip the discount sites.
    Yes, sometimes discount sites can save you money— but not always. In the case of ones designed for hotels, you might actually ending up paying the same, or even more, than typically advertised rates. That’s because hotels have to pay a commission to those sites, so any discount is usually offset by an up-charge to make up for the commission. So, instead of making a reservation through the site, just call the hotel directly! If you mention that you saw a better price somewhere else, the hotel will probably match or even better it!
  2. Don’t book right away or early in the day.
    While it can be stressful to wait to book a hotel room for a trip you’re excited about, try to wait a little while! Wait until late afternoon or early evening – around 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – because at that point in the day, the hotel will have fielded most of their calls for cancellations, transfers and re-bookings. They’ll be so eager to reach capacity on their reservations again, they’ll likely give you a better rate!
  3. Be nice to the front desk worker.
    Kindness to front desk workers nets discountsBe Amazed

    Now, we know you wouldn’t be rude to the front desk worker— but there are plenty of people who would. Not only is this behavior, of course, mean and unethical, it’s also pretty stupid. After all, if you want to get the nicer rooms, special features, or even unexpected discounts, you don’t want to insult the person who can make those things happen for you. Sometimes, a friendly smile – or a nice tip! – is enough to net you a nicer room, comped beverages, and a generally more special stay.
  4. Look for the Golden Keys.
    Les Clefs d'Or Gold Key emblem for conciergesBe Amazed

    Everybody knows that a concierge is the go-to person for any of your travel questions, but did you know how to find the best of the best? Look for the “Golden Keys”! This emblem designates a member of the Order of Concierge, and they can find or help you with just about anything legal. If you don’t see an employee at the hotel with them, just ask; the staff should be able to help find a member to take care of any need you might have.
  5. Challenge the mini bar.
    Granted, eating out of the mini bar isn’t the best idea if you’re trying to save money. However, if you find yourself in a more rural area, starving late at night where nothing’s open, or simply craving something without wanting to leave your room, those snacks can be hard to resist. If you find yourself in that situation, consider trying to challenge the charges anyway at checkout. Many times, the employee will waive them anyway.

We’ve highlighted our favorite, most positive tips, but there’s also a downside to hotel stays you should know about, too. Be sure to watch Be Amazed’s video below to see the rest of the secrets hotels don’t want you to know!

Do you have any travel tips of your own to share? Did you know any of these secrets before? Which ones surprised you? Let us know what you think, and share your own tips in the comments!