Pay 1/2 the Cost of Room Service and Eat in Your Hotel Room

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Like most parents of young kids, we live life on the edge of red level exhaustion pretty much every single day. While it is a million times better than it was when she was younger, we still don’t have the best sleeping arrangements with our toddler, and on a good day we are all just okay in the sleep department. On a day where you throw in early wake-up times to catch flights, later bedtimes, time zone issues, or just a fluke bad night for her, and we all cross the threshold from okay-ish to zombie-level-tired pretty quickly.

Dinner time meltdown in Paris

 

One area of life where this takes a toll is mealtime. At home we are doing okay with cooking dinner several nights a week, at least when everyone is home, but on the road almost anything goes. Elite status has spoiled us a tad with included room service breakfast, or at least lounge access in many hotels, but when dinner rolls around those perks are typically much less useful. By dinner time on the road our exhaustion levels are peaking, our children’s behavior is tanking, and we just want to be fed before we all pass out or become hangry monsters. There have been times that this had led to spending way more than we should simply ordering mediocre room service.

Spoiled with “free” room service breakfast in bed

We strongly considered the room service trap on a recent trip to New York City as we had already had a long travel day, explored Central Park, swam, and had an early morning ahead of us the next day. As much as I wanted to go out enjoy one of the zillions of restaurants the city had to offer, leaving the hotel again just wasn’t in anyone’s best interest. Room service for our family would have easily been well over $100 for food that we weren’t really excited about, so we thankfully opted to go a different route.

For the first time, we turned to the UberEats app to easily order food from a ton of different restaurants at a fraction of what room service prices would have been right from my phone. I know UberEats is old hat to some of you, but it isn’t a service that exists in my suburban life back at home, so using it “in the big city” was new to us.

This is a standalone app, so it isn’t something you can access within the main Uber app, but it was easy enough to get the app installed and running within a few minutes. We then just put in our location at the hotel and tons of restaurant options with menus, prices, and delivery time estimates appeared.

A few clicks later and some salads, pizza, and pasta were on their way by bicycle. I can’t tell you how good it felt to know we didn’t have to leave the hotel or pay room service prices in order to have comfort food quickly and easily on the way. The app lets you track where your delivery is, so we knew right when to head outside to meet the delivery.

Ready to tear into our UberEats delivery

The tipping situation was a little awkward as I thought you could tip in the app, but it seemed the delivery person was hoping for a cash tip in person. Ultimately, we were able to tip in the app later on once that option appeared, but that was the only sort of weird part to the process.

Otherwise, we paid less than half of what room service would have cost, ordered exactly what we were in the mood for, and didn’t have to fumble around with figuring out who delivers to our location, or paying with a card over the phone, or wondering when to meet the delivery person outside. We clicked a few buttons, paid electronically, and knew exactly when to head down to retrieve our meal.

If you haven’t already, I think that UberEats is the perfect tool to add to your family travel bag of tricks for getting everyone fed in the hotel room quickly and easily without spending a small fortune.

It also doesn’t hurt that UberEats codes basically the same as Uber, which means that you can use your Sapphire Reserve’s annual travel credit, your monthly Uber credit that is awarded with the Platinum Card® from American Express, or just pay with a card that earns a bonus on travel to earn some extra points. You can also use a referral code to save on your first order. My UberEats referral code eats-ubermommypoints takes $10 off your first order, in case that helps you out.

I love going out and trying new restaurants on our travels as much as the next person, but with kids along for the ride sometimes it is best if the food just comes to us, and UberEats makes that so easy and much more affordable than traditional room service.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  1. UberEats saved me when I worked a concert photo shoot that wrapped after 1 a.m. When I returned to my hotel, both the restaurant and room service were closed for the night. But UberEats had a few options for late night dining! The wait wasn’t very long (and gave me time to pack for my flight home while I was still in Work Mode!) and, similar to your above experience, the price wasn’t atrocious. My wife and I used them a few times, too, when we had our baby and wanted something other than, y’know, hospital food. 🙂

    • Oooooh, perfect when stuck at a hospital! I wish we had it where I live, but on the other hand, it might be too convenient to have easy access to at home. Great in a pinch on the road though!

  2. Whether you have kids and don’t want the hassle of dragging them down to the restaurant or if you’re a busy professional on the move that cannot spare the time away from your computer, this is a pretty sweet deal.

  3. We’ve used Seamless and GrubHub plenty of times before when visiting bigger cities, but I’d never heard of UberEats until now. Sounds very similar to the others, but with the added benefit of being able to track your food. I’m guessing it *might* also come quicker, if in fact the delivery drivers are uber drivers who are in the area without any passengers and can pick up the food as soon as its ready. Anyway, pretty cool (and how I love the convenience of eating out and the plethora of legitimately good food available in big cities like NYC).

  4. It didn’t even occur to me that my Amex Platinum Uber credit would work for UberEats. I’m not a huge Uber fan in general, but using it for food delivery seems like a win-win for me.

  5. Sure this is a great idea if you would rather save a few bucks by having greasy fast food food cooked by an ex con and delivered to you in the backseat of some high school dropout’s Chevy Cruze. Who needs regional cusine using fresh local ingredients prepared by a Michelin star chef when you can split a cheese pizza or have some General Gaos chicken?

    It must be great, staying in a fabulous hotel in a world class city, sitting down and eating your food out of a styrofoam container like a transient who is taking a break from a long day of panhandling. Who needs their food served on porcelain dinnerware with a sturdy set of 18/10 flatware when you can eat your food with a plastic knife and a spork? Be sure to make a mess everywhere as well and overstuff the tiny thimble sized hotel room trash can with your paper bags and plastic containers.

    Sacré bleu

    • Well, it is true I don’t have lots of Michelin dining experiences on my travels, I don’t think being too tired to head out for one meal means that you are never enjoying fresh and local ingredients. I think you can do both in the same trip, or even in the same day. The other beauty of UberEats is that you aren’t just doomed to greasy pizza – you can order everything from sushi to salads to souvlaki. Of course, no service is for everyone.

    • It’s called a market economy, Adam. Also sounds like you don’t know jack about raising kids either. UberEats makes PERFECT sense for those with a young family, and I absolutely LOVE the idea. I generally don’t use it because I can walk to soo many restaurants where I live, but while on the road with tired kids it makes PERFECT sense.

      You seriously want to bring a crying toddler into a Michelin starred restaurant?? NOBODY wins in that scenario. And yes, I’ve done many of them across the globe and enjoyed the hell out of them. But there’s a time and a place, and a long day with the kids on the verge of a meltdown is NOT a time to be taking kids to sit down to eat…even at McDonalds.

    • Hey Adam, can you please tell us next time you go to a Michelin star chef restaurant so we can all bring our overtired screaming kids too? We will be sure to request a table right next to yours so we can all enjoy the regional cuisine using fresh local ingredients thrown in various directions by the kids who are tired, cranky and really, really just wanted a cheese pizza and/or Mc Nuggets before (hopefully) falling asleep at the table.

    • AND, Adam, I’d just like to add how offended I am by that snide comment about homeless people.

      THEY are human beings and deserve to eat. YOU have no idea how they ended up in their current situation.

      They deserve dignity and respect. They do not deserve to be maligned in a malicious diatribe by someone who obviously has no idea what it means to be poor.

      Badly done, Adam.

      And by the way, just so you know…ADAM…..**I** have ate some of the best food in the world…cooked in the city of gastronomic delights (i.e. Paris)…and it came wrapped in paper. Wrapped. in. Paper. Not all 5-star meals come on porcelain plates. Some of them are served with plastic forks on a wooden bench.

      You put way too much emphasis on superficial things rather than the actual quality of food.

  6. Love this idea! Thanks for the tip about the platinum card credit applying. I never would have thought of that! Totally using this our first night in London when the kids (and parents!) are bound to be exhausted.

  7. This is really helpful, I wish I’d known about this sooner. I also have two small kids and we’ve had to eat overpriced hotel food or try to get the receptionists to help us order pizza a few times, where I can see this would have come in handy. I just wish it was in more cities in Europe, especially Germany. I don’t see it in Germany at all yet, but maybe it will come.

    Thanks for the info!

  8. We use delivery options a lot when we travel too – and even when we’re too tired to cook at home. I think someone mentioned Grubhub and Seamless but there’s also Postmates, which will credit you $100 with the code: crooked

    I love these services bc you can get food from great local restaurants, rather than being limited to national pizza chains. Delivery has definitely come a long way since “Takeout Taxi” (thank goodness!).

    Summer, if you’re in suburban Houston, you may even have more available than you realize. We just moved from a really big city to a suburb across the country and after I searched a few of the services, I found out how to get beyond just Dominoes for delivery.

  9. We use doordash when cooking and going out just isn’t in the cards for us. (We also used doordash for churrascos on Valentine’s, which we thought was a win!) My friends who live in bfe Richmond have doordash, have you tried it?? We’re just south of energy corridor so we have tons of options.

    BUT! This was very timely as we’re taking a very impromptu trip to Vegas to escape Harvey and I was wondering what we are gonna do about meals as I know I’m not gonna wanna do dinner out every night with an 18 month old. Be safe this weekend!

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