Ask the Cheapos: Sneaking an Extra Guest in
Is it possible to reserve a double room for three people? There are three of us traveling to Paris in the spring. We’re friends and could easily share a double. Do you think anyone would notice or care if we snuck our third friend in?
— A.H., Columbia, MO
Ah yes, the old “sneak an extra person in” routine. Quite frankly, this strategy works much better at motels in Milwaukee than at pensions in Paris, where budget accommodations tend to be small, family run affairs.
Ethical answer: Don’t do it. You’re depriving hotel owners of the rates they’ve set—rates that every other guest is paying.
Practical answer: Don’t do it. Sneaking an extra person past the front desk and into your room will almost certainly be noticed. Most smaller hotels and pensions only have one entrance, and it’s right next to the front desk. Sneaky hijinks will be noticed, and will almost certainly be foiled. From our position as experienced travelers, it’s almost painful to consider what might happen.
Furthermore, most European hotel rooms are small. A double room does not necessarily mean two double beds, as it does at American roadside motels. It means, quite often, a small room with one double bed or two twins.
Our advice: Book a triple. You might also try asking the hotel if it would be possible to book a double room with an extra bed. If this is an option, it will typically involve the addition of a rollaway bed and should be cheaper than a triple.
Either way, you’ll sleep better.
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