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.)