How to Score Great Deals on Hotels This Year
A great hotel can make any trip better, but it’s even more enjoyable if you’re able to get a good deal. So many people book the first hotel they see without comparing prices or are happy to stay at the same place every time regardless of whether there are better options available. Stop the madness!
We’re here today to show you how you can score amazing deals on hotels this year. This should help bring down the price of your vacations, so you can get away more often.
Hold a good rate by booking with free cancellation
It shouldn’t shock you to realize this, but the price of hotel rooms fluctuates wildly depending on their supply and customer’s demand. A hotel room that costs $300 one day can easily be booked for $125 the next day.
In order to secure a good deal, many people book hotel rooms far in advance, which locks in the price. If you find a better deal, you can cancel your first hotel room and rebook. However, you should make sure you’re only doing this with hotels that offer free cancellation. And don’t make a practice of doing it at the same hotel more than once or twice — the booking staff will notice, and you may become persona non grata.
Join a hotel’s loyalty program for points and perks
If you regularly stay at the same hotel chain, it’s a great idea to join their loyalty program.
In addition to getting perks like free Wi-Fi and late checkout, many hotel chains offer loyalty points, which can be collected and redeemed for free nights. If you regularly use booking sites like Expedia or Hotels.com, they have their own loyalty programs that give you points whenever you book on their sites. Joining both booking site and hotel loyalty programs let you “double-dip” points so you can earn rewards faster.
Use a credit card with hotel reward points
If you regularly stay in hotels, it may be worth signing up for a credit card that will give you hotel reward points. There are so many great cards out there, and companies are offering incredible rewards just to attract and retain your business.
You may get a bonus of miles or travel reward points just for signing up. After that, many credit cards offer between two times and 10 times regular miles or points on hotel and travel-related purchases.
Use your membership to score a good deal
Just because you don’t have a hotel loyalty program membership or a travel rewards card doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to deals on hotels. There are lots of national membership organizations, like AAA and AARP, which offer a plethora of hotel deals and discounts to their members.
If you’re under the age of 35, you may want to look into ISIC (International Student Identity Card) or IYTC (International Youth Travel Card), both of which entitles you to deals on hotels and popular tourist attractions.
Check for coupon codes or deals on sites like Groupon
If you aren’t in the habit of checking for deals on Groupon, you definitely should be. Groupon, and other deal of the day sites, like LivingSocial, Travelzoo, and Scoopon, often have great deals on last-minute hotel bookings and travel packages. The travel discounts you find are often for top-tier properties which would be quite expensive to book without a discount
You can also check on coupon code sites like Coupon.com or RetailMeNot, which often offer promos and discounts.
Get upgraded at the front desk with a small tip
This trick comes to us courtesy of the memoir Heads in Beds, which was written by former front desk clerk Jacob Tomsky. His number one tip for people searching for hotel deals is to give a discrete $20 bill to the person at the front desk.
As long as you’re not loud, pushy, or rude, the clerk will likely do whatever they can to ensure you have a positive experience. This can mean anything from late checkout to an upgraded suite with a million-dollar view. The trick is to avoid expectations and entitlement and ask nicely.
Visit hotel deals sites
The best strategy when you’re looking for hotel deals is to compare prices over a range of hotel deal sites. Most hotels share their deals with these third-party sites, but it’s still a good idea to check the hotel’s own site before booking anything. Some of our favorites include:
All of these sites allow you to narrow your search using different parameters like price, location, and amenities. You can filter out properties that don’t work for you, then compare prices and reviews for the ones that are available. Some of them even have apps, which allow you to shop for great hotel deals on the go and book instantly from your phone.
Whether you’re checking out prices for a family trip or searching for a last-minute deal for a long airport layover, it definitely pays to do your research. Price shopping for hotel rooms can save you tons of money and give you access to top-quality hotel rooms at unthinkably low prices.
Don’t make the mistake of buying straight from the hotel’s website. Make sure you’ve got a great deal before you put your credit card down.