10 clever hotel hacks you'll need the next time you are on a family vacation

Staying in a hotel can be an adventure, especially if you're on vacation. Everyone loves to be pampered -- you don't even have to make your own bed! But as much as a hotel is the bee's knees of traveling, sometimes you need a little extra help to cut expensess and make your visit more convenient.
Whether you're minding a budget or you forgot something at home, check out any of these hacks to get the most out of your hotel experience.
1. Bring your own gear to cook
If you want to save money on food, bring along your slow cooker (and liners). You can plug it in and let your food cook while you're away. Just remember to eye the time, as you can easily overcook your food if you're out exploring too long. Need to whip up something easy for the family? Try these easy recipe ideas:
- Slow cooker pepperoni pizza mac & cheese
- Slow cooker spaghetti & meatballs (5 mins prep)
2. Save money by calling to book your room
This pro tip is as simple as it sounds. Instead of booking online, call the hotel directly and ask for a better deal than what they're offering to web buyers. They might say no, but most of the time they'll agree and save you money.
3. Stay safe at the hotel
Avoid posting the "please clean room" sign on your door. The cleaning staff will likely clean your room without the sign, so there's no reason to put your security at risk by attracting unsavory characters when you're away from the room. Better yet, hang your "do not disturb" sign on days you don't need your room cleaned.
4. Have groceries delivered
Conserve space in your suitcase and save cash on room service by having groceries delivered to your room. Some cities offer Amazon Prime Now, which has goods to your door in two hours or less. Otherwise, preplan your delivery by ordering ahead.
5. Use the ironing board as a table
Need extra dining space? Pull that ironing board out of the closet and set it up in front of the bed.
6. Use clothes hangers to keep your blinds shut
If the curtains in your room aren't keeping all the light out, take a hanger from the closet (the ones with clips) and clip the two curtains together.
7. Create a humidifier
If you could use a little extra humidity to ease a stuffy nose or dry skin, try this simple technique. Hang a damp towel over a chair or ironing board, and place it in front of the air conditioner in your room.
8. Pack a power strip
Hotels are usually short on outlets for you to charge electronics and other items you may need to plug in. Pack a portable power strip to give the needed to all those gadgets you packed.
9. Make a sandwich with the iron
If you're REALLY pinching pennies, grab some bread, cheese, aluminum foil and the iron. Cover the bread with the foil, and press the iron against the foil to toast the bread and melt the cheese.
10. Stream your favorite shows
Instead of spending money on hotel movie rentals, take advantage of their free Wi-Fi. You can stream videos to the TV in your room using the HDMI port and your computer or smartphone. Netflix binge with the option of room service? Yes, please!
Make sure you try a few of these hacks the next time you hit the road for vacation, and don't forget to share this with your friends on Facebook so they can try them out too.

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