You can save money on travel, whether you are a college student strapped for cash or a family of four. Second to airfare, hotel accommodations bear the bulk of the cost. So the trick is finding rates that fit your budget. I know, I know, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is one of those no tell motels that you rent and end up sleeping propped up on a hard chair at a desk with a permanent coffee ring on it. No, you don’t have to go there. But there is a trick in knowing where and when to look.
Yes, get those fingers stretched and ready to start searching. There are a lot of sites that purchase hotel rooms in bulk. Thus, many times they are able to offer you cheaper rates than calling direct. In fact, because of the competition on the internet, hotel sites are constantly in battle trying to soak up all of the business by being the most affordable.
Rent when you arrive
Unless it is the Waldorf Astoria, whenever you book a hotel room, you are taking a risk. You may just show up, take one look and leave. For this reason, you may have better luck finding a hotel after you get to your destination. And the best places to look are small privately owned hotels.
That’s right, I said it-Ebay. There are a lot of hotels that auction off their rooms soley for the purpose of publicity, so take a chance. You never know, you may end up booking a swanky nest in Istanbul for 50 dollars per night.
Direct booking through the hotel website
In this age of economic recession, you better believe there are a few hotels trying to pack the house. Locate a hotel within the planned destination, goggle their name and see if there are any special offers.
Most places render a complimentary military discount for active duty members and their families. Remember to have you identification ready, and ask if there isn’t a sign posted.
This one is a little touchy. No one wants to visualize the reality of their aging but often there are some very helpful discounts available for seniors. Go ahead, don’t be ashamed, use it.
Auto club memberships
Often associations like AAA and other autoclubs have their own private booking agents where you may take advantage of their bulk buying practices. It’s worth a shot, and because their reputations are at stake, they have often verified the hotels cleanliness and reputation.
Booking during off seasons
Hey, you don’t want to be surrounded by all of those tourists anyway. German and American tourists who can only be told apart by the color socks they are notorious for wearing with their sandals. You know, Germans wear black socks and sandals while Americans wear thick white tube socks- Yeah, them. Anyway, when you plan your trip prior to the high seasons, many times you can get those same hotel rooms for fifty and sixty dollars less. Hotels tend to raise their rates to take advantage.
It may sound deadly, especially if you have seen the film of the same name but hostels are actually really cool. Often, they are barebones type of accommodations and you may have to bring your own blankets and sheets but at 10 dollars a night, it’s really not that bad. A lot of people travel through Europe by staying at hostels.
Ask for a discount
Hey, why not give it a shot. Ask the person at the time of booking, whether or not you could possibly have a discount. You’d be surprised, especially if you show up pleasant and smiling. Usually hotel staff will go out of their way for a pleasant person,
Finally, if all else fails, find something to complain about. Most hotels attempt to cut costs at the expense of being 100 percent clean. Roll back the covers and check the sheets, if you find any stains let them know. I know it sounds a little shady and the thought of finding a stain probably skeeves you out. Unfortunately, the sheets may be clean but have irremovable stains. If they don’t replace their sheets, they’re sort of asking for it- so give the people what they want!