The heart wants to stay in a 5-star hotel whenever I travel, but the pocket can only afford a 3-star hotel; 4-star if I feel like I'm ballin', but that's rarely the case.
Here are 10 hotel room hacks that I've found useful to make the short stay a little more comfortable and enjoyable.
With these hotel room hacks, you'll never look at an iron the same again, and you'll look forward to heading back to the hotel room for a relaxing bath.
1. USE THE KETTLE OR COFFEE MAKER TO COOK SMALL MEALS
It's super gross to know that people are using hotel kettles to boil their underwear. Why would anyone do that when it can be put to better use besides boiling water?
For hotel stays that don't come with complimentary breakfast, you can boil some eggs in the kettle or coffee maker. The coffee filter basket can be used to steam a small serving of vegetables too.
Heat up food or make a grilled cheese sandwich on the coffee maker's warming plate, but be considerate and use an aluminium foil for hygiene purposes.
2. USE THE TV USB PLUG TO CHARGE YOUR PHONE
One of my hotel room pet peeves is not having enough wall plugs to juice up my portable charger, camera, laptop and phone all at the same time.
If your hotel room comes with a television, check the back of it for an extra USB plug to charge your devices.
3. USE A TROUSER HANGER TO CLOSE CURTAIN GAP
Blackout the room entirely by clipping the curtain gap with a trouser hanger, which can be found in the hotel room's wardrobe.
If there isn't one in the hotel room, you can always pack a clothes peg in your luggage, which doesn't take up a lot of space and weight.
4. TURN THE BATHROOM INTO A PRIVATE SAUNA
A night's stay in a Japanese ryokan will set you back about 7,000 yen ($88) to 110,000 yen per person.
Save the money for better use and turn your bathroom into a private sauna by closing the bathroom door for a couple of minutes while the hot water runs in the tub.
Enjoy the hot steam, soak your sore feet from all the exploring in the tub, and feel your tiredness melt away.
For a completely relaxing experience, add your favourite essential oil and turn up some zen music with the cup speaker hack as mentioned above.
Tip: While you're at it, get wrinkles out of your clothes at the same time when you hang it in the bathroom filled with hot steam.
5. USE SUGAR PACKETS AS HOMEMADE SCRUB
Some hotels charge for coffee and tea from the minibar, but sugar sachets are free.
Turn sugar into a quick homemade scrub by adding a little water and making it into a slurry paste.
Gently rub the sugary paste on your lips or body and it'll leave your skin feeling smooth and smelling sweet right after the delightful private sauna hack.
6. CREATE YOUR OWN DEHUMIDIFIER WITH A WET TOWEL
If you find yourself waking up with a dry throat or suffering from sinus, this quick solution will keep the hotel room from being too dry.
Wet a towel with water and hang it as close to the aircon as possible to keep the room nice and soothing.
7. GET INSTANT HOT WATER FROM THE NESPRESSO MACHINE
Some hotel rooms have upgraded its coffee makers to Nespresso machines, but sadly you'll have to pay for the coffee capsules.
Apart from brewing coffee, I use the Nespresso machine to get instant hot water rather than wait for a couple of minutes for a full pot of kettle to boil.
It can be used to cook instant oatmeals or fix up a bowl of cup noodles for a quick snack before you head out for a day of sightseeing.
8. COOK OR REHEAT FOOD USING AN IRON AND A HAIR DRYER
In case the hotel room doesn't provide a coffee maker or has upgraded it to a coffee machine, an iron can be used in place of the coffee maker's warming plate.
Don't belittle the iron. In this video, Miss Mina, a food and travel vlogger, tried making scrambled eggs in the hotel room. The hairdryer comes in handy too to help speed up the cooking process.
9. TURN THE IRONING BOARD INTO A MAKESHIFT TABLE
Bring out the ironing board and use as a makeshift table if there isn't a desk in the hotel room. Miss Mina used it as a prep table as seen in the video above.
It might be a little flimsy to hold anything heavy, so refrain from putting anything fragile on top.
10. USE A CUP AS A SPEAKER
Turn up the music by using the cups provided in the room as speakers, but be careful not to disturb other hotel guests.
Simply place your mobile phone in the cup or mug and the volume will be amplified.
What do you think about these hacks?
Become the most seasoned traveller and impress your travel companions with these nifty hacks at your fingertips.
But be mindful and considerate when trying out these hotel hacks. The last thing you want on your trip is to incur additional cost for any damaged items.
Written by Melissa Goh for Asiaone.