20 genius hotel room hacks

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Sometimes, winding down in a hotel can be hard. You're not at home where you can follow your normal routine. Use these tips to make your travels a little easier whether you're getting ready for the day, taking a midday break or kicking your feet up at the end of the night.

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A coffee mug for a speaker

Forget to pack a speaker? Stick your phone in a coffee mug or the ice bucket to amplify your tunes while you get ready for that morning meeting or to lull the kids to sleep after a long day of activities.

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A paper cup for a toothbrush holder

Even though the room should be cleaned between every guest's stay, you still might be wary of letting your toothbrush touch the bathroom counter. Pop a hole in the bottom of a paper or plastic cup and flip it upside down for a makeshift toothbrush holder.

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Pack a mini power strip

If you're traveling in a group, it's likely there will be arguments over whose phone has more power, who needs to charge their Bluetooth speaker or who needs to blow-dry their hair. One thing you should never travel without is a mini power plug to increase socket space.

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Turn a pillbox into a jewelry organizer

Avoid the nightmare knot that forms when you pack all your bracelets and necklaces into a little travel bag. Keep each jewelry chain separate from the others by placing each one in a different day of a pillbox week.

 

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Bring a car vent air freshener

When the room smells stale or musty, make use of the air fresheners you buy for your car. Clip one to the AC/heat vent to refresh your room.

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Make your shower a steamer

Traveling usually means your clothes are getting folded - or stuffed - into your suitcase. Get the wrinkles out by hanging your clothes in the bathroom to let the shower steam remove the wrinkles.

 

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Build a towel humidifier

Dry air in hotel rooms is a common consequence of cranking the heat or blasting the air conditioner. Combat the dry air by setting up the luggage rack in front of the AC/heat vent and draping a wet towel over it. Wring out the towel first so it doesn't form a puddle on the carpet.

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Childproof with electrical tape

Just as you would put foam padding on sharp coffee table corners in your home or fill outlets with plugs to prevent little ones from injury, pack a roll of electrical tape to cover open outlets or tape rolled-up towels to corners.

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Set up a trash can step stool

Whether it's to reach the extra pillows on the closet shelf or to give kids a boost while they brush their teeth over the sink, flip over an empty trash can and use it as a step stool.

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Use pillow dividers

If sharing a bed causes a fight, or you don't want to be kicked in your sleep, use extra pillows to make a barrier on large beds. If the pillows provided aren't enough, check the closet or call down to the front desk for more.

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Fill up the sink in lieu of a minifridge

You've probably experienced the letdown of not having a minifridge in the room to store your leftovers or to keep your drinks chilled. Make a trip to the ice machine down the hall, fill up the bucket, and fill your bathroom sink for a makeshift cooler.

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Shower cap to shoe bag

Sometimes, vacationing means hiking, walking in the rain or getting your toes sandy. Place muddy, wet or salt-water-soaked shoes in the shower caps provided with the room. Cinch the cap closed to keep the rest of your clothes clean.

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DIY sugar scrub

Skincare regimens don't have to be put on hold just because you can't pack all your products. Use what's available in the hotel to make your own. See lemon slices in the lobby near the ice water? Put a few in a cup to bring up to your room. Grab some of the honey and sugar packets near the coffee and tea too. Combine sugar, honey and water, and then squeeze some lemon juice into the mixture. Next step: exfoliate.

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Ironing board for a dining table

Bringing kids on a trip means frequent snack times. If you want to avoid getting crumbs in the sheets or all over the carpet and there isn't enough room at the desk, pull out the ironing board. Use the foot of the bed as a seat and set up the ironing board as a table.

 

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Ironing board as a beauty bar

You can probably skip this one if you're not sharing the hotel room with anyone else. If you are sharing, though, this hack will save a lot of bathroom frustration. Keep your makeup, hair sprays and curling irons organized and off the bathroom counter by setting up the ironing board for extra surface space.

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Coffee maker to instant-food prep

Your morning coffee isn't the only thing the coffee maker is good for. Use it to boil water for oatmeal or instant noodles too.

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Conditioner as shaving cream

Maybe you ran out of shaving cream last time and forgot to replace it, or it wasn't on your list of items to pack. Use the hotel conditioner as a soapy backup when you need to shave. Because conditioner closes and smoothes pores - whereas shampoo opens the pores - it will leave your skin smooth and free of irritation.

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Dryer sheets for fresh clothes

At home, your clothes can air out when they hang in your closet or if they're folded neatly in your dresser. While traveling, your clothes are bunched up in your luggage for much of your trip, so they might start to smell a bit stuffy. Add a dryer sheet or two and tuck them into your suitcases to refresh your outfits.

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Ask for dishes

You probably don't want to drink wine out of a styrofoam coffee cup. If you packed a bottle of your favorite vintage or picked up a few bottles of beer on the way in, ask the front desk staff for glasses. They might be able to provide a bottle opener, and some hotels that have restaurants attached might even offer you plates, bowls and metal silverware for your leftover dinner.

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Keep the curtains closed with a hanger

Waking to an alarm is one thing, but waking to glaring sunlight creeping through the slit in the curtains before your alarm goes off is worse. Avoid this by utilizing the hangers in your closet. Use the clips you would normally use for pants or a skirt, and clip the curtain gap closed. After a good night's rest you'll be well on your way to becoming a morning person. 

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