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Check out how easily this woman got $300 in travel freebies!

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Mike Timmermann |
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When it comes to traveling, the “nice guy” doesn’t always have to finish last!

What if we told you that you could get hundreds of dollars in freebies on your next vacation – and all you have to do is be nice. Don’t believe it? NBC News put this simple strategy to the test.

Read more: This is all that a thief needs to access your hotel room… and it's not your room key

Can you get freebies just for being nice?

An NBC News producer was sent on a three-day trip and asked for special incentives at the airport, rental car counter and her hotel.

The only time she struck out was when she asked for a free alcoholic drink on a plane.

"The people behind the counter, they are like dogs that have been kicked. They are stressed out; people are being mean to them,” travel expert Karen Schaler told NBC News. "If you ask nicely, they can override the system.”

Overweight bag fee

First, the producer went to the airport with an overweight bag. Delta, her airline, normally charges $100. But the producer noticed that the employee was not having a good day, so she was nice to her. Just like that, the fee was waived.

Rental car upgrade

The woman booked a midsize rental car with Avis for her three-day trip. Simply by asking for a free upgrade, she ended up in an SUV! This saved the producer $30 a day or $90 in total.

Read more: How to save money on a rental car this summer

Hotel upgrades

Finally, the producer showed up to the Hyatt with her standard room reservation. After some small talk with the front desk employee, she casually asked for an upgrade. The worker offered the guest a room on a high level and access to an executive lounge, which was full of free food! The upgrades normally cost an extra $50 a night.

Bottom line

In this case, the producer saved $340 on her three-day trip, which even surprised NBC’s consumer reporter. As you could tell by her behavior, she was not shy about asking for the freebies, which could make some of us uncomfortable. But this test really shows that you can gain a lot just by asking.

Read more: Use this packing trick to avoid a checked bag fee

And even if you aren’t traveling soon, the whole kindness thing can work to your advantage in other ways. For example, if you’re negotiating lower bills over the phone, be polite. The customer service representative will be more likely to work with you. And in that case, it also helps to have a better offer from a competitor as well.

Read more: You can lower your existing monthly bills