What to do with hotel freebies
Advice,  Work Tips

What To Do With Your Hotel Freebies

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While traveling in nice hotels, there are always great freebies for you to use. Your hotel will typically offer shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and sometimes other bonuses like mouthwash or makeup remover wipes. While traveling for work, you may be tempted to take home some of these extra freebies. What should you do with all of these extra mini bottles of shampoo?

Never buy shampoo again

While traveling for multiple days at a time, hotels will typically replace your free toiletries if you use them or pack them away. This may lead you to getting 2 or 3 sets of hotel freebies in one trip! If you don’t mind using the hotel shampoo and conditioner, then you can continue hoarding these bottles and never buy new shampoo again. Your endless supply could be a money saver.

The tiny sample bottles that you receive can also be used for your own trips, or for showering at the gym. Not every Airbnb may have shampoo available, so it is always a good to keep your own bottles in your carry-on, just in case.

Reuse the bottles for your own toiletries

Instead of buying new bottles for all of your toiletries, consider recycling the bottles. You can empty them out and replace with your own shampoo, face wash, or lotions. This can work in a pinch if you procrastinate packing until late at night, and suddenly realize that you could use an extra bottle.

This is especially useful for making sure that your toiletries are compliant with airport security. It can be difficult to find bottles that are small enough, so your hotel freebies can be used instead of having to shop around.

Offer hotel toiletries to your overnight guests

If you have friends or family staying at your place overnight, you should definitely offer hotel freebies. If your visitor forgot shampoo, you may be looked at as a life saver, especially if you leave the bottles out for them and they don’t have to ask. I keep a basket of hotel toiletries in my guest bathroom at home, and anyone is welcome to any of the freebies that I have snagged.

Hotel freebies are also great stocking stuffers or small gifts. If you are gifting someone a toiletry kit or make-up case, you can use your hotel freebies to fill your gift up.

Donate to charity

There are a few charities that will collect hotel toiletries and donate them to homeless people. My office will occasionally so drives for hotel freebies, or I have seen standing boxes that are always collecting mini shampoo and conditioner bottles. If your free stuff collection gets out of control, consider donating the extra bottles to someone in need. Check with local women or homeless shelters to see what types of donations they will accept.

I can’t resist free stuff, and I always end up taking a few hotel samples home. I usually build up my collection for a few months before admitting that I need to give a few of the bottles away. Fortunately, there are many uses for these small bottles and a lot of people who are willing to take them off your hands.


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When you visit a hotel, it's hard to resist collecting the tiny shampoo and lotion bottles. What should you do with all the hotel freebies you collect? Never buy shampoo again! Reuse the tiny bottles. Offer hotel toiletries to your overnight guests. You can also donate those extra hotel bottles to charities in your area that could use them. Even partially used bottles might be accepted.

Michelle Maraj is a consultant who frequently gets the opportunity to travel for work. Michelle loves pretending she knows how to use a camera, seeing new cities, and visiting touristy attractions. Michelle currently runs www.travelafterfive.com.

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