Tech-Savvy Travelers Are Avoiding Hotel Surcharges

The first thing I learned as a young investment banker who often stayed in pricey hotels in big cities -- but didn't have the budget that most guests at that hotel did -- was to figure out how a short walk could save me big. Why buy a candy bar or bottle of water for $4 or $5 from the minibar when I could walk to a nearby 24-hour drug store and save 80%?

I would smile with delight at my smarts, even if I could expense the water and candy, proof that Brooks Brothers pinstripes do not rule out frugality. Today, even the most well-heeled guests at spendy hotels are avoiding hotel surcharges, thanks to what Glenn Haussman of HotelInteractive.com calls a "device fixation."