4. Use industry terminology to get early check in
If you ask for “early check in,” hotel staff might have a kneejerk “no” ready, as it seems like you’re requesting something extra. Instead, call the morning of and say you’d like to “pre-register” -- hospitality industry jargon that means that your reservation is assigned a particular room, not that you plan to arrive early. Here’s the upshot: whatever room they assign you will likely be ready when you arrive, as the hotel is inclined to pick a room they know to be available. Even if you’re booked for 3 PM, you can often get access at 10 AM, because when you’re there in person, it’s unlikely they’ll deny you access to a room they’ve already set aside for you. Even if you aren’t pre-registered, the hotel might upgrade your room, as they overbook just like airlines and car rental companies.