Many people, when they travel, stay in hotels. A hotel can provide you with a comfortable place to stay while you are away from home. Unfortunately, hotels also tend to cost money.
The good news is that there ways that you can save money on hotel rooms. Just plan ahead and watch for savings:
1. Shop Around
The best thing you can do is shop around. Travel aggregators like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, and Orbiz can help you quickly find good deals. Use a service like Kayak, and you can aggregate the results from multiple aggregators.
Realize, though, that shopping around might also include visiting the hotel's site. Sometimes, hotels offer special Internet deals, or guarantee that you will pay less by booking directly than by using a travel aggregator.
2. Join A Rewards Program
Most hotel chains feature a rewards program. If you find yourself leaning toward a certain brand, sign up for the rewards program and begin earning discounts. Many hotel rewards programs also have partners, so you can earn points by making other travel arrangements. Look for other perks, like early check-in or late check-out, as well as special local coupons, as part of the rewards program.
3. Location, Location, Location
A hotel that is conveniently located often costs more than more remote hotels. You can save money if you are willing to stay away from the city center. However, before you make this decision, understand the area. Will you have to pay a lot in cab fare to get around? Do you really want to rent a car and battle unfamiliar traffic?
Before settling on a hotel, check the availability of inexpensive public transportation, and nearby amenities. Run an analysis to determine whether the cost of getting around will offset the savings from your hotel location.
4. Look For Deals And Discounts
Sometimes, you can find the best hotel deals and discounts with daily deal sites like Living Social and Groupon. You can also go to Hotelcoupons.com to find same-day discounts. Keep on the watch for special discounts and promotions. As long as you check the fine print, and understand the terms and conditions, you can save quite a bit.
Don't forget about other discounts. If you are a member of an auto association, or if you graduated from a specific university, there might be a discount available. There are also usually discounts available for seniors. When contacting the hotel, ask about specials and ask whether certain people receive discounts. You won't know if you don't ask.
5. Consider Hotel Alternatives
Depending on your situation, there are a number of alternatives to paying a nightly hotel rate. If you are going to be staying longer, you can ask about weekly rates. This can save you money over paying nightly.
There are other alternatives, such as renting a condo, or staying in a youth hostel (if they are available). You can also consider camping during times when the weather cooperates. House swapping and couch surfing are also interesting alternatives for those who are interested in saving money on accomodations.
How do you save money on hotel rooms when you travel?