From luxury to budget hotels, camping grounds to bed and breakfast accommodations, travelers have plenty of options when it comes to looking for a place to stay.
No matter where you put your head at night, there is a price to pay. But there are ways to get more for your dollars. Here are Travelmath’s 10 ways to save money on accommodation for your next vacation:
One: Use multiple online sites for comparison
Showing up last minute at a hotel may not be the best way to find bargains. We use multiple online sites to compare prices and search for the best deals. Remember, different sites will give you different prices for the same property.
We recommend using at least four sites at the same time when looking for the best deals. Try Booking.com, Agoda.com, Expedia.com and Travelocity.com. We used these sites to look for the price range and best prices for Skycity Hotel in Auckland New Zealand:
Expedia – $112
Agoda – $130
Two: Never pay for in-room drinks or snacks
You pay more for convenience. A bottle of mineral water may be $5 in the hotel minibar. It may cost only $1.50 in a supermarket nearby. If you want to save money, don’t reach out for a drink or snack in the minibar.
Three: Sign up for newsletters and updates
Don’t miss any deals from your favorite booking sites or hotel groups. Sign up for their weekly or monthly updates for the best deals around the world.
Four: Follow them on their social media platforms for special deals
You may find special deals from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Recently we checked @IHG_Deals and found a tweet on the following savings:
Chicago, Houston, Toronto, Dallas or DC bound? Include a Fri or Sat stayover & save 10-25% off Best Flex Rate! http://t.co/KxwY65lpiQ
— IHG Deals (@IHG_Deals) January 5, 2015
Five: Be loyal to one booking site and reap the benefits of being a ‘genius’
Stick with a booking site that you like and you may be rewarded. For example booking.com rewards frequent user to their Genius status. Being a Genius means you will receive emails for special rates too.
Booking.com allows potential customers options to sign up for price alert. You will receive emails about the prices of your recent search.
Six: Don’t pay for breakfast or Wi-Fi in the hotel
It all adds up. Paying $10 a day for Wi-Fi and $12 per person for breakfast will add up when a family of four stays in a hotel for five nights. Look for a hotel that offers free Wi-Fi.
Get more for your dollars by having breakfast in a local restaurant or buy fruits, yogurt, cereals, milk, cold cuts and muffins from a local supermarket. Most hotels or motels provide a kettle, mugs, teacups, sauces and spoons for guests to make their own coffee or tea. You can easily use these household items to make a simple breakfast in the room.
Seven: Hotel loyalty programs and membership rewards
Hotel loyalty programs are easy to join and manage. But the rewards are even better. The rewards may include free rooms, complimentary upgrades, late check out, free Wi-Fi and some even offer free breakfast.
Also, look into membership rewards like AAA or the AARP (if you qualify). Most hotels in the United States offer AAA and AARP membership discount specials.
Eight: Rent an apartment/villa
Check out apartment or villa rentals if you have a large group or if you are staying for more than a week. Apartment or villa rentals usually offer special weekly and monthly rates for longer stays.
You have the potential to save more money by preparing your own meals in the apartment or villa. Some properties are equipped with a washer and dryer saving you time and money on laundry.
Nine: Book air and accommodation with the same site
Expedia.com wrote on their website that you can potentially save up to $570 if you reserve a flight and hotel at the same time. We put that to a test and found a package that included flight, hotel, all taxes and fees for $1,422 per person (for two a couple sharing room) for six nights at The Cavendish London on a non-stop flight from New York JFK Airport to London Heathrow Airport.
A separate flight and hotel booking will increase the price to $2,048 per person using the same hotel and flight options. You save $626 per person when you bundle up.
Ten: Use an app
Expedia.com offers $25 off your first Expedia App hotel booking. All they need is your phone number. The company will then send you a special one-time automated text message with a link to the discount.
That said, here are two useful calculators to make your hotel reservation easier: