Travel Fanboy

Hotel Check-in Tips

Waiting in a long line to check in can be quite a drag. You’re excited to get your Vegas trip started, only to have to delay your fun by joining other anxious travelers in a slow moving queue. Here are a few things to consider to make the process more manageable:

Don’t get down on Friday

Avoid Friday check-ins if you can. This is when most travelers head out for their weekend excursions, so this is the worst day for check-in wait times. If a Friday arrival is unavoidable…

Sneak Ahead

Don’t wait until the official check-in time to get in line. Checking-in a few minutes early is rarely, if ever a problem. I and others have even had quite a bit of luck trying to check-in a few hours early. It really depends on room availability. If the room type you reserved has been turned over and ready for occupancy, they’ll usually let you have it. This will help you avoid the amateurs that wait until the exact moment the check-in time arrives.

If you want it, ask for it

If you’re hoping for a complimentary upgrade, ask for it. If you’re celebrating a personal milestone like a birthday or anniversary, explain the occasion to the attendant checking you in and ask if any “complimentary upgrades” are available. The worst they can say is “no”. Well, I guess they could say “No, you ignorant fool!”. That would be worse, but not likely to happen.


A little tip can go a long way. Most Vegas regulars know about the $20 trick, slipping a bill between your credit card and ID when handing them over to the front desk agent. This upgrade strategy works fairly consistently. Your success will be limited on nights with a high occupancy, however.

Be kind

You may not even have to tip to get preferential treatment. Sometimes, simply being nice can get you upgraded. While you’re not likely to get a fancy suite, having patience may get you into a room with a better view or floor location.

Just get the hell out of there

Another option is to ditch the line and go out and enjoy yourself until it dies down. Hand your bags to the bellman, perhaps grab a bite to eat or hit the tables for a bit, then head back to check in later. Be sure to tip the bellman when you return.  A dollar or two per bag will suffice.

Do you have any other tips to make the check-in process easier?


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.

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