How to save on hotels
Going on two week vacation or traveling overseas, hotel expenses are the ones that significantly add up in every traveler’s budget. Tendency show that people still keep up traveling during these years of recession but they tend to look for ways to lower expenses. In resent survey done by American Express, people will have overage vacation costs around $1000 per person. My guess is that many people would prefer to stay below that number in their vacation spendings.
Do some online research and you‘ll be rewarded for it. For my resent one week trip from New York to Orlando, Florida I paid $444 for round trip flight and hotel accommodation (with breakfast; Wi-Fi and tax included). Of course, there were same additional expenses. But this was the price I paid instead of original option of $570 or $707. Flight ticket price remained the same but all the difference was from the costs of hotel. If I would travel with someone to share a room, the entire trip would make $500 per person (with all the additional expenses if to go to some attractions).
I shopped around in the internet (and offline as well – just to be sure) but price for the hotel I needed, was more or less the same. After joining the hotels frequent visitor program, price dropped a $10/day. Then I searched for some more hotels with criteria I needed. Found a hotel in same area that gave my second price. Price was better but I wasn’t sure about location. Just out of curiosity tried Mystery Hotel feature in Travelocity. As the result got the hotel that was my second choice but price difference of the deal made all the savings. And the problem with the location was solved with I-Ride trolley 7-day pass for $10.
You might be surprised to find out that a room in 3-4 star hotel can be cheaper than staying in campground or renting a cabin. Some more ideas how to save on hotels and get cheaper accommodation:
- - Staying two or more nights in same hotel can give you discount up to 30%. Lately I found Crowne Plaza Hotels offer in Brussels for 61 Euro, if staying long weekend getaway in summertime. had long weekend special for 54 Euros (includes free breakfast and internet).
- - Visit various travel websites to save on hotel booking. They might have special deals for certain time periods. I’ve seen promotions of 24-hour sales or so, that cuts off 50% or more of hotel price. If you are flexible in time, there could be some really great hotel deals for you chosen travel destination.
- - Check out local hotel booking service of particular country. In local sites there might be wider range of accommodation and lower prices. For example, if you wish to visit continental Croatia: Zagreb particularly, Croatian local hotel booking website GeneralTurist.com (partner of TUI) has lower hotel prices as mentioned in Travelocity.
- - Join a frequent visitors club of hotel. This can bring you some discount when booking a hotel and earn a free hotel room in future. Many of these programs have several participating hotel brands, so it’s not so hard to earn enough points for reward nights.
- - If there is ‘best price guarantee’, that’s even better. If later you find cheaper price for that hotel elsewhere online, contact the hotel and they‘ll match the conformed price.
Choose the hotels that provide courtesy breakfast, free internet access, have some fitness amities, have coffee/ tea sets in rooms or lobby. That’s at least $20 savings on additional expenses per day.
- - Use local / area travel sites: Travelocity has good options for US, Booking.Com is the best for European hotels, but Agoda.com is a leader in Asian hotel bookings.
- - Sign up for e-mail newspaper at TripAdvisor. They list, rate and have information about hotel deals. Read other people reviews about hotels at particular destination. For example: Visiting Paris? Find Deals, Compare Rates, and Read Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor
- - Consider a hostel as a place to stay few nights. Check out HostelWorld.com for hostels and budget accommodation worldwide. Somewhere hostels have even double and single rooms. If traveling family of four (two kids age 6-12), children might think its fun to sleep in double bunk beds. Family vacation trips don’t have to be fancy all the time. Prices usually are per person.
- - Contact hotel directly and ask for prices and possible discounts/ lowest rates. It feels nice when in next day you receive a reply from hotel representative with offer 20% of the published rate. Cant guaranty that it will always work, but that’s the option.
One more thing I’d like to add about savings for this trip to ‘sunshine state’. The reason for my trip to Florida actually was a 3-day conference (and I add few days of vacation before or after). Some other years I went to Miami for similar conference. But comparing costs of hotels in Miami and Orlando difference is significant. Similar trip to Miami would cost me at least $801.
What comes to lowering travel expenses, all I needed was a little more time to do internet research to save almost a half of amount for trip to Florida. Spend some time on online research and you can find a lot of great deals for any destination. Actually, I could lower my expenses bellow $400 if all the booking would be done more than 3 month advance. There are special offers for particular regions that require reservation made at least 90 days in advance. Same of those offers are great - it's just me who started wonder about hotel reservation just 2 month before the event.
All the ideas mentioned here, how to save on accommodation, can be used for domestic or international travel destinations.
Are you wondering about traveling to South East Asia or Australia? Take a look at Best Thailand or Malaysia Hotel rates. Actually there are more countries... You will easy find the offer that suites your specific needs. When you look at these low hotel prices, idea about more sunshine and exotic breakaway seems very tempting.