When we choose to go the hotel route while traveling, the cost is always daunting to me. For as much time as we actually stay in the room, it’s unbelievable how much we can end up spending. It’s necessary though, and I along with my super-saver husband have found a few ways to save.
1. Ask. Don’t be afraid to simply ask the hotel directly for a lower rate. Pick up the phone, and inquire with a hotel representative if there are any ways in which you can reduce your bill at the end of your stay. On our recent visit to Port Townsend, I did just that, and they kindly dropped the pet fee that was added, allowing Norman (the dog) to stay with us for free.
2. Loyalty Programs. When you sign on to the rewards club of your particular hotel chain of choice, you are giving yourself the opportunity to earn points. Those points can then be transferred for payment once you’ve accrued enough. It’s more than just points though. Through our Hilton Honors program, we’ve received coupons for free extra nights, and other nice benefits like newspapers, treats & drinks. It also helps when one family member travels a lot for business. Then those points can really add up fast.
3. Don’t Give Up. If the rate seems expensive, go ahead and book anyway, but check back regularly. Often the rates go down. If that happens, re-book, then cancel your previous reservation. Continue checking up until your actual vacation or travel date. We use this same trick to save on rental cars.
4. Entertainment Book. If you don’t already have one, what are you waiting for? If you travel at all or just leave the house on a regular basis, the cost is worth it, and you’ll find that you make back the money you paid for the book in savings before you know it. “The Book”, as well call it in our household, includes coupons and discounts for many hotel chains.
5. Maybe You’re Special. You might be in a special category or group that receives discounts, and you don’t even know it! Or maybe you know it, but you haven’t taken advantage yet. AAA, AARP, and Union memberships all can save you money on your hotel stay.
6. Don’t Stay at a Hotel. Sometimes the best way to save money on the hotel is not to stay at one at all! Individuals all over the world are renting out their home or 2nd home, etc. for travelers and vacationers. 2 sites we use frequently to find rentals are:
7. Stay Away. While not for everyone as it’s not exactly family friendly and it might be a buzz-kill, you’ll often save money if you consider staying at a hotel further away from your ultimate destination. We used this trick on our Disneyland trip a few years ago. We didn’t mind driving a little bit to get to the park though with Bergen around we might think twice about that now.
8. Book early & Don’t Change Your Mind. A dangerous option, but many hotel chains will discount your rate if you choose to book with their no cancellation policy. It seems to only be available if you book far in advance.
What are your hotel saving tips? Please share!