How to Save Money on Hotel Stays

How to Save Money on Hotel Stays

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If you are planning a vacation, a business trip or simply want to enjoy a couples weekend away apart from the children, then a hotel stay is in order. Tens of thousands of hotels are operating across the country, providing a stay for just about any budget.

Hotel pricing is all over the place with four- and five-star Manhattan hotels costing more than $700 per night while certain Disney World establishments charge less than $50 per night, breakfast included.

No matter where you stay, there are several ways you can save money on your visit. Let’s take a look at proven and some not so well known ways you can keep some of your cash:

Packaged deals — Hotels offer incentives during slow times of the year in order to sell rooms. You might be considering a one night stay, but if you can stay two nights that second night may carry a significant discount. Hotels serving business clients primarily will often offer big discounts to keep their establishments busy over the weekend.

Hotel rewards — If you are fond of a particular hotel chain, e.g. Marriott, Wyndham, Hilton or Hyatt, you can stay at these places and accumulate enough points for a free stay, discounts on good and services, and enjoy other perks. A related affinity card with Visa or MasterCard can yield further savings.

Location, location, location — If you are visiting a major city, such as Manhattan, you will pay a king’s ransom to stay at the Ritz-Carlton, conveniently located across from Central Park. Unless you must be in the area, a stay at the Upper Westside “On the Ave” hotel will still give you access to Central Park and a luxurious stay. Take a cab or ride the subway or buses to your destination, saving hundreds by choosing the affordable hotel.

Compare online — The Internet has all of the price comparison tools you can possibly need.  Search Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia, SayFunTravel, Hotels.com and similar sites for savings. Chances are you’ll get the same prices for the same hotels, but those numbers should be lower than the published price on the hotel’s website.

Just ask — Internet sites offer good discounts, but the best discount can sometimes be gained by picking up the phone, calling the front desk and asking for their best deal. Sometimes it helps to mention your previous stay at that hotel or that you are part of their preferred guests club.

Special discounts — Some hotels automatically drop their room rate if you tell them you are a senior citizen, a veteran or a member of the Armed Forces. Of course, you will have to offer proof of same when you show up for your room key.

Even if you cannot get a price discount, the manager may agree to provide free parking, breakfast or access to a nearby fitness center for free. Old-fashioned courtesy on your part could yield an important discount or deal on their part.

Resources

KPHO.com: How to Save Money on Hotels

Kiplinger: 21 Secrets to Save on Travel

Consumer Reports: Six Ways to Save on a Road Trip

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Categories: Consumer Tips