When planning a trip, careful considerations should be made when it comes to the hotel. If you’re not careful, a hotel could easily take up a majority of your budget. With these tips, you won’t have to blow your budget on full-price lodging when booking your vacation.
Price Match Is Available
Many hotel chains will offer a price match if a competitor hotel offers a lower rate. This isn’t a very well-known trick, and the circumstances must be right. First and foremost, the hotel can’t be sold out. If the hotel is sold out, there’s likely a big event going on, and there is a decent amount of demand for the rooms. You won’t be catching many bargains here.
Additionally, you must be reasonable in your requests. A Marriott is not going to match the same rate as a motel down the street. If you’re going to ask the front desk associate about price match, make sure your request is reasonable, and the lower-priced hotel is in the same category as the one you’re hoping to stay at.
Use Coupon Codes
Many reservation sites offer coupon codes that can be used when booking a hotel room. If you can be flexible about when you can book, monitor your favorite reservation sites until a good deal is available.
Change The Dates
Weekend rates are more expensive for hotels, so stay during the week if possible. Most hotels offer discounts on rooms Sunday through Thursday. Not only will the room be cheaper, but the hotel will also be less crowded, allowing you to enjoy the amenities.
This also goes for peak seasons at hotels. For example, consider a beach getaway after Labor Day if the temperature still allows it. Peak season for many beach resorts ends after the first weekend of September, so you may be able to secure a cheaper rate by pushing your vacation by a couple of weeks.
As USA Today describes, if the hotel is struggling to fill beds, you’ll have more leverage in negotiating a cheaper rate. If the hotel is desperate for business, they would rather you stay in the room for 80% of the list price, rather than not stay in the room at all.
Look At Your Credit Card Benefits
Many credit cards offer benefits to members when booking hotels. They could offer cash back, a discount, or loyalty points with a certain hotel brand. Read the fine print, and know what benefits your card offers.
Some credit cards also offer perks on a rotating basis. For example, customers can secure additional cash-back when booking a hotel in a specific quarter. If this is the case, be strategic about when you book a room. If you’re booking a vacation far in advance, or you are eligible for additional cash back in a couple of weeks, wait to book the room until you can maximize your returns.
This may not necessarily lower the price you pay, but it could get you better value for the room in which you stay. Checking in late increases a hotel’s tendency to upgrade you for free. For the same price as you had already anticipated paying, you may get a bigger room or better amenities.
Pick One Chain
If you become loyal to one hotel chain, you’ll have a better chance of receiving a discounted stay. Hotel loyalty programs often offer member-exclusive deals. The more you stay at one hotel, the more status you’ll gain, allowing you to receive access to better deals. Additionally, you can build up points with a hotel chain, which can lead to a free night.