Savvy Senior: Always Speak Up For Free Hotel Upgrades Print

Just asking often works. Unlike air travel, speaking up (politely) can go a long way to get a hotel upgrade. At check-in, ask the front desk clerk if you can have a higher-class room for the same quoted price.

Have a good reason. If you're celebrating a special occasion, arrived late in the day (and the hotel has vacant rooms that won't be filled), or are a frequent guest.

Make brand loyalty count. Book your room directly with the hotel chain and state you've stayed at the property before. Join programs, such as rewards credit card or frequent-guest club. If you have any other affiliations, such as AAA, military or AARP, be sure to speak up about them.

Try tipping your way to an upgrade. Depending on where you're traveling, an extra $10 or $20, discreetly offered at check-in, may get you a roomier room. It never hurts to offer and/or inquire to get a better room for free or at a discount.