Does it seem like hotel costs just go up and up? It’s true that they rise each year, sometimes significantly. Projected rates for rooms in 2014 are over 25% more than 2013. When determining which hotel has the best deal, you don’t just want to look at the nightly rate anymore. There are so many other factors to consider to help you save money, both before you book and during your stay. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision.
Reserve the best rate
Look for extras. The more services your rate includes, the better the bang for your buck. You’ll want to make sure they are features you will actually use though, otherwise you’re spending more than you need to. Common extras that can save you lots are free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and kids eat free. All those bowls of fruit and free coffee and tea in the lobby are also included in your room rate, so take advantage of them during your stay.
Stay in hotels right outside the city center. If the costs for transportation won’t make up the difference you’d be paying on a closer location, you can frequently get a fantastic deal this way. You could also look into staying in the university district of a city. Hotels are more affordable, cheap eateries are plentiful and public transportation is convenient.
Avoid the weekend. Hotels in popular destinations regularly raise their rates on Fridays and Saturdays. In some cases, it can be as much as three times more than Sunday through Thursday nights.
Book in a business-minded hotel. Room rates for hotels that get the majority of their business from professionals drop their prices when business is slow, like weekends and holidays. This can get you a more luxe stay at a fraction of the cost.
Upgrade to a suite. If your travel party is larger, a suite can cost much less than adjoining or separate rooms. They offer more space and often have bedrooms, so everyone isn’t crammed in the same small space and adults don’t have to go to bed early just so they don’t wake up their kids when their bedtime rolls around.
Be a rewards member. Do you normally stay at the same hotel or use the same chain when you travel? Sign up for their rewards program. Not only can you rack up points for each stay that you can then use on upgrades and free nights in the future, but rewards members also get notified of exclusive deals that can save you a ton.
Save during your stay
Go out to eat. Though room service sounds really appealing, prices for food on the menu can be twice as much as you would pay for the same food at a restaurant. Gratuity is always included in the tab and usually masked as a delivery charge. Most guests don’t know this and add a tip to the bill when the waiter brings their food.
Bring your own snacks or hit the grocery store. Anything is better than the rates for items in the mini bar. The prices are outrageous and don’t even think about trying to replace it with the same item later. Most mini bars have weight sensors to know exactly what has been taken and when.
Ask for a corner room. Though this won’t technically save you any money, corner rooms are usually a bit larger than regular rooms, which give you a better deal for your money. Once you check in, ask if one of these rooms is available. This is easier if you show up close to check-in time, but before the flood of guests show up to get their keys. You can also call ahead and request a corner room with your existing reservation.
How do you save when booking your hotel rooms?