Are you planning a vacation or business trip? Aside from airfare, the cost of lodging can easily be the highest expense of any getaway, especially for longer stays. Hotel rates tend to fluctuate often, and depending on when and how you book your next hotel room, you can save a lot of money. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the following tips can help you save on your next hotel booking:
Don’t travel during big events
If your travel dates aren’t etched in stone, avoid traveling to a specific city when a big event is happening, or booking a certain hotel if they’re hosting their own major event. Unless that is the reason why you are traveling to begin with, traveling during busy events will likely cost you extra. Major cities and hotels will often post event calendars, so find out if anything is going on during your planned travel dates.
Compare online booking engines and websites
Don’t just jump on the first good rate you find—with a little more searching, you may find something even better. Use popular travel tools and booking engines, such as Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline to compare the different rates available. And before you make any final booking decisions, you should also check the hotel’s official website. Some hotels will offer exclusive rates to customers booking through them directly, or may offer other perks.
Explore package options
Booking airfare, a car rental, and hotel separately could end up costing you more. In some cases, buying a vacation package is the way to go and can save you a lot of money. Compare the packages available and also be sure to price them out separately to see which option offers you the most savings.
Look into other lodging options
Sometimes, traditional hotels are not the cheapest options. You may be able to stay somewhere nicer or bigger for the same price, or even for much less. Look into private vacation rentals and see what they go for. From log cabins to beach homes, you may be surprised at what you can find!
Many different memberships (AAA, wholesale clubs, etc.) will offer discounted hotel rates. If you have a specific hotel in mind, ask if they offer discounts for AAA members or for other memberships. If you have a wholesale club membership, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, log onto their website to see if they are currently offering any member-only hotel specials.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.