Ready to plan your dream vacation or a short getaway? Don’t overspend on your hotel room by following these money-saving tips.
Spending less on your hotel means more money for other travel expenses and vacation wish list activities. Here are some tips for getting the best deal.
Save Money with Flexible Travel Dates
You’ll find that rates are typically lower when demand is lower, so it is advantageous to plan your trips around these times. Weekdays are typically less popular than weekends. Holidays, school vacations, and summer, on the other hand, are busy travel times. To snag the lowest rates, you will also want to avoid popular conferences, events, and festivals at your destination location.
Use Travel Booking Sites for Best Deals
Avoid spending hours searching for the best rates. Visit these top sites, each with specific advantages. Sites like Kayak and Momondo search the other major booking sites for the best deals. Several offer rewards programs, including Expedia, which has a points program, and Booking.com, which has a Genius Loyalty Program. And Hotels.comRewards offers one reward night for every 10 nights booked through their site.
Consistently booking through the same site may save more money in the long run, even if it means slightly higher rates for each booking! Or you can check rates a few days before your trip with sites such as Hotel Tonight and Priceline Express Deals that help travellers snag last-minute deals. Find deals with Park Sleep Fly that bundle parking with your stay to save on overall travel costs.
Earn Free Nights with Reward Cards
There are several reward credit cards available to earn points for hotel stays. When selecting a rewards card, check the annual fee, rewards rate, initial bonuses, and limitations. Are you loyal to a certain hotel brand? If so, you may earn free stays faster with a specific hotel card.
Consider Hotel Loyalty Programs
Hotel loyalty programs can earn travellers points or in combination with a hotel-specific credit card. These are usually most advantageous for frequent and brand-loyal travellers. While most are free, many have expiration dates. Review all the details before you consider signing up. Book a hotel room with the site Rocketmiles and select from their list of rewards programs, including receiving an Amazon gift card with each booking.
Photo: Edvard Nalbantjan via 123RF
Try Booking Directly Through the Hotel
Sometimes the best hotel rate is not through a search site but directly through the hotel. And, don’t be afraid to ask for any available discounts. Plus, you will likely receive emails with deals once you stay. Follow specific hotels on social media for discount alerts, too.
Take Advantage or Pricing Guarantees
Expedia, Hotels.com, and Booking.com have price guarantees where you can claim a refund if you find a less expensive reservation on another site. Marriot, Hilton, Hyatt, and IHG not only match prices, but they also offer additional discounts or points. Make sure to read the fine print, and be aware approval is not always guaranteed, despite the name!
Once you have found a good rate and are ready to book, check to ensure the deal is as good as it looks! Look for any additional resort fees common in popular travel spots like Las Vegas, Orlando, and Hawaii. Review whether breakfast is included in your specific reservation, even if you see the hotel offers it. Then, decide whether you need a cancellation option or can save a little more by skipping that option. Now, you are ready to book and have a trip to look forward to!
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