When you're planning an upcoming trip or are traveling for business, you likely need to book a room at a hotel. Unfortunately, the cost of a hotel stay can be expensive and can add up quickly when you're only staying for a few nights. There are a few ways to save money on your next hotel stay to ensure you stay within your budget and can even afford to stay longer if you prefer.
Join a Hotel Points Program
If you're always on the road or travel frequently, take advantage of how many times you need to book a room throughout the year by signing up for a membership with the hotel where you spend the most time. Many chain hotels give you points each time you book a room, allowing you to obtain discounted rates and free nights with your future trips.
Signing up for the hotel's credit card can also allow you to earn more points with their reward programs. You'll also get special VIP treatment when you're a loyal customer.
There are also many different memberships you can use to your advantage to avoid paying full price. Many different companies partner with hotels to offer customers more benefits. The companies and special interest groups that partner with hotels are AAA, military, government, and AARP.
Many warehouses also offer lower hotel room rates if you're a member. Costco and Sam's Club are known for their discounts and have travel sites that you can visit to browse the different options of hotels available, depending on where you plan to vacation.
Book at the Right Time
If you want to get deals with your hotel stays, booking at the right time is crucial. Don't wait until the last minute, or the rates will be higher. Attempt to book the room a few months in advance when there is less demand and more room availability. You can even have more options available with the size of the room that you want to reserve.
You'll need to book the room two months in advance if you plan to travel in the U.S. and three to five months in advance if you're taking a trip to Europe. If you plan to visit the Middle East or the Caribbean, you'll need to book it four months ahead of time.
Consider booking your stay during the week when there's less demand, and the hotel offers lower rates. Booking a trip Tuesday to Thursday or Monday to Wednesday can allow you to save more instead of taking a trip on the weekend. This will also allow you to visit the hotel when it's less busy. You can spend more time at the hotel bar or pool without fighting any crowds during the week.
At the same time, you can also get a deal if you check-in at the last minute if your itinerary is flexible. This is because hotels are more aware of how many vacancies they have available later in the day rather than earlier in the week. They're often willing to give you a lower rate to prevent the rooms from being empty. You can even ask for a free upgrade.
Look for Coupon Codes
There are a variety of coupon codes and promotions available on the internet year-round, which are easy to find before you book your room. Many coupon sides have dozens of free codes available to users when you sign up. There are even various websites available that give you lower rates on unnamed hotels and then reveal the name of the hotel after you book a reservation.
Some hotels will even price match similar hotels in the local area when you're calling around getting rates. It doesn't hurt to request a price match and get an idea of how accommodating they are to earn your business.
Use a Travel Agent
Many people don't realize that a travel agent can help you to obtain more discounts because they're informed of the best deals that are around, depending on where you're traveling. They can do all the work for you and present you with the best options. There are even apps like Mezi that deliver personalized recommendations and offer a guarantee of getting you the best deal. The app even offers assistance with last-minute cancellations and changes, which can make it feel like you have a personal assistant.
Stay at a Business Hotel
Even if you're traveling with your family, you can stay at a business hotel because they're known for offering lower rates on the weekends when they have more vacancies. It's a great place to find a bargain and can still allow your family to have access to the on-site fitness center. They may not have as many bells and whistles as other hotels, but you can stay at a clean and quality hotel without spending as much money.
Purchase Someone Else's Reservations
One of the best-kept secrets to saving money on a hotel room is by booking someone else's reservations through sites like RoomerTravel.com. The rooms are available at lower rates when other people have to cancel their plans and don't want to lose money. It's easy to transfer the reservations and connect with other travelers who want to pass along their hotel rooms.
Knowing a few tips and techniques that are available for getting a deal on your next hotel stay can allow you to save more money and have extra wiggle room in your budget as you travel. Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, you can spend less and enjoy putting your hard-earned money toward foods and activities with the savings you obtain.