Avoid Mini-Bar Madness: Tip-of-the-Day #326

The best way to avoid mini-bar charges during your travels is to avoid the mini-bar. That said, it's not always easy to do. On a recent trip to NYC, I checked in to my midtown hotel after a day of travel and promptly unlocked the mini-bar to see what treasures were inside. It was well stocked.

Considering I hadn't had lunch, I didn't think twice about opening the vodka "nip" and a bag of beef jerky. $25. Not enough food to call it lunch. And so, I moved on to the organic peanut butter crackers and snack sized Oreo cookies. $12. It only went downhill from there.

If your company gives you a per diem for food and alcohol, you can easily blow your entire day on one mini-bar binge. Here's where smart thinking can save the day. Once the damage is done, throw a "do not disturb" sign on your hotel room door and head outside. Yes, outside. Trek down to the closest Duane Reade or CVS. Purchase replacement snacks. Then bop on over to the liquor store (liquor and snacks are sold in completely separate establishments in NY) and replace the mini bottles of vodka for a mere $3 a pop (instead of $10). Finish up your journey at the corner store for the beers you threw back. $1.50 instead of $8. Replace the items before housecleaning knows you've pigged out. You just saved yourself an enormous (and difficult to explain) set of line items on your hotel bill.

Alternatively, you could plan ahead and bring snacks to your room upon check-in, but who plans to binge on junk food when there's a world of gourmet delights right outside your front door? This is both a courtesy post and a repentance.

You're welcome.

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