How to Trick the Hotel Thermostat with a Balloon

BalloonsEach Friday, we feature a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip comes from reader Mike R., who builds on Monday’s thermostat tip by offering a clever way to trick the hotel thermostats that turn off when you’re away from the room or sleeping:

“I just buy a balloon at the dollar store and tie the balloon to a chair in the hotel room…the room A/C or heater fan moves the air in the room, which in turn makes the balloon slightly move. The slight balloon motion makes the hotel’s in-room motion-sensor think that you are still in the room when you are actually gone or sleeping. This, in turn, keeps the A/C from shutting itself off.”

Thanks, Mike!



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Johnny Jet

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How to Trick the Hotel Thermostat with a Balloon
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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

2 Comments on "How to Trick the Hotel Thermostat with a Balloon"

  1. I think Mike R. is having a laugh at your expense, Johnny. Hotel thermostats use a pyroelectric infrared thermal sensor (very cheap, jelly-bean components), not an optical motion detector (expensive and complex, requiring a camera and image processing). Calling them motion sensors is a bit of a misnomer. They see changes in heat signature as a person moves about, not actual motion. A balloon will quickly assume the temperature of the room it occupies, after which it will be invisible to a thermal sensor. Even if a thermostat did sense motion, once the blower shut off, the balloon would stop moving, leaving no motion to sense.

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