Traveling can get expensive. With the rising price of gas, a few meals along the way, and the often outrageous price of the hotel room, traveling can become prohibitively expensive for many people. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Often, identical rooms in a hotel are given to different customers for entirely different prices. We’ve talked to some money saving experts and come up with a list of five great ways to get good deals on hotel rooms.
1. Join a travel club.
AAA memberships are cheap and often provide great discounts at many hotels around the globe. Many of these travel clubs also offer discounts on other goods and services such as restaurants, pools, and even car rentals. They also provide roadside assistance for free, which is an absolute life saver if your car were to break down or get a flat tire on your trip. Check the hotel’s website directly to see if they offer special discounts for any travel clubs, and join the one that tends to give the best discount for hotels where you enjoy staying.
2. Call the hotel directly.
Many deals are available but unadvertised, and you can often get a great deal if you call the hotel directly and ask for any unadvertised specials. If you qualify for any major discounts for special groups such as seniors, automobile association members, government employees, or frequent travelers, be sure to mention this. Don’t expect them to roll out the red carpet, but if you mention that you’re shopping around they might be eager enough to make the sale at a lower price.
3. Consider changing the dates of your stay.
This is one of the most powerful ways to get good deals on hotel rooms. Weekday stays are often cheaper than weekends, and there may be better rates posted for the weekend before or after your trip is planned. If you have the flexibility, check out different days and see what gives you the best price. This can also be very powerful if you call the hotel directly and mention that you have a flexible schedule and are looking for the best deal.
4. Negotiate at the front desk.
This only works if you don’t make a reservation ahead of time, so it’s a bit of a risk. However, if you tell the staff that you are interested in a room for the night and are looking for the best deal, they will often drop their prices by as much as $30. Mention that this is the first place you’ve stopped and might be shopping around a bit more before settling in and you may find the staff tripping over themselves to sell a vacant room for cheap.
5. Shop for the best deals online.
Websites like Expedia.com and Priceline.com can often run a search and find the best deal available at a number of hotels for the date of your trip. This can be a great advantage, since you don’t need to spend the time shopping around yourself. Just make sure to make the reservation through them and confirm that they give you the deal you’ve found online, since mistakes are sometimes made.
Even though traveling can be expensive, hotels don’t have to take up an extreme amount of your budget. Just try these ways to get good deals on hotel rooms, and your trip will likely be lighter on your wallet than you thought.