Are you looking for the best possible deal on your hotel room? Most travelers are, but not everyone knows how to get the lowest prices. Here's what you need to know to save the most money.
Everyone knows that airline tickets are cheaper if you book early, but not everyone knows that hotel rooms are, too. Hotels set their prices in the same way that airlines do. As the occupancy increases, the price for the few remaining seats (or rooms, in this case) increases.
If you book early, you'll be able to pay a low price based on low occupancy. If you book a few days before you travel, the hotel is probably almost full, and their rates will reflect that.
Become a regular
If you frequently travel to the same city, you shouldn't choose a different hotel every time. If you always stay at the same hotel, ask the front desk agent for a discounted room rate. A regular will be more successful negotiating room rates than a one-time traveler will be, since the hotel doesn't want to aggravate you and lose your future business.
Take advantage of memberships
Are you a member in an organization? Some of the membership cards in your wallet can save you money at hotels. Many people think that AAA is just for roadside assistance, but if you flash your AAA card, you can save money at many hotels. You can save as much as 15% by being an AAA member. AARP, a group for seniors, will also save you money in many hotel chains.
Occupational organizations can also help you get lower rates at hotels. Are you a teacher, a police officer, or a firefighter? Prove that you're a member of their organization, and many hotels will give you a discount.
Become a loyalty program member
If you're not a member of AAA or AARP, you can still access members-only deals. Many hotels have loyalty programs that let card holders save money on rooms. Even if you only travel occasionally, you can still collect points and put them towards free or discounted rooms on future trips.
Marriott gave out 225 billion rewards points in 2013, and other hotels aren't far behind. If you're not a member of a loyalty program, you're missing out on an easy way to save money on rooms.
Look for coupons
In this economy, even high end hotels are using coupons to drum up business. Coupon sites like Groupon frequently list deals on hotel rooms. You need to browse coupon websites frequently, since it's easy to miss a deal.
If there is a travel center in your area, ask them if they have any coupons. Many travel centers will provide books of coupons for local attractions, and some of those coupons will be for hotel rooms.
Book through third-party websites
When hotels have low occupancy rates, they sell some of their rooms on third-party websites at discounted rates. Their philosophy is that getting some money for a room is better than getting no money at all, so they'd rather sell a room for cheap than let it be unoccupied.
Third-party websites can help you find more info on discounted rates. These websites will list numerous hotels and let you compare prices, which lets you find the cheapest rate in a given city.
Traveling is expensive, but it doesn't have to be, if you know the right tricks. There are many ways to save money on hotel rates, and some of them don't involve any additional effort on your part. On your next holiday, try one or more of these tips, and you'll be able to save money on your hotel room.
When was the last time your entire family was together. If your family is anything like mine, you have siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles spread across the United States. Having so many people scattered across such a distance can make family gatherings nearly impossible. Have you considered having an extended family vacation? This is one way to get everyone together and and you can actually save money on some of your travel needs. My site is loaded with information about how to get group rate discounts at hotels, restaurants and events in different areas. These discounts may make what seems impossible, a possibility.