Ask for a late checkout
Ask for a late checkout upon hotel check in process – macniak (canva)

Those early hotel checkout times can put a big dent in your plans. If you have a late night planned the evening before or have time to kill before you travel home, getting out of the room by 10 am can be inconvenient. But did you know you can request a later checkout time?

To secure a late chacekout, contact the hotel via phone or email before your stay or, if possible, at the time of booking to maximize your chances. A late checkout is a request that hotels receive often. Most are happy to accommodate you if they have availability. This means getting in fast is the key to success.

Want to know the tactics you can use to snag a few extra hours in your comfy hotel bed? Keep reading to unpack the best ways to ask a hotel for a late checkout.

1. Ask ahead of time

Due to a quick turnaround between guests, hotels offer a limited number of late checkouts per night. If the hotel is fully booked and the housekeeping team is small, too many late checkouts result in rooms not being ready for new guests to check-in. If you’re traveling on a weekend or during a special holiday, you’ll want to act fast. Many other people will have the same idea as you if they want a couple of extra hours of sleep the morning after.

The earlier you ask a hotel about a late checkout, the more chance there is that they can accommodate you. Doing this at the time of booking is your safest bet. Or, ring up before you book and see if you can negotiate a better deal. Even if it’s too early for them to know if they can give you a late checkout, they should make a note of the request so you’re first on the list.

2. Consider the type of hotel and its occupancy rate

As with any hotel request, you’ll have more luck if you’ve booked on a weekday or off-season. They’ll have fewer guests and more flexibility to accommodate you. The same goes for newer hotels. They’ll go out of their way to meet all your requests because they want to build up good ratings on all their platforms.

Also consider how the type of hotel will affect your request. A large chain may have more staff, but they probably have agreements with their housekeeping staff to finish at certain times, as well as lots of other logistics in place to keep everything running smoothly. While a family-run hotel may not have high capacity or manpower, they may be more laid back and flexible about the time guests leave the rooms.

3. How to contact the hotel to request a late checkout.

When booking the hotel on their website, app, or on a third-party booking service, check if they have a late checkout option. If they don’t, note it in the special requests form, then follow up with an email or phone call once your booking is confirmed.

If you didn’t request a late checkout at the time of booking, simply call or email the hotel. They are often happy to help you if they have the capacity. If you’ve left it to the last minute, you can try your luck at reception. Even if they don’t have space, your smiling face may convince them to pull a few strings.

4. Be specific about the amount of time you need

Simply asking for a late checkout can be a little vague so a hotel may struggle to meet your request. If you only need to stay in your room for an extra hour or two, this will be easier for the hotel to arrange. If you want to stay all day, this could be more complicated or require you to pay an extra fee.

5. Be friendly and polite

You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Hotel staff are under no obligation to give you a late checkout, so when requesting one, try to be nice and make the employees feel special. People are more likely to go out of their way to help you if you aren’t adding extra stress to your day.

Give them a valid reason for your late checkout request. Are you in town for a special event or do you have a flight later in the day? Give them a reason to empathize with you. Even if they can’t accommodate you, they may be able to offer you alternative solutions such as luggage storage or a free day pass for the other hotel facilities.

6. Check the hotel policy on late checkouts

Remember, some hotels offer a late checkout package for an additional fee. Check the options on the website or your booking portal. As long as you’re prepared to pay the extra cash and there aren’t too many other late checkout requests, you should have no problem leaving the room late.

7. Speak to the hotel manager

If you’re not having any luck with the corporate reservations team, give the hotel a call directly and ask to speak to the manager. They have more power over the reservations system and are removed from cumbersome corporate processes, so it may be quicker and easier for them to help you. Explain what you need and anything that would justify them giving you a late checkout. If you build up a good rapport, they might be inclined to help you out.

8. Research the best loyalty programs

If you’re a regular traveler, it may be worth looking into the best hotel loyalty programs. It ties you to one brand, but they often come with lots of extra perks and cost savings in the long term. Many hotels prioritize members of their loyalty programs for late checkout requests. If you reach the top tiers of their loyalty programs, they may even offer this as standard.

The good news is we’ve done that for you. Here are the 9 best hotel loyalty programs available right now. Check it out!

9. Requesting a late check out last minute

Did you stay out later than planned last night and need some more downtime? Or maybe you ate at a questionable restaurant and woke up not feeling well. Whatever your reason for the last-minute change of plans, it’s still worth contacting reception.

Call the front desk and explain the situation. They may have had more people check out early than they expected and be able to accommodate a late checkout after all. At the very least, they could be able to liaise with the housekeeping team and buy you an extra 30 minutes.

10. Book an extra night

Did your hotel turn down your request for a late checkout or they agreed but only for a few hours? Consider if it’s worth booking an extra night. If you call ahead, you might even be able to negotiate a cheaper deal for the following night.

This is a good option if you have an evening flight. You’ll have access to the room and the hotel facilities so you can spend the day relaxing and have a chance to freshen up before you leave.

Having late check-out permission also allows you more time to pack to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind. Now that you know how to get late check out, here are our top tips for securing early hotel check in. Check it out!

FAQ

What are the standard checkout times for hotels?

Checkout times in US hotels are normally between 10 am and 12 pm. If you’ve requested to leave later, your late checkout time could be from 2 pm onwards. Every hotel has a different policy so you should confirm your checkout time with the hotel when booking or after requesting a late check out.

What should I do if I can’t get a late checkout?

If you can’t get a late checkout and have a few hours to kill at your destination, there are lots of ways to fill your time. Try to get a day pass so you can use hotel facilities like the spa, pool, and restaurant. Can’t get one at your hotel? Go to other nearby hotels and explain your situation. They might offer you a good deal to encourage you to book with them instead in the future.

Or why not make the most of your last day? Take a walking tour of the city, check out a museum, then have a long and lazy lunch. If you’re feeling tired, find a nearby park or beach where you can relax for a few hours. You could also find a cozy local café and curl up with a book or get some work done.

What should I do if my plans have changed?

Sometimes things outside of our control mean that you can no longer make your hotel booking fit into your plans. If you can’t make your hotel booking, try to cancel ahead of time to maximize your chances of getting a refund. For advice on the best way to request a refund from a hotel for any reason, check out this article.

Late checkout is not the only special request you can make for free, here are the other 21 free special requests you can ask from your hotel.

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