How many times have you groaned out loud at the price you found online for a hotel? How many times have you booked it anyway because you didn’t know there was another way? If you travel a lot, for business or otherwise, you’re probably always wondering how to save on hotels.
If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. There are tons of ways to save money on your hotel room– it’s just a matter of staying in the know.
Read on to learn how.
Check out Business Hotels
If you’re planning a weekend trip, check out business hotels for your stay. Since their primary guests usually stay only during the week, they usually offer steep discounts to fill rooms on the weekends.
If you’re traveling for business, ask if they’ll give you a discount if you extend your stay over the weekend, too. This is a great way to build a little fun into your next business trip while still saving money!
Book at the Right Time
Have you ever wondered what the best days to book hotels are? Or if there even is a best time to book a hotel room?
The answer is a resounding “yes.” Hotel rooms are cheapest on Fridays and Saturdays, since 23-30% fewer people search for them these days. Think about it: when you’re planning travel, you’re usually doing it during the week, not as the weekend commences and you’re kicking into relaxation mode.
Call the Hotel Directly
While most travel sites and services do show the lowest fares, dealing with the hotel directly can sometimes lead to an upgrade. This is especially true if you foster a relationship with a certain hotel or hotel chain.
Even if you don’t get an upgrade, building a relationship with the concierge of your favorite hotels will usually mean perks for you!
End of Day Check-in
Another tip if you’re seeking an upgrade: check in at the end of the day. Hotels usually have a better idea of their capacity for the night, so they’ll be more likely to acquiesce a request for an upgrade in the evening than they will in the morning.
Lowest Price Doesn’t Mean Best Value
Just because a hotel room is the cheapest doesn’t mean it’s the best value. For example, if you’re working from the hotel room, you’ll likely need WiFi. A cheap room might charge for it, whereas a slightly pricier room might have that cost built in.
Some hotels feature free breakfasts, too, which is added savings on eating out every morning of your trip. Make sure to consider the whole picture before pulling the trigger on the cheapest rate.
Look for Coupons
This may seem like common sense, but it bears repeating: coupons will save you money. The word “coupon” almost has a negative connotation, since we so frequently see them in our junk mail.
E-coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial are awesome tools for finding cheap hotel rates, though. This is an especially great tip if you like to book travel all in one place. Groupon features tons of trips for a flat rate which include airfare and hotel. Some even feature excursions and food!
Use Your Points
Did you know you can use your credit card points for hotel rooms? Well, you can! Put those points to use!
Of course, this is obvious with certain credit cards, like the Marriott card. It could apply to your regular credit card too, though. Take a peek at your credit card points policy to see if you can put them toward hotel rooms, and where.
Book Your Hotel and Flight Together
If you haven’t already booked your flight, consider combining it with your hotel for extra savings. Tons of travel agents and sites offer discounts for booking the two hand in hand instead of separately.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re getting the cheapest rate this way or not, open up a new tab and perform a search for just the hotel and just the flight rate. That way, you’ll be able to see if you’re really getting it cheaper by booking them together.
Bonus: you’ll usually get the flight for cheaper, too!
Keep Your Eye out for Sales
It’s pretty obvious that the best time to book a hotel is when the rate is on sale, but it’s still a good idea to do a quick check before booking. If you haven’t seen an ad for a sale recently, do a quick Google search for any sales or promotions before you dive into a booking.
Ask About Any Deals
This tip is almost too easy. Simply call up the hotel and ask if they’re running any promotions or deals at the moment. Bigger chains almost always have corporate hotel discounts that you may or may not have seen advertised.
Even if they just repeat the same sale you just saw online, letting them know you’re looking for savings can sometimes lead to another small discount or an upgrade.
Memberships Might Qualify You for a Discount
Are you a member of:
- The military
- The army
- A frequent flyer program?
If so, there might hotel savings in it for you!
Tons of hotels offer discounts for memberships like these. If you can’t search for a hotel through their websites, give the hotel a call and ask what sorts of discounts they offer for your membership program.
Wait Until the Last Minute
If you’re constantly asking yourself how to get last minute hotel deals, the answer is right in front of you: you already are. Hotels usually lower their rates in the 24-48 hours before the room needs to be filled in a last ditch effort to get somebody in there.
While it can be nerve-wracking to wait until the last minute to book important travel details like lodging, it could just pay off.
Tips Beyond How to Save on Hotels
Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of how to save on hotels, you’re probably itching to quench your wanderlust and get your travel on.
Before you go, though, check out our other travel tips for everything you need to know before you hit the road!