There’s a quote that says, “Travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer.” Wow, I totally agree with this powerful statement! But, just because traveling is totally worthwhile, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t find a way to keep our holiday expenses low. After all, can you really fully enjoy a trip when your stomach is twisting over those insane hotel prices? No way!
Whether you’re headed to New York City, Los Angeles, or some extravagant international getaway, you can find accommodations rates that are VERY reasonable. If you’ve booked hotel rooms in the past and are thinking, “Girl, no way.” Well, this post is for you! Today, I’m going to teach you how to save money on your next vay-cay by finding the best hotel rates.
How to Get the Best Deal on a Hotel Room
Sometimes travel is characterized as something only for the elite. As though going on a vacation is out of reach for some people and some incomes?. Gals, I hate that! Traveling can be totally affordable. Finding the best deals just takes a little digging and know-how. And today, I am sharing secrets to getting the best hotel rates, so you can turn that dream trip into a reality! 🙂 Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Think beyond a traditional hotel.
I know, I know. I said best “hotel” deals, but I feel like that word has gotten a lot more fluid over the years. Or, at least, the concept has! Really, a traditional hotel stay just isn’t necessary to feel safe and comfortable on your next vacation. (And, no, I am not suggesting you stay in a hostel or motel, stay with me, friends.)
Staying in a hotel rental on AirBNB, FlipKey, or Tripping can be a better bang-for-your-buck. The cost per square foot and all the amenities sometimes make staying in a private rental THE way to go. Especially if you’re traveling with a big group or as a family!
If you’re struggling to find a hotel in your budget, check out one of these rental sites! You might be totally surprised by the rates. There are lots of rentals that are really affordable in your ideal location too – can’t beat that!
Use loyalty programs.
When it comes to travel, you get huge gains from staying loyal. You guys probably know that I am a big advocate with this when it comes to airline travel, too. I always recommend picking a hotel rewards program that will give you access to the best rates and free amenities.
So many hotels have a bunch of added fees from wi-fi to parking, so joining loyalty programs can really cut down on the overall cost. Furthermore, after a few months or years of earning points (depending on how often you travel), you can even get rooms for free.
If you like to stay at different hotels, you can look for credit cards that offer generic discounts to a lot of hotels. This is a particularly good option for some of you out there, because you can rack up points in other ways besides travel. Just swipe that card and watch your travel dreams come closer and closer to reality. 🙂
AAA is made mostly for roadside assistance. So, if you’re traveling and you get a flat or need a tow, they’ll help you out. (Even if you’re in someone else’s vehicle. Like – what?!?!) And, honestly, this is great security to have when traveling by car. But, AAA has other great benefits for a travel-bug like you.
They have great deals on all things travel, whether you need to rent a car, buy a ticket, or book a hotel room! They have discounts, opportunities to earn double points, and exclusive rates. If you’re not already a member of AAA, it might be something to look into! Especially if you not only love to travel…but also lock your keys in your car from time to time. (Just me? Lol)
Don’t forget BRG. (Best Rate Guaranteed!)
If you do a quick hotel search, you’ll find that many hotels around the world participate in BRG, which means, “best rate guaranteed.” These chains promise their rates are the lowest out there, so if you find a rate lower on a booking site, they’ll drop your room price!
The trick is, after you book your hotel, you have to keep hunting for a lower rate. Once you find one, you can present it to the hotel and they’ll change your total. To find these, just use any search engine and don’t stop looking until the day of your stay. Hopefully, you’ll locate a lower rate and your price will drop down too.
Negotiate your rates with a person.
In the digital age, we almost prefer to separate ourselves from real salespeople sometimes. But when it comes to hotels, talking to a human can really help you get a better deal. Hotel rates are not fixed! You can negotiate just like you do a car. Don’t be afraid to haggle for a better price or an upgrade.
And this doesn’t just go for hotels, friends! AirBNB and other vacation rentals are owned by regular people like you and me. So, don’t be afraid to message the owners to see if you can get a better deal. This process can be a little uncomfortable. But, with a confident face and a “won’t take no for an answer” attitude, you can totally negotiate a steal of a deal!
Use comparison sites.
There are millions of people out there searching for hotel rates and, like you, almost all of them are looking for a great deal. Because of this, there are numerous hotel booking sites that allow you to compare rates of different hotels during your set dates. Kayak, Priceline, and Booking all help you compare different hotels and get the best deal. Most of them will even help you bundle flights, hotels, and other accommodations at a huge discount.
Travel off-season or on odd dates.
Another easy way to get a fantastic hotel deal is to travel off-season. Almost every destination has a time of year that is totally packed with tourists. Whether it’s due to weather or some big event, hotels will jack up their prices to prepare for the flood of people demanding a room.
Many of these places are just as magical in the off-season. Plus, they won’t be super crowded and EVERYTHING will be cheaper. But, if your heart is really set on attending that event or having nice weather, try traveling on odd dates. Weekdays will be cheaper than weekends if you can swing it!
Stay in your second-choice location or neighborhood.
Finding a hotel in the ideal location is going to cost you. Why? Because EVERYONE wants to be at that spot. Whether it’s because the hotel is close to your favorite excursions or because it’s beachfront – the place where everyone wants to stay will always be more expensive.
If you want an easy way to cut down on travel expenses, go with your second choice. A neighborhood just slightly out of the way or an area a few blocks from the beachy property, will drop your rates to much more affordable prices. And, if you will have your car or plan on renting one, the few extra minutes to get to and from your destination each day will be just a small inconvenience compared to the great savings.
Switch hotels throughout your stay.
Now here’s one for the big savers out there! Lots of times, hotel rates will be cheaper on one night than another company, but the next night, the opposite is true. When this happens, you have an opportunity to grab the cheap rates of both hotels, and simply move between different hotels, getting the best rate each night.
This is a great option if you normally pack light and don’t mind the inconvenience of moving to a new place every couple days.. In fact, it might be a little exciting! Maybe you can plan to stay in different parts of the city or in places with different views and amenities. Think of it as a double positive!
Book last minute.
Are you a planner? Well, if you’re not, this is one place being go-with-the-flow might come in handy. There are many nights hotels don’t fill all their rooms. When this happens, they’re left with two options: leave the room open and lose the chance of revenue or sell it to a weary traveler like yourself for an ultra discount to rake in a little cash. When it comes to hotels, they will go with option B each and every time!
Last minute bookings provide last minute deals, and these rates are super low. The only downside here is that you have to live a little on the edge. Of course, there’s always the threat of not being able to find a place to stay – but it can really pay off if you play it right! Download an app like One: Night or HotelTonight to help you search for available rooms.
Finding a great deal on hotels for your next trip is totally possible with these travel hacks!
There you have it, friends! These are hacks I use every time I travel, so I hope you’ll find them useful too. Now, you can book a hotel at a price that you’re not only happy with, but that you’re PROUD of too. 😉 If you guys are interested in more on this subject, I’ve got even more travel tips and stories here on my blog. But . . . all this talk about travel is making me want to go somewhere. Where do you all recommend? What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on? Do tell!