The two biggest travel expenses for most trips are flights and hotels. Earlier this week, I gave you tons of great tips on saving money on flights. Now I am tackling hotel saving hacks.
Check out the video above for more in-depth help on my favorite tips!
When it comes to scoring a cheap hotel, a huge cost factor is the hotel’s location. If you are heading to a major city, and especially one with good public transport, don’t be afraid to stay on the outskirts. This will save you money, and give you a chance to see what real everyday life is like.
#2 Set Alerts
Just like the flight alerts I talked about in my last article LINK, you can set price alerts for hotels as well. If you have your eye on a certain hotel, hotels.com can set a price alert for it. If you are more flexible, set a price alert for an entire city on Kayak.
#3 Negotiate with the Hotel Directly
Hotels pay fees to aggregators like Expedia and Orbitz for their assistance in selling rooms. Often times you can call them up and negotiate a deeper discount than anything you will find online simply by asking.
#4 Utilize Memberships and Warehouse Clubs
If you’re a member of AAA, AARP, or the military make sure to inquire about discounts. Also, if you are part of a warehouse club, like Costco, check their online portal for discounts on not only hotels but package vacations as well.
Online travel agencies like Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, etc are always running promotions. If you book with them make sure you do a quick google search for any coupons that could save you money. My go tos include Coupon Sherpa, Retailmenot, and Coupons.com.
I know, paying for a hotel room with gift cards sounds strange, but searching sites like Gift Card Granny can save money. Buy discounted gift cards to hotels like Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott. Then, use those gift cards to pay for your stay. The savings may be nominal, but every dollar counts right?
#7 Loyalty Programs
Always add yourself to any loyalty programs when you are booking. My favorite loyalty program, and the one I find most lucrative, is Hotels.com Rewards. For every 10 nights you book with them you get one night free. Plus, there are hardly any restrictions on using the free night.
#8 Price Matching
Speaking of Hotels.com (I swear I’m not paid to promote them I just genuinely love them), I always book with them because of their price match guarantee. If the price of the hotel rooms falls, at any point, even up until the hour of check in, just send them a quick email. They will refund you the difference. This includes bookings that are non-refundable!
#9 Last Minute Booking Apps
Procrastination happens, and that is totally ok! If you do find yourself procrastinating, download the popular app Hotel Tonight. You can score last minute high-end hotel rooms for up to 70% off!
#10 Free Breakfast
My last tip, is if prices are similar, always book somewhere with a free breakfast. Cut travel costs by filling yourself up in the morning with free food – and maybe even grab an apple or bagel to go as well!
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