Busy planning your next vacation getaway? Here are eight tips to help you snatch up a hotel room on the cheap:
1. Comparison ShopDid you know that the rates offered through a hotel's website, 1-800 number and local desk can vary? It's true and it's not always by a small amount, either. To make this work in your favor, check all three sources; and then go with whichever one offers you the best deal.
2. Book EarlyYou've heard the expression, "the early bird gets the worm," and it certainly applies to hotel travel. Get in the habit of booking your room as soon as you've finalized your travel plans, and you'll enjoy more room options and the best rates possible.
3. Seek Hotel FreebiesWhen it comes to booking a hotel, the lowest price isn't always the best deal particularly if that price doesn't include a lot of extras. Amenities like free continental breakfast, in-room coffee, shuttle service and an on-site pool and workout center can add up to big vacation savings even if you have to pay a bit more to get them.
4. Go Off-PeakFlexible travel plans are affordable travel plans. Do a little research to find out when the off-season is for the area that you intend to visit. Then, make sure your reservations fall within this time frame. The benefit? Lower rates and less crowds too!
5. Book a PackagePackage deals can offer big savings for travelers who are headed to popular destinations (think: a trip to Disney World or Hawaii.) Look for a travel package that groups air fare, attraction tickets, hotel accommodations, etc; and you'll generally save over the price of buying/booking each item separately. Plus, you may even be treated to a few extras.
6. Stay Mid-WeekWeekends are usually the busiest times for hotels and the most expensive. Book your stay mid-week, when the vacancy rate is highest, and you'll nab the lowest price.
7. Stay Off the Beaten PathThe closer a hotel is to an attraction, the more expensive it is. Broaden your hotel search to include accommodations that are a short drive from your intended destination say fifteen minutes away and you'll be rewarded with lower room rates and perhaps even nicer accommodations for the money.
8. Ask for a DiscountThe quickest way to a hotel discount? Just ask. Hotels offer lots of specials and discounts, but you've got to ask for them to get them.