The Travel Freebies You're Missing Out On

Everybody likes free stuff, right? Most people would agree that when they are traveling, the easier it is to stick to their vacation budget, the better. One of the best ways to make sure you are saving money and getting the most out of your adventure is by taking advantage of the freebies that airlines, cruise ships and hotels offer by simply asking for them.

Freebies on Planes
Flight Attendant

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It’s true that the ever-rising food prices and the heightened awareness of allergies have caused most airlines to no longer present free peanuts. Luckily for you, some airlines still offer complimentary snacks, plus a whole lot more:

  • Airlines like Southwest and Delta that offer complimentary snacks often allow seconds, usually upon request by the passenger. Second servings of free treats are only given out if there are extras leftover, so wait until every passenger has been offered a snack before asking. The best times to request seconds are usually during late-night flights when people are sleeping.
  • If you’d rather skip the little cup with ice and go straight to the source when you are thirsty, just ask. Most flight attendants will give you the entire can of ginger ale (or your other choice beverage) if you just ask them. The only time you might hear “no” is if he or she is low on drinks or serving from a larger container.
  • What if you could get a break from your kids on the plane? On many airlines, you can! Parents or guardians of small children can usually request help from a flight attendant if they need to excuse themselves to the bathroom for a few minutes. An attendant will sit with your child in your chair and keep the peace while you get a few minutes of peace yourself. 

Freebies on Cruise Ships

Cruise Ship

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While cruise ship vacations are designed to be all-inclusive because the cost of most amenities are already included in the ticket price, that doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to get freebies:

  • Most basic beverages are free on board, like water, tea and coffee. There are also bars and coffee shops that provide more specialized drinks for additional fees. If you prefer the specialty coffee over the black stuff in the dining buffet area, try one of the onboard free restaurants instead. On some cruise ships, restaurants offer specialty coffee drinks that you can order sans additional charge.
  • Are you interested in free booze? Cruise ships make money selling people alcoholic beverages, which is why liquor and beer is not free onboard. The good news is that most ships offer daily tastings at the duty-free shops as well as free shots at nightly parties (usually on Caribbean cruises).  Another way to save is to check out the pub crawl schedule. For one fee, you can bar hop onboard and get a drink at each place for less than buying each individually.

Freebies in Hotels

Hotel Room

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Hotels are basically the free travel amenities jackpot. Because comfort is key to customer satisfaction, hotels will often dole out extras to hotel guests who ask. In addition to the usual shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap supplied in rooms, hotels may also offer:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Sewing kits
  • Razors
  • Shave cream
  • Shoeshine kits
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Fresh fruit
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Swimming diapers

While hotels will offer some items for free, others may offer borrow programs for use of curling irons, gym shoes, baby playpens, yoga  mats, workout clothes, phone charges, adapters, e-readers, MP3 players, videogame consoles, etc.


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Lauren Elizondo

Autumn foliage, architectural decay, that feeling you get in your stomach when you speed over a dip in the road – these are just a few of Lauren Elizondo’s favorite things she’s had the chance to experience while traveling. When Lauren’s not writing abo