SAVE ON YOUR HOTEL
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SAVE ON YOUR HOTEL
Hotel lines often feature new or soon-to-open hotels on websites. These hotels make excellent stays because the staff is new and management is eager to quickly establish full occupancy and an excellent reputation. Plus, promotions often mean prices are drastically lower at these locations than other hotels in the same line. These are hotel insider tips on how to score a free hotel upgrade.
Nearly every hotel offers a Triple AAA discount, and these discounts tend to be even better than other savings like Corporate Discounts and even AARP rates. For instance, you could save 10 percent at Best Western or Hyatt hotels.
Hotels usually offer discounts for government and military personnel, extended stays of 15 to 30 days or more, and a senior or AARP reduction. Sometimes a hotel manager will even extend a discount for regular visitors. Also, hotels near hospitals often offer special rates for individuals who are in town for treatment, again, particularly those who need to visit regularly. These discounts are not usually offered during online booking, so call to inquire. Heading to Disney World Find out how to save money on a Disney vacation.
If you see a price for a hotel on the web, it sometimes helps to call the front desk and ask if they can provide a better rate. Also, inquire about other available discounts. Are you a member of AAA or AARP, a government employee, etc. Check also if the company that insures your car offers discounts. USAA, Allstate, and other insurance companies offer discounts on hotels for their members.
Since many hotels are within an easy distance of one another this is easier to do than you may think. In fact, another hotel might be right next door or a short walk away. It will also get you free rooms five times faster.
If you travel semi-regularly, you probably already are a member of an airline frequent flyer program or two. Fewer travelers seem to join the hotel equivalent. Earning points in hotel loyalty programs can save your family real money on your next vacation.
While planning ahead can be important (especially when traveling with kids), sometimes last minute travelers get the best prices. Apps like Hotel Tonight or travel deal sites can heavily discount last minute hotel inventory meaning deals for you. Bonus that you can choose specific hotels unlike the opaque booking sites.
An increasing number of hotels offer discounts in exchange for locking you into a non-refundable rate. If you have set travel plans (and are willing to risk eating the cost of a hotel room if an emergency arises and you do need to cancel), you can often save 10-25% off the regular rate with pre-paid hotel rates.
There is a lot to consider when you're planning a trip. Right after you decide where you're going, you need to think about where you're going to stay. Finding a hotel room for a good price can be a bit stressful, especially if you're not familiar with online booking or the numerous discount websites vying for you attention.
The first thing many of us do is search for hotels through outside websites. "Booking sites claim to have the best deals, but hotels often post limited offers that don't make it to the discount travel booking sites," says says Yijen Liu, vice president of product for Mezi, the personal travel concierge app. "If you have some time to do the research, you might uncover some hidden gems."
Do your research. You will receive better prices by booking a travel bundle for airfare and a hotel room. For instance, "JetBlue Vacations is one of many airlines that offer great bundle deals on vacation packages where both flights and hotels are included," Liu explains. "While this affords the traveler a little less freedom with the various aspects of their vacation, you gain the advantage of a trusted recommendation and big savings."
Book your hotel stay as far in advance as possible. This will ensure that rooms are available and last-minute price increases in popular destinations are avoided. You should book your hotel room on Tuesdays around 3p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Liu says. "This time and day gives you access to the best deals." According to summer travel research by TripAdvisor, travelers can save on U.S. hotels by booking inside two months; travelers visiting Europe should book their rooms three to five months in advance; and travelers going to the Caribbean and Middle East should book within four months for the best prices.
"Like other credit card rewards programs, your favorite hotel franchise can offer you rewards in the form of points, special VIP member treatment, and savings as you build credit in their name," Liu says. "If you frequently stay in hotels, this might be the move for you."
If you're traveling with friends you should consider downloading Circle. This app is "the easiest way to borrow money from friends and divvy up expenses (like hotel fees and large group checks at dinner) while you're traveling," Liu says. "Circle automatically factors in exchange rates for UK Pound and Euros, so you can pay someone back for booking your shared hotel room, immediately from your U.S. bank account."
Coupon and promotional codes can be found all over the internet; all it takes is some research and a little patience. Liu says "sites like HotelCoupons.com display the discounts and coupons being offered in the location of your choosing."
If you want to save money on your hotel room, you're going to want to avoid weekend traffic. Demand for weekend rooms increases, as do the prices per night for hotel stays rise, Liu explains. "Instead of booking Friday through Sunday, try Monday through Wednesday."
"With special deals reserved just for Expedia+ members, Expedia guarantees their users the cheapest option (or they'll give you $50!)," Liu says. "Points and earnings from this program can be applied towards hotels and even certain flights."
"Business hotels typically see their rates go down on weekends and during the summer when business is slower, making them a perfect pick for the bargain traveler," Liu says. "What they lack in showy amenities, they'll make up for in savings."
Flexible travelers can sometimes score low rates and room upgrades by waiting until the last minute to check in. This is because "as the day wears on and the majority of guests have checked in, hotels have a better sense of what their vacancies are for the night, and may be willing and able to upgrade your room for free," Liu says.
"RoomerTravel.com offers a great solution both to people looking for bargain hotel steals, and those that want to get some money back from a non-refundable room," Liu says. "The site matches up travelers with discounted rooms in hotels all over the world."
"Powered by the world's smartest chatbots and human guided experts, Mezi acts as your personal assistant to help with all your travel needs," Liu says. "Mezi curates the top three hotel recommendations, customized to fit your needs and so much more!"
"Believe it or not, communicating with an actual human does have its rare advantages," Liu says. Simply call the hotel where you plan to book a room and let them know that you are thinking about reserving your room with a site like hotels.com. Ask them if they will give you a discount for booking directly through them. Many hotels pay commission fees to booking sites, so there is a good chance they will offer you a discount.
"The web cookies that are delivering that creepily personalized ad experience may also be the culprit of artificially raised prices on booking sites," Liu says. "After all, if they know you're searching for hotels, they might try to take advantage!" By refreshing your web history and cookies, you may notice these prices mysteriously go down, she adds.
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