When going on vacation, it takes very little to overspend and to forget about your budget. Paying too much for lodging is a sure way to bust your budget. Hotels can exhaust your travel funds more rapidly than most other vacation expenses. Good news is that there are numerous ways you can save money on hotels.
1. Travel during off-season
Traveling during the off-season costs less, and allows you to avoid contending with crowds. Hotels have off-season rates that make it more enticing to travel during this timeframe. Even staying in a hotel mid-week instead of during a weekend can save you a significant amount of money.
2. Revisit the same hotel
You can score great deals when you stay at the same hotel each time you travel. When you book your room, don’t forget to mention that you’ve previously stayed at the hotel. These hotels want your repeat business and would be more than willing to give you a better rate – or, at the very least, give you an upgraded room. There’s no harm in trying, right?
3. Take advantage of rewards programs
Hotel chains are big fans of free rewards programs. Since membership is free of charge, there is no harm signing up for one. For example, the Choice Hotels chain of hotels includes Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Comfort Suites, etc. For every dollar you spend at any of their hotels, you receive 10 Choice Privileges points. Once you accumulate enough points, you can trade them in for free nights at Choice Hotels.
4. Book your accommodations online
A number of websites such as Hotels.com allow users to search for the best rates based on their travel dates. Hotels.com releases discount codes periodically and they usually can fetch you anywhere from 20%-50% in promo savings. Users can easily filter hotels based on location and price, which makes it easy for them to book hotel rooms conveniently. Additionally, consider signing up for lifestyle deal websites like Groupon and LivingSocial and view the city pages for the areas you plan to visit. If you regularly view their websites, you can find great prices for hotels and resort packages. Furthermore, if you bid on a hotel room at Priceline or if you book via Hotwire, you can receive further reductions on your rate.
5. Avail of travel packages
Not only do these travel packages allow you to save money, they also save you the trouble of booking for your travel arrangements separately. Websites like Expedia offer travel packages that bundle cheap airfare, a hotel reservation, and a rental car in one package, saving customers lots of money!
At the end of the day, planning for your trip carefully in advance can really pay off in the long run. It also helps to be flexible about when and where you travel to save money on lodging. Be religious about doing your homework to discover the amenities, fees, and location of the hotels you are considering to help you stay within your budget, and always be proactive about seeking out coupons and discounts. Remember, traveling smart may be time-consuming but it’s not that hard!