Of course you want a good room while you travel, but you also don’t want your hotel stay to break your travel budget. Here’s how to find the perfect room, while making sure it fits what you want to spend as well.
Unless you have a certain hotel you definitely want to stay at, shop around. There are a lot of aggregator sites that can compare prices so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal. Keep your options open, and you’re sure to find a great price on a hotel you love.
Call The Hotel Directly
We’ve gotten used to the convenience the Internet provides, but it’s not always where you can find the best deals. Do your research and find what the typical going rate online is. Ask the hotel if they can give you a better deal than what you found on the third-party booking site.
Online booking sites charge hotels commission, so hotels prefer you to book directly with them —then they don’t have to pay it. They may be more willing to give you a better rate or throw in a perk for booking with them directly, like a room with a view or early check-in/late checkout.
Use Promo Codes
If you have to book through a third-party website, search the web for promo codes. There might be codes for that specific website, as well as the hotel itself.
If you follow certain hotels or hotel chains on sites like Facebook or Twitter, they might have coupon codes on there or announce a flash sale you can take advantage of.
Go During an off Time
If you can, plan your stay for the off-season and/or midweek. During the off-season, it’s almost guaranteed to be cheaper. It’s usually less crowded, too, so you might get better service while you’re there as well. Summer and winter break are usually the busiest times, so try to avoid those.
If you stay during the week, the rooms are typically cheaper unless it’s a business-focused hotel. Depending on where you go, some hotels might even be closed in the off-season, so make sure you can find one that fits your needs.
Use Rewards Programs
Most major hotel brands like Hilton and Hyatt have programs that reward you for staying at their properties. You accumulate points toward free nights as long as you stay at hotels that are within their chain.
If you don’t want to restrict yourself to a certain hotel chain, a lot of travel sites have their own rewards programs. Look at your options. If there’s a site you tend to use the most, it might be beneficial to join their rewards program. Otherwise, think of what kind of traveler you are and compare the perks of each program to your travel style. This will help you maximize your perks.
Find Last-Minute Deals
Though it’s usually best to book your room in advance, you can usually find some good deals if you have to book last minute. Sites like Cancelon can get you a discounted room from someone who had to cancel last-minute.
Groupon is also a good place for last-minute bookings — as well as a wide variety of other activities. Check to see if there are any discounts you can use at your destination.
Look Into Bundling or Package Deals
If you’re using a third-party site, you might be able to get a discount if you bundle with their other services — for example, if you get a car rental or plane ticket at the same time that you’re booking the room. Make sure you price each separately, though, to make sure you’re actually getting a deal.
A package deal like an all-inclusive resort and airfare can also be a good option. Again, Groupon is a good place to look for this. They offer a lot of vacation deals that include airfare and your hotel, along with activities while you’re at your destination.
In the Caribbean especially, all-inclusive resorts can be totally worth it. These include all your meals and beverages. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway where you just want to lounge around, these are definitely the way to go. Even if you want some more activity, a lot of them allow you to book excursions right from the resort.
Hotel hunting is never fun, but it’s worth it to get the deal you deserve. Use these tips on your next trip to make sure you’re saving as much money as possible.