At least half the hotel rooms I end up staying in these days require that you stick your room key in a slot beside the door in order to do things such as turn on the lights or use the power outlets. It's a detail that I forget at least once a trip, which results in me spending a few minutes fumbling around, trying to determine why I can't turn on the bedside lamp.
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As Hotels.com's regional director for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Katherine Cole knows a thing or two about the hotel industry. Travelling on a fortnightly basis to all corners of the globe, she's stayed at hundreds of hotels and has learned a few tricks along the way. We asked Cole to share her top hotel hacks with Lifehacker readers, from the best time to book your hotel to the hidden costs you need to watch out for.
A hotel room, however well appointed, is an alienating dream-space. You're supposed to do all your most intimate things in this place designed and furnished and filled by someone else. You need to make it your own. Listen to designer and international traveller Karim Rashid.
Furries - people who dress up like cartoon animals and do less sex stuff than you'd think - know that the rest of society finds them weird. In public, they often respond to this by being very careful and polite. So much so, that we could all learn a thing or two about their hotel etiquette.
Hotel living is sweet, especially if you leave room in your luggage for all the mini-shampoos and towels that come with it. Too bad that taking a break from your apartment for a night is so expensive you'd be better off just buying expensive shampoos and towels. That is, unless you can learn to scam your way into a free home away from home in a way that's totally legal.
If you're a frequent work traveller who likes to keep fit, finding suitable facilities can be a real pain in the bum. Whenever a hotel isn't equipped with a gym (a frequent occurrence when work is paying) you're essentially forced between heading to an outside fitness centre or putting your exercise on hold. But there's also another way -- with a little ingenuity it's possible to get a full workout inside your hotel room. This infographic explains how it's done.