Hotel costs can be one of the greatest expenses when making vacation or traveling plans. If you want to stay at a nice hotel that offers plenty of great amenities, you could end up spending up to several hundred dollars per night, which can add up quickly. Fortunately, you can stay at your favorite hotels for less as long as you know a few good hotel savings hacks.
Here are 10 genius ways to save money at hotels so you can spend more on sightseeing, attractions and dining.
1. Call Hotels Directly
Before doing anything else, call hotels directly to ask if they’re running any specials or promotions. The front desk clerks will fill you in on specials and discounts you might qualify for, and save you the hassle of doing the legwork on your own.
2. Join Hotel Rewards Programs
Most major hotel chains offer rewards programs that allow you to generate and redeem points for discounts and freebies on rooms, meals, car rentals and more. Ask hotel staff about the benefits of signing up for their hotel rewards programs.
3. Ask Your Credit Card Company
Some credit cards offer discounts or bargains for certain hotel chains, especially when you use the cards to pay for your stay. Contact your credit card companies and ask which hotel chains they’re partnered with.
4. Visit Hotel Websites
Many hotels offer exclusive discounts to those who book online through the hotel’s official website. Head to various hotel websites and look for deals and promotions not available anywhere else online.
5. Review Membership Perks
Do you belong to any clubs, programs or organizations that might offer hotel discounts? Clubs such as Costco and AAA usually offer special deals for hotels as part of their membership agreements. Contact the customer service departments for your current memberships to find out whether hotel discounts are available.
6. Go During the Off-Season
Summer and holidays are usually the busiest times for hotels, which means prices are often much higher than during the off-season. Instead of going the traditional route and vacationing during summer and around the holidays, plan your vacations for early fall or spring.
7. Avoid In-Room Foods and Beverages
Ask the front desk about charges associated with foods and beverages being offered in-room. Some hotels charge you for opening refrigerators and minibars, even if you don’t consume anything. Even foods and drinks that appear complimentary could end up on your bill.
8. Consider the Location
If your vacation involves going to a major attraction such as an amusement park, avoid staying at nearby hotels. These hotels are often costlier, given their proximity to the attraction. Instead, look for hotels located several minutes or a few miles away from the hotspot.
9. Share Special Occasions
Many hotels offer special perks and discounts for those celebrating special occasions, such as birthdays, wedding and anniversaries. When shopping hotels, ask about these perks, since you might just be eligible for a free upgrade, free tickets to local events and more.
10. Compare Prices
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure which hotel is offering the best rates, compare prices on aggregator sites such as Expedia, Kayak and Orbitz. These sites can help you find the lowest hotel rates and guide you toward the best deals.
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