You have a big trip planned and will spend several nights in the same hotel. After three or four nights you’ll feel that you are at home, but only if the environment (your room, in particular) is a pleasant one. You don’t have to settle for just any room, mind you — here’s how you can score a hotel room upgrade. And usually for free too.

Just ask

. Your pleasant persona can sometimes get you what you want, but only if you ask. And ask politely. When you’re checking in, ask the receptionist if an upgrade is available. You may score one if the hotel isn’t particularly busy and has rooms to fill. Kindness rules here — if you ask and don’t receive, politely say thank you, take your room card, and enjoy your stay.

Its a special occasion

. On this trip you have brought your wife and you’re celebrating your 25th wedding anniversary. No one knows about your special occasion unless you tell them. Hotel staff is always looking for ways to leave a lasting impression by providing service that goes over and beyond your expectations. To win your business you and the Mrs. may receive that upgrade along with a hearty congratulations.

Show your loyalty

. For some hotels your loyalty goes very far. If you have a loyalty card, you may have already racked up some points toward upgrades. If so, use them to get the better room. Even if your point total is short, the hotel may give you a no charge upgrade anyway. Your loyalty to the hotel can be rewarded with a corresponding show of loyalty to you in the form of a much desired perk.

Go to the competition

. Yes, your favorite hotel’s competitor may be willing to give you a special deal in a bid to attract your business. This becomes a stronger possibility if the hotel is new and is looking to fill rooms. Timing is everything and your appearance at the right time could land you a sweet room for a small price.

Arrive late

. If you don’t have a reservation and you arrive late in the afternoon, you may find that there are very few rooms available. Even so, there may be a few premium rooms that aren’t occupied, enabling you to snag same at the lower room rate.

Stay for a while

. You may find yourself scoring a better room if your stay is for several nights instead of for one night. Again, this possibility depends solely on room availability, what is subject to change from day to day. Hint: if your stay straddles a weekend and you’ll be staying at a hotel frequented by business travelers, room upgrades on Fri. and Sat. nights may be forthcoming.

Hotel Stay Considerations

Another way to get a better room is to avoid paying for a budget room in the first place. Choose a middle grade room and you may find the hotel willing to give you an upgrade to a premium suite.

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