How Early Can You Check Into A Hotel: Tips For Early Arrivals

How Early Can You Check Into A Hotel? It’s recommended to arrive at your hotel no more than two hours before check-in since the staff must prepare your accommodation first. However, there might be unforeseen events that could cause you to arrive earlier.

In these cases, getting yourself an early check-in or taking on different approaches is vital to ensure your schedules aren’t affected. In the following article, we'll explore specific options for early arrival. Feel free to consider the opportunities to make the most of your trip.

Improve your early check-in experiences with our guides

Improve your early check-in experiences with our guides. Photo by Drazen -

Can You Check In Hotel Early?

Many hotels will allow their guests to perform an early check-in for free as long as you give them a call first. And when you arrive at the destination, you only need to provide your ID and reservation details. However, this is not always the case since the hotel can be fully booked that day.

Early check-ins aren't unusual for hotels, so you shouldn’t worry. Remember that the policies will differ depending on the hotel, its current booking conditions, and your reservations.

In addition, some hotels will charge you additional fees if you wish to check in early. Make sure to talk with the staff before you arrive and that both parties are on the same page.

Sometimes, the hotel will require you to switch your reservations to another room, which can be more expensive than your original booking. So, it's essential to clarify all the details first.

On the other hand, if the hotels don’t accept early check-ins, you might want to ask for further assistance. Maybe you can try using certain hotel facilities while waiting for your room to get ready. Or it's also possible to leave your luggage with the hotel reception and then explore the town first.

What Time Is Early Check-In At Hotels?

Generally speaking, in most of the hotels we've been staying at, their standard check-in time would vary between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. Guests are expected to arrive during these hours and must check out at 11:00 am or 12:00 pm.

However, this can vary greatly, depending on the establishments and their different policies. On some hotels, you can have a fairly early check-in time of 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm, while others offer late check-ins at 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm.

So, from our own experiences, it’s essential to consider the standard check-in times and calculate when you’ll arrive at the hotel. If you’re only one or two hours away from check-in, your early requests should be approved.

However, if you arrive too early before the scheduled period, you might consider booking another hotel or a different room if possible.

And most of the time, your early check-ins will depend on the hotel's occupancy rate. If it's fully booked, you must wait for your room or switch to another hotel. But on the other hand, we don’t see any reasons for hotels to turn down their customer’s requests.

Useful Tips For Early Check-Ins

Useful Tips For Early Hotel Check-Ins

 Give the hotel a call before your early arrival. Credit: Pixabay

If you find yourself in this situation, the following tips for early check-ins will certainly come in handy:

Always Check With The Hotel Before Your Arrival

The best thing you can do when finding out that you'll be arriving early at the hotel is to call them. Ask them if you can get your room before the standard check-in time.

There is always a good chance that your requests will be accepted. But even if they don't, feel free to ask for further assistance. Consider all the options and then decide what you should do.

Always come to an agreement with the hotel before arriving at the destination. This will save you a lot of time waiting, especially after a tiring trip.

Make sure to be courteous when asking for assistance

When reaching out to the establishment, we insist that you maintain a calm, courteous, and polite tone. Having a good attitude will significantly improve your chances of getting your request granted.

Always remember that you’re talking with friends who are doing their best to help you. So, a friendly and respectful approach will always go a long way.

On the other hand, those who reacted impulsively will find themselves and the person on the other line both frustrated and annoyed. We understand that having your schedules disrupted can be quite upsetting.

However, remember that the hotel is not at fault for situations beyond its control. So instead of being confrontational, try to work together for a solution. When travelling, keeping a free spirit and an open mind is important.

Don’t forget to tip

If you find the hotel supports to be most helpful; we suggest you give the hotel staff a worthy tip. This is to show your appreciation for their effort and will also make a big difference to the hotel services during your stay.

Can You Check In Hotel Early?

 Give the staff their deserving tips. Photo by Africa Studio -

Prepare to wait for your room

Even after your requests are approved, it’s important to understand that the hotel will need to have its accommodations ready. So, be prepared to wait a little while before you can enter your rooms.

You've done all you can, from calling the hotel to discussing the options, so it's time to relax until the facilities are ready. And in the meantime, feel free to stroll around your hotel and explore the surroundings if you want to.

Sometimes, leaving your luggage at the receptionist would be a good idea, so you can go out and explore the town.

Have your day pack ready

And speaking of which, if you decide to go out, make sure to have your day pack before you get to the hotel. Put a few important items in your backpack, a water bottle and some snacks, and you'll be ready for your adventures.

Simply leave the rest of your luggage at the receptionist and start going. Here, asking the hotel to bring your stuff to the room whenever it’s ready is possible. Or you can choose to go back and pick them up yourself later.

Enjoy the hotel amenities

Enjoy the hotel amenities

You can enjoy the hotel amenities while waiting. Photo by rilueda -

If you want to wait at the hotel before your room is ready, exploring its amenities is also a great option to keep you busy. Take a stroll around the establishment and check on its many facilities.

You should grab a snack at the restaurant to ease your hungry stomach from a long trip. Have fun meeting new people at the bar, or just enjoy a few drinks alone.

It's also possible to check out the hotel spa and gym, where you can unwind from your intense flights. Feel free to take your time before your rooms get ready.

Ask to downgrade or upgrade your room

If you can’t afford to wait, then switching rooms is also an option. Most of the time, the receptionist will provide you with all available suggestions that you can simply choose depending on your preferences.

Most of the time, we would like our booking to be switched to an identical room. However, make sure you’re ready to downgrade your rooms or pay extras for an upgrade, as the facility might not be available at that moment.

Consider paying the half-day rate

When you’re expecting to arrive at the hotel too early before the check-in period, many facilities will offer a half-day rate, which translates to 50% of your regular nightly rate.

In these cases, you can ask the hotel how to avoid paying extras by arriving at certain hours. And if you must check in now, feel free to negotiate before agreeing on a sufficient fee.

Joining the hotel loyalty program

If you must travel frequently and to a common destination, you might want to consider joining the hotel loyalty program.

Here, the establishment offers plenty of perks for its loyal customers, not just with early check-ins but also upgradability, improved services, and more.

The option requires you to pay a little extra but will allow you complete peace of mind. In addition, if you travel a lot, then the subscription might even save you money.

Joining the hotel loyalty program

Always check out on time. Photo by Mediteraneo -

Look for hotels with flexible check-in times

Being proactive is always easier than reacting. So, to save yourself trouble in f early check-in, we suggest you look for those with flexible accommodations

Research the hotel policies and offers before you complete the reservation. And always call the hotel to confirm your adjustable check-in time, which will give you complete peace of mind.

Remember to check out on time

If the hotel has gone out of its way to help you with your early check-ins, then you should also do your duty of checking out on time. Late checkouts can cause a lot of trouble for the facility and its housekeeping staff.  They'll have to wait for your leave before cleaning the room and having it ready for the next visitors.

In case you must check out late, make sure to contact the staff and look for available solutions instead of just assuming that it’s okay to stay. Many hotels offer late checkouts with extra fees or, sometimes, just a prior heads-up. Always be respected and considerate to save yourself and others from trouble.

What else can you do?

And instead of opting for early check-in, there are many different things you can do before arriving at the hotel. These are a few interesting alternatives that travellers might want to consider:

Keep your luggage at the hotel

If you can have your room ready early at the hotel, it's still recommended that you arrive at the destination just to drop your luggage off at the receptionist.

Most hotels will allow you to store your luggage before you can check in. And during this period, they'll keep all your belongings safe while you can carry around a small backpack with all the necessities.

Take good use of the hotel services

Feel free to ask the receptionist or other hotel staff for available amenities and services. You should go to the bathroom to take off the loads or to clean yourself up after a tiring trip.

Some establishments have guest areas where you can sit down and relax before getting your room. Feel free to take a nap if you want to rest.

And of course, if you're hungry, it's always possible to visit the hotel restaurant and grab a bite of your favourite foods.

Go outside and explore the surrounding

Go outside and explore the surrounding

 You should go out and explore the town. IG: @globetrottingsu

After getting yourself ready, exploring the surroundings is a good idea. You can simply walk around the hotel and enjoy a cup of coffee at any nearby restaurant.

Or alternatively, those who are interested can totally take a tour around the town before returning to the hotel for their check-ins. Treat it like a layover, 

Go shopping or enjoy your meal at a famous restaurant

A great option to pass the time is to go shopping. If it’s your first time in the city or town, then it’s best to visit the local market for interesting souvenirs and delicious foods.

But if you're concerned about street foods, then having a great meal at any famous restaurant is also a great option. Feel free to ask the hotel staff for good recommendations or look into local food apps.

Relax while waiting for your room

In cases when you have to wait a few hours before your room is ready and don't want to go outside, you might want to prepare a book or podcast to enjoy during your free time.

Just take the opportunity to relax and relieve all the stresses from your extended trips and the long waiting hours.

Pay for an airport lounge day pass

Pay for an airport lounge day pass

 You can pay to stay at the airport lounge. Photo by torjrtrx -

Many airports nowadays offer travellers comfortable day passes at their customer lounge. So, if you are arriving too early, you might want to spend your money on the services. This option is excellent for those who often travel from place to place and want to make the most of their time.

With the airport membership, you don't worry about early or late check-ins. Just arrive at your destination and spend your time in the visitor lounge for as long as needed before you get to your hotel for the on-time check-ins.

Be flexible and positive

Sometimes, things don't go as planned. And despite all your best efforts, together with the hotel support, your early check-ins might not be available.

So, the best thing to do right now is to patiently wait for them to get your room ready. Keep in mind that you’ve done all you can, and so do the hotel staff.

Just take your time to relax and regain your positive attitude. You might find a quick meditation quite helpful. Or it’s also a great idea to write down the experiences in your journal so you can review them later.

Start Your Hotel Stay Off Right

Arriving too early before your hotel check-ins can be a frustrating experience, as you might not be able to enter your room and start having a rest. However, you can always improve the situation with our provided tips and instructions.

So, how early can you check into a hotel? Feel free to consider our article for the solutions, and most importantly, always maintain an open mind when dealing with these unexpected situations.

Kim Vuong

1 comment

  • Ann

    Thanks the tips were very helpful.

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