16 Tips for Saving a Ton of Money on Hotel Rooms
Save money so you can spend more where it counts: making memories.
Check price ranges—but don’t book yet
Use a site like Kayak.com that shows lots of hotel rates at your destination to be sure the one you choose is a good value. Once you find one you’re happy with, call the hotel instead of booking through the site, suggests Elizabeth of the blog Dutch Dutch Goose. “The hotels always offer the same price and typically either go lower or offer an extra perk like breakfast or an upgrade for booking directly with them,” she says. If you plan to dine out a lot on your trip, read these 12 simple tricks for saving money at restaurants.
Come to someone else’s rescue
Sites like Roomer give travelers the option of selling hotel reservations if they had to cancel their trips. “You are helping someone out who is no longer traveling but can’t get out of their reservation, while still saving money on the same hotel room you would’ve bought for yourself,” says Sarah Hollenbeck, personal finance and credit card expert at creditcards.offers.com. While you celebrate those savings, find out how to actually make money on vacation.
Don’t be afraid to rebook
“Unless you’re pre-paying, hotel reservations aren’t like flight reservations. You can often cancel within 48 hours of your arrival date without penalty,” says Hollenbeck. Take the work out with a free service like Pruvo, which does the price tracking for you. If it finds a price drop in a room you’ve already booked, Pruvo will send you an email that helps you cancel the original room and rebook at for less money. Don’t miss these other 56 effortless ways to save money.
Use online coupon codes
Many hotels offer online promotions plus codes for 5 percent to 20 percent off. With Savings.com travel coupons, you can take extra money off rooms that are already marked down. Here are 11 other secrets booking companies don’t want you to know.
Factor taxes and fees into the rate
Taxes and fees on a seven-night stay can add $100 or more to your room rate. Plus, this doesn’t include resort fees, hotel energy surcharges, parking fees, pet fees, and incidental charges that some hotels might include. Check on these fees to be sure the room rate you found is indeed as great as it sounds. Don’t miss these other 10 travel mistakes that make your vacation stressful.
Request the lowest rate
Hotel pricing structure tends to include a standard rate, plus lower rates that aren’t typically mentioned unless a customer inquires further. Asking for the lowest rate by phone or in person is often the best way to get the lowest price, one of the habits of people who are great at saving money do.
Check room types
When quoted a room rate by phone, customers can often get that reduced just by asking if there is a room type that costs less. Typically, the least expensive room includes two double beds or one king-sized bed. The most expensive is the suite, followed by a room with two queen or king-sized beds. Here are 10 more creative ways to save money you’ve never thought of.
Extend your weekend
If you’re leaving for a long weekend, extend your weekend to Monday instead of taking Friday off, suggests Isar Meitis, president of travel deal site Last Minute Travel. “Sunday is typically the cheapest night at a hotel,” he says. Here are 9 more travel agent tips for booking a cheap trip.
Find grand openings
Hotel lines often feature new or soon-to-open hotels on websites. These hotels make excellent stays because the staff is new and management is eager to quickly establish full occupancy and an excellent reputation. Plus, promotions often mean prices are drastically lower at these locations than other hotels in the same line. These are hotel insider tips on how to score a free hotel upgrade.
Focus on reviews not stars
When looking for hotels, relying on the star ratings can be deceiving. These days, it is often more informative to rely on ratings by customers who have stayed in the hotel. Sites like TripAdvisor.com compare hotel prices alongside reviews, so you know you’re getting what you want for the price.