Whether you’re going out of town for a business trip or a family vacation, there are always great ways to save money on your hotel booking. The most basic rule of thumb is simply to shop around. Nowadays, that can be done as easily as a quick search on the internet. Websites like Booking.com and Hotels.com get you the lowdown on pricing at different hotels with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Are you planning on flying to your destination? If so, you can often get great deals by booking your flight and your hotel together. Most travel websites like Orbitz and Expedia offer these options.
Booking a hotel at the last minute might be risky, but if you are traveling during the low season, many hotels will have empty rooms available and are desperate to fill them. Whether or not someone rents it out, the room will be a drain on the hotel’s resources, and that puts you in a position to bargain for a lower price. Sites like Priceline can help you snag a deal.
Another great option is taking advantage of promotions and discounts, particularly if you have flexible destination or travel plans. For example, Groupon offers getaway deals that combine lodging deals with extras, like free spa treatments, city tours, and other sightseeing adventures.
No matter what, before you book, check to see if you get any special discounts for where you work. The government and military get discounts, and if you work at a large corporate firm there are often special corporate rates for employees at certain hotels. Do a quick Google search for coupon codes and promotions, especially if the hotel in question is part of a chain. Make sure that you get all the amenities you want, like complimentary breakfast or free internet access; sometimes a hotel’s lower upfront rate might be offset by expensive Internet access fees or the like. That could easily turn your bargain into a money sucker.
Lastly, book your hotel with a rewards credit card. If you’re going to be spending the money anyway, you might as well get a little something back for it. Paying with a rewards credit card takes little to no effort and will add up over the long run, as long as you don’t overcharge and pay bills in full.
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