11 Ways to Save Money on Your Next Hotel Stay

Often times a hotel stay is the most expensive part of a trip, but it doesn’t have to be if you plan well. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your next trip.

 

  1. Decide if you Need a Hotel. Sometimes when you travel you need that down time, but other times you can stay with friends or family. If it’s a business trip, your company might even give you the money they would have spent for your hotel which can be a nice little bonus.
  2. Use Rewards Programs. Many people miss out on free hotel stays because they don’t take the time to register for these free travel perks. Come on folks… it’s like free money!
  3. Discount Travel Sites. Yeah, you’ve heard of them, but have you used them? I have used most of the big names, Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire, Kayak, etc. The one thing to keep in mind (and yes, I have been burned) is that just because you pay for a hotel through a travel site, it doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed.
  4. Ask for Free Upgrades. Especially if it’s a special occasion such as an anniversary (I just did this last weekend.) Make sure to tip the folks that take care of you with your upgrades.
  5. Bring Your Own Snacks. On our last hotel stay, my wife and I realized it was late, room service was overpriced (and we weren’t that hungry anyhow), and that the mini bar items were WAY overpriced. We eventually gave in, and grabbed a bottle of water and a can of mini Pringles. It was just comical; I had two chips and as I handed the can to my wife, it hit the floor (hence the picture above.) Sometimes, you just have to laugh.
  6. Price a Package Deal. For some destinations, such as Las Vegas, it’s very common to find package deals that combine air fare and hotel stays. I recommend pricing it both ways to make sure it’s a deal.
  7. Auto / Travel Clubs. The most common of these would be AAA, and most hotels still offer AAA discounts. Some will give them to you just for asking, and if you travel a lot, a membership in AAA might be money well spent.
  8. Discount Travel Plans. If you can find a plan for $100 or less that offers substantial deals, then I would consider it. I would never pay upwards of $1,000 or more for such a plan. There are too many good deals, and sadly, too many travel club scams out there.
  9. Sharing a Room. If you are traveling with friends or even close business colleagues, you might consider sharing a room and using the additional money for other parts of the trip.
  10. Barter Network. Did you know that many hotels are members of barter networks? In a barter network, barter currency is used to goods and services and hotels (as well as cruises and other travel packages) are commonly found in these networks. In fact, most of the strong barter networks have brokers dedicated to assisting with travel needs.
  11. Travel Agents. Yes, there are still travel agents in business. They are few and far between, but they are still around. When you call a travel agent, be up front about your needs. Some may not handle a single hotel purchase, and some may charge service fees, so make sure you ask the right questions.

What about you? What other ways have you found helpful in saving money on hotel expenses? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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