By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Nov 11, 2015 at 4:37 PM Photography: shutterstock.com

Check in early and stay late during OnMilwaukee's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. The next seven days will be packed with stories about historic area hotels, reviews, history, food and drink, staycations and more. Find out what it's like to be a tourist in this town. (Chocolate on your pillow not included.)

If you’re anything like me, your needs as a traveler and hotel guest are pretty straightforward. You just want a quiet, clean room where you can sleep comfortably and maybe get some work done. Right?

But, inevitably there are little things that keep you from reaching basic hotel room nirvana. 

Fortunately, some have easy solutions. Here are five of the most common hotel complaints, along with some pretty easy ways to fix them.

1.  The pillows are notoriously uncomfortable

At one place, the pillow is too soft. At another, the pillow is too hard. In some places, the pillows are overstuffed. The pillow is as flat as a pancake…

Quick fix: Bringing your own pillow is a solution; but it’s not particularly convenient. Instead, give a call down to the front desk and ask if additional types of pillows are available (down, synthetic, firm, soft). Better hotels offer a variety of types, including pillows made particularly for allergy sufferers.

2. People are really noisy

They slam their doors, they grab ice in the middle of the night, and they never seem to know how to lower their voices when having conversations right outside of my hotel room door.

Quick fix: When you make your reservation, ask for a quiet floor or a room away from the elevator and ice machines. If you’re a particularly light sleeper, pack a set of earplugs.

3. There are never electrical outlets where you need them

Particularly in older hotels, the outlets are almost never in convenient spots.  Behind the door? Sure. Near the bedside table where you want to recharge your phone? Almost never.

Quick fix: Pack a small extension cord. Not only does it give you some extra length so you can plug in your phone or laptop while still keeping it nearby, but it also comes in handy if you’re sharing a room and multiple people need to recharge their gadgets simultaneously.

4. Your hotel bill is always higher because you can’t resist the water, soda and snacks provided in your room

I mean, heck, you don’t want to drink tap water; so it’s worth it to chug down that $6 bottle of water, right? And when hunger strikes at 1 a.m., you end up spending $8 on a not-so-great candy bar, just because it’s there.

Quick fix: Bring your own. Seriously. Don’t let a laziness-inspired chocolate craving hike up your hotel bill. Make a quick trip to the gas station or a nearby convenience store and pick up what you need. That way you won’t be tempted later by the pricey offerings the hotel has laid there to tempt you.

5. There’s no mini fridge

So, you took my advice and stocked up on snacks and beverages. But, now there’s no way to keep them cold.

Quick fix: See that ice bucket the hotel provided?  Fill it up with ice and use it to chill down your choice of bottled beverages. It could even work in a pinch for the short-term storage of that leftover pizza you were hoping to save for breakfast.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.