Posted November 28, 2014
By CHELSEA HARRINGTON
As our economy continues to change, being informed to save money is becoming more and more important. We should try to save as much of our hard earned money as much as possible. When taking trips both locally and overseas, finding a place to stay can be a challenge. Follow these tips to help get the most for your money when looking for a place to stay.
Spend time searching online
For the latest hotel deals in locations around the globe, be sure to check the internet sites of your favorite hotel chains; often they will run promotions exclusively for Internet bookings.
Hotel discount reservation services like Hotels.com can also help you save on hotel rates, as can general travel booking sites like Expedia and Travelocity.
Sites like Kayak or Mobissimo can also be very helpful. These sites search a wide range of hotel chains and travel sites, and then send you directly to the provider for booking.
Call the hotel
Very often, specials are offered at the hotel that cannot be submitted through the 1-800 central reservations system. The 1-800 agents do not have direct access to room availability and are often not authorized to negotiate with potential guests. Hotel agents are generally more in touch with availability and specials, and are therefore more flexible with rates.
Many chains allot only a select number of rooms to the central reservations system, meaning the hotel may look sold out but in reality they are selling the few rooms they have left at a lower rate.
Simply ask for a lower rate
It never hurts to ask whether the hotel is currently running any promotions or packages, and then see if any of the special rates might apply, such as AAA, senior, family, hotel membership, weekend, government discount, frequent flier, convention, corporate or shareholder.
Be flexible with the property
If you are focused on saving money and not on a specific hotel or chain, you can try choosing your own price on Priceline or Hotwire. On these sites you most likely won’t know which hotel you’re staying at until it’s booked, but you can request the general location and quality and you typically save a significant amount of money over other booking sites.
Be flexible with dates
Hotel rates typically vary widely based on the time of year and the time of week when you are traveling. If you’re staying at a property that serves mostly business travelers, you may find great weekend deals, while B&B’s and other leisure properties tend to have lower rates midweek. It is also helpful to know when the peak seasons to visit your destination are, such as wintertime in a warm climate or summertime in Europe. Scheduling your trip for a less popular travel time could save you big bucks on your hotel.
Look at package deals
Many times there are options, which will include hotels and airfare, or even hotels that are all-inclusive and will most likely save you money while staying at the hotel. If you’re looking for both airfare and hotels, look around and see if it’s worth booking the two together. Not all hotels will do this but many times you can save big on combining the two costs.
Use coupon and voucher books
With books, magazines and Internet, you can save on just about every aspect of travel. Look through magazines and newspapers as well as do a Web search for “coupons” for your destination or hotel chain for some links to local and online coupon distributors.