5 Tips for Getting Early Hotel Check-in and Late Check-out
Hotel check-in and check-out times are designed to keep business moving. It provides housekeeping with enough time to get the room ready for the next guests, and also ensures those guests can get settled in quickly.
It’s important for hotels to have designated times for checking in and out so that they can plan their staff’s schedules accordingly. However, these times aren’t always convenient for guests — particularly when their travel plans have them arriving early in the day, or when they need a little extra time packing to depart.
Hotels always want to accommodate guests’ needs when possible (it’s called hospitality for a reason), but they are not able to say yes to every request. Fortunately, there are a few ways to tip the scales in your favor to avoid waiting in the lobby or secure yourself a few extra hours of sleep.
5 ways to secure early check-in and late checkout
The standard check-in time for a hotel stay is usually around 3pm, while checkout times range on average from 10am to 12pm.
There are so many variables that come into play when traveling that it’s almost impossible to make sure your itinerary coincides with a hotel’s scheduling. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep the following five tips in mind when it comes to requesting special accommodation for your check-in or checkout time:
1. Be a rewards member
Most hotels offer loyalty programs that allow you to rack up points toward discounted stays, among other benefits. One of those perks includes being able to easily request an early check-in or late checkout.
The more you demonstrate your loyalty to a chain, the more special treatment you’ll enjoy. That’s why it’s important to choose a hotel chain that you really enjoy, become a rewards member, and book with them each time you travel. Your status will level up, and the hotel will be more likely to grant your requests.
Tip: When you join Hotel Engine, you can double-dip on rewards points! Add your hotel loyalty program to our platform and keep your loyalty points while also racking up Hotel Engine rewards! Learn more here!
2. Book and request early
You’re less likely to score a preferred time frame with a last-minute booking. This is especially true if your intended location is experiencing a busy season.
Your best bet is to book your accommodations ahead of time and ask for early check-in or late checkout right away. If you book with enough time ahead, the hotel will likely have more wiggle room in their scheduling to accommodate your request since there will be more general availability.
Just make sure they make a note of your request in their system and that it appears on your booking confirmation.
3. Call ahead
You may not have realized you’d be needing to check in early or leave a little later than expected until after booking your room. If this is the case, just give them a call as soon as you have a better idea of your schedule and ask if the hotel can give you more time in your room.
You know what they say — ask and you shall receive. And if you booked through Hotel Engine, our Member Support team can even call and make the request on your behalf. Since it’s our business to negotiate with hotels, there’s a much better chance you’ll get a yes!
4. Always be polite
A little kindness goes a long way. This is especially true in the travel and hospitality industry, where workers must regularly interact with weary travelers who sometimes take their frustrations out on the staff.
Even something as little as asking the concierge how they’re doing on that particular day can make a huge difference and motivate them to help you out.
After all, concierges are problem solvers. Even if they can’t give you more time in the room, they’ll likely be willing and able to help you figure out another solution — especially if you’re kind and respectful!
5. Travel on weekdays
If you want to secure an early check-in or late checkout, try traveling on weekdays. Weekdays are notoriously less busy travel days, and when hotels have lower occupancy, they’re also more flexible. Therefore, it’s more likely that they’ll be able to accommodate you.
The same goes for off-peak travel seasons. More empty hotel rooms equal more downtime, more opportunity for the hotel to shuffle guests around and a better chance of you sleeping in a little later.
What if nothing works?
Even if you’ve tried all of the above tips, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the answer you want. When a hotel is fully booked or their cleaning crew can only work certain hours, there simply isn’t anything they can do. Fortunately, when this happens there are several other options you can explore.
When you have time to kill and no hotel room, here’s what you can do:
- Ask the hotel to store your bags. Most hotels will do this for their guests, either before check-in or after checkout. That way you can go out for lunch, take a relaxing stroll or even book a tour to kill time and do a little sightseeing too.
- Request permission to use hotel amenities. Your room may not be available for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access the spa, fitness center, pool or business area. You can also hang out at the hotel bar or restaurant until it’s time to check in to your room or depart for the airport. Just don’t lose track of time!
- See if the concierge has ideas. Concierges’ jobs are all about creative problem solving, and they’ll be happy to help you figure something out. For example, they may be able to get you another room at a discounted rate if necessary.
Hotel Engine has your back
Whether it’s an early check-in, late checkout, or a host of other needs, it always helps to have an advocate in your corner. That’s why Hotel Engine offers 24/7 Member Support — and our team of hospitality experts are happy to work with hotels on your behalf to ensure that your trip is as comfortable and seamless as possible.
Hotel Engine is the premier hotel booking solution for businesses, and it’s free to join and use! Become a member today to start saving on hotels and taking advantage of helpful travel management tools.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.