Can This TikToker's Clever 'Mom Hack' Really Get You Special Treatment At Hotels?

Staying at an over-the-top luxury resort isn't the only way to get special treatment. You can use a number of simple tricks to score extra perks at your hotel. Plus, you can always ask your hotel for freebies like hair tools, body pillows, and exercise equipment. The hotel "mom hack," another strategy worth considering, has generated much buzz online. In a 2024 TikTok video, a young woman shared her tried-and-true trick for receiving free hotel treats. "Every time I'm traveling, my mom calls the hotel to do something special for me even if it's not a special occasion," she noted. The TikToker then showed off her complimentary bundle of sparkling water and snacks — all thanks to her mom.


The mom in question outlined her approach in a follow-up video. "I try to build a rapport with the person who answered the phone, tell them a little bit about myself and who I would like to send a little gift to, and just see if there is anything that they can do to help make the stay a little bit more special for the person," she explained off-camera. Even if she specifies the occasion, she keeps her request open-ended. Regarding scoring a mother-daughter gift of chocolates and prosecco, the mom revealed, "I said we were going to a candlelight concert, and we're celebrating your engagement." The clever mom hack has clearly worked for this duo, but will it get you any perks at most hotels?

Sharing your special occasion is often effective

Arguably, the TikTok mom hack's most unique element is that a loved one reaches out to the hotel on the guest's behalf. While this gesture can be touching for the recipient, calling on your own is a feasible alternative. Regardless of the caller, the gist of the hack — establishing rapport, being polite and discreet, mentioning special occasions — has been effective for others.


Users shared their successful guest experiences in the comments of the TikTok follow-up video. "Whenever I book, I always tell them why we're booking (anniversary, birthday, etc) and they have always left us something too, usually chocolate or cake, one time souvenir champagne glasses," one user commented. "My hotel that I went to on the seacoast of New Hampshire, made a heart swan and went and bought fresh flowers for my wife's birthday:) all I had to do was ask," someone else wrote.

As long as you're friendly, gracious, and reasonable, don't worry about inconveniencing staff by bringing up your event. In fact, certain hotels take immense pleasure in enhancing a guest's special stay. Talking to Today, award-winning hotel manager Chintan Dadhich described how informing staff of a special occasion can boost guest satisfaction. Dadhich shared, "These little nuggets ... help us create some surprise and delight for our guests. So, we use them to our advantage to make sure that the guests leave happy."


Kindness can lead to hotel treats

Perks aren't exclusive to hotel guests celebrating special occasions. Believe it or not, you can earn perks by simply treating others well. Unsurprisingly, hotel staff members take note of kind guests. "I used to work at a hotel and would give out the free snacks/water to whoever asked for one or whoever was nice to me so this def works lol," a viewer commented on the TikTok mom hack video. As another ex-hotel employee shared, kindness was a common reason guests received VIP gift baskets.


Showing courtesy to staff likely seems obvious, but you may wonder if specific behavior will have a greater impact. Travel expert Esther Susag told HuffPost, "Build that personal connection. I really prefer calling the hotel itself, because it puts a voice to a name and hotel staff are much more likely to help you out." You can also modify the mom hack by assuming the role of "mom" upon arrival. "All the Hacks" podcast host Chris Hutchins explained to HuffPost, "I've found that being nice to the person checking you in and just asking if there's anything special they can do for your stay can sometimes result in an unexpected surprise during your stay."