Hotel hack: skip hotel form-filling with a business card

By John Walton, October 23 2012
Hotel hack: skip hotel form-filling with a business card

Sick of filling out hotel registration forms with your name, address, phone numbers and so on? Save the time and repetition by simply handing the receptionist a business card to staple to the form.

I've been using this trick for years and it's proven useful many times over -- but I'm always surprised at how few people have heard of it.

It's not only a time-saver -- in the event of you forgetting something in the room, the hotel will have several different ways to get hold of you, including email, your PA, the head office or whichever colleague is picking up your direct-dial phone.

Using a business card, with your name printed out clearly and legibly, means that your name is spelled correctly in the hotel's system too.

Handing over a business card also helps to avoid figuring out what the particular language's translation is for the 'name', 'address', 'city', 'suburb', and so on might happen to be. Now that really is a timesaver.

And the card trick is something of a godsend in countries or smaller hotels that don't translate their forms, too, or if there's a bit of a language barrier between you and the person behind the check-in desk.

Bear in mind, though, that you might have to reassure the reception staffer that it's okay to staple your card to their form. In certain east Asian cultures, it usually wouldn't be appropriate to staple someone's card to a hotel form, so be as politely reassuring as you need to be, and accept that the staffer might prefer to transcribe your information onto the form and hand back your card anyway.

What's your favorite hotel hack? What saves you time, effort and faff? Share your top tips in a comment below!

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 734

I agree it can work and can save time, however, I'd rather have my personal details (home address, e-mail) in the hotel's files rather than my business address, as my hotel loyalty programs are all registered on my personal address. To be honest, if you ensure that at time of booking your loyalty number is in the reservation, the details normally match up (providing you have them correct in your profile).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 116

KG, you are right about the hotel loyalty number, however sometimes this doesn't always come through on the booking, or if you work for a corporate company or have a travel agent makes the booking on your behalf via a corporate account rate whereby sometimes the loyalty number doesnt show up upon check-in. My suggestion is to get some business cards printed with the private details of your choosing (there are companies like vistaprint that will do it for free plus postage) and these can also be handed to people you meet whilst travelling in a social context (non-business related)

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