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With the kids getting out of school and more and more families taking vacations, hotels will be filling up quickly.
This means that finding the cheap hotel you had your eyes on for the past few months may be booked up.
While you may have to settle for a hotel that is a little more than what you wanted to pay for, there are still many ways to get that price down and even save money while booking to help give you more spending money on your trip.
Today, we are going to look at 20 ways to save money on hotels from the minute you start to book your rooms up to when you checkout.
1. Get Cashback On Reservations By Booking Through Smartphone Apps
When it comes to reserving a hotel, most will simply type in their search into Google and follow the first link that they find.
While this may be a great method for finding a hotel quickly, you are doing yourself a disservice by not getting cashback from your purchase.
With the introduction of shopping portal smartphone apps, you can make everyday purchases that will result in cashback and sometimes include a discount.
Apps like Ibotta can be used to find third party hotel sites that offer you a cash back percentage of your purchase to be credited to your account.
This is a great way to recoup some of your hard earned money and put it towards more vacation expenses.
Always check to see what other offers are available as you may be able to get more cash back on other purchases on your trip.
2. Find Coupon Codes, Savings, And More With Dosh
If you are going to be dining out and making purchases around town, you will want an app that is going to be an all in one money saver when you book your hotel. Offering cash back, discounts, and coupons for some of the most popular hotels and restaurants, Dosh needs to be on your smartphone.
Dosh is a smartphone app that does away with points and credits, and focuses solely on giving you cash back from purchases such as booking a hotel, dining at your favorite restaurants, and making purchases at participating retailers.
Many times, you will be able to compound savings by getting cash back on a purchase that you have used a promo code or coupon on. Before booking your next hotel, check the Dosh app to see what you could be saving.
3. Book Hotels Through Shopping Portals For Instant Savings
If you are not doing all of your shopping through shopping portals, you have not experience the true benefits of being frugal.
Many of the popular hotels have programs integrated with the most popular portals to team up and allow you to take advantage of competitive pricing. You can use these in tandem with other savings techniques to get the most cash back from purchases you were already making in the first place.
4. Earn Gift Cards To Hotels With Everyday Purchases
One convenient way to save money on hotels is not having to pay for them at all. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, with reward apps like Drop, you can do just that – without having to spend extra money.
Drop is a smartphone app that rewards you for purchases that you make day to day from specific retailers. For example, if you buy a Starbucks coffee everyday, you could be racking up points with each purchase.
These points can then be redeemed for gift cards to popular hotel sites such as Hotels.com. So with enough points, you can earn enough gift cards to pay for your whole stay at your favorite hotel. Make your gift card go further by utilizing shopping portals when making your purchases.
5. Get Guaranteed Money-Saving Upgrades With HotelUpgrade
Being a frugal person, you most likely already have a membership to many hotels to earn points for each stay. Programs such as HiltonHonors and others give you points to book with their hotels, which can eventually be used for additional savings.
The HotelUpgrade app is a great way to get additional points, simply by using the app during the booking process. The perks don’t stop there, you also get access to many different upgrades that can helps save you money during your stay.
This app can help get your daily drink coupons, complimentary internet access, suite upgrades, and many more upgrades depending on the hotel and what they are offering at the time.
6. Use Hotel-Specific Apps For Exclusive Savings
Many larger name hotels are starting to dip into the smartphone app business to help secure more customers and give guests a more unique experience. These apps allow you to make/check/change reservations through the app and they can even be used to send you push notifications for important messages about your reservation.
With most of these apps, hotel companies like to use them as incentives to offer exclusive deals that you can only get through the app. This is where you can take advantage to get instant savings or upgrades.
Each hotel’s app is going to be different, but if you are already going to want a more convenient way to manage your hotel stay, why not use it for savings?
7. Take Advantage Of Last Minute Hotel Deals
As the day progresses and rooms are still available for a hotel, that is money lost for the hotel company. When this occurs, prices can drop to entice last minute buyers to take advantage of deep discounts.
Using an app like HotelTonight can help show you which companies are offering these discounted rooms to make saving money even easier. Hotels team up with HotelTonight to sell them their unsold rooms to help make it a win-win for you and the hotel company.
While this may not be the best option for those who are planning hotels in advance, it is certainly a great tool to have when you need a cheap hotel on the same day.
8. Save Money On Transportation To & From Your Hotel
One of the biggest expenses of your trip may be spending money on gas driving to and from the hotel. Using a smartphone app that shows you the best gas prices can help you decide whether or not the cheap hotel miles away from your destination is worth it or not.
This is where Gasbuddy comes into play. Gasbuddy is a smartphone app that lists all of the closest gas stations, their prices for gas, and even some savings for surrounding businesses to help save you the most money.
Using this tool can help you decide how much to spend on your hotel in relation to how far you will be traveling to the destinations in that city.
For example, if you are visiting for a water park, the hotel will be more expensive closer to the park. If you buy a cheaper room further away, will the gas you use be worth the cheaper room? Oh
9. Use Hotel Comparison Sites To Get The Best Deals
Saving money and being frugal is all about comparing prices. When it comes to hotel shopping, comparing prices is one of the easiest ways to find the best value.
If you have watched TV or been on the internet for awhile, chances are, you have seen an advertisement for a hotel comparison site. One of the most popular sites, Kayak, allows you to easily search for rooms and price compare multiple hotels at the click of a button.
These sites work with various hotel companies to allow you to quickly and easily find the best deal for you. With many different incentives and offers, finding the cheapest hotel is as easy as clicking a button.
10. Use Groupon To Keep An Eye Out For Special Deals
Finding good deals on hotels doesn’t have to be limited to comparison sites and apps. You can also save a lot of money by taking advantage of limited time offers.
Using a site like Groupon, a group offer website, can allow you to save money on certain dates that are being offered at a discounted rate. This usually is offered with other amenities of the hotel or bed and breakfast.
This is a great way to take a spontaneous, budget friendly trip as they are usually priced far lower than standard pricing. You can even search by location to easily see what promotions are being offered in the area you want to visit.
Bonus tip: Search for other activities on these sites to get the most savings on your trip.
11. Try AirBnB For A Nice Change Of Pace
While you may be used to using standard hotels for your trips and vacations, many people are turning to AirBnb for a nice change of pace.
Airbnb is a service that allows people to rent out their homes, apartments, lofts, etc by the night. Functioning off the web and utilizing an easy to use app, Airbnb has quickly grown to become one of the most popular methods of room renting.
The lower prices, home like feel, and privacy really stands out when in competition against an outdated, noisy hotel. With many of these properties being a whole home that can be rented out, you no longer have to worry about lugging around your belongings up and down elevators or noisy guests in the room over.
12. Book During The Off Season For Lowest Prices
Just like with any industry, hotels have a busy season and an off season. Busy season, as you can expect, happens around summer and big travel holidays. To get the best prices on rooms, you will want to try to book in the off season when hotels are offering better deals to fill rooms.
What you are going to want to look for here is weeks after big holidays such as Christmas, Memorial Day, and spring break. Hotels are usually desperate to fill rooms after these busy weeks and will usually have some pretty good deals going on.
An easy way to check for these is looking on comparison sites like hotel.com and inputting a few different days to see the difference in prices. Weekdays are usually almost always cheaper as many people are not booking hotels until the weekend.
13. Try Bundling Packages If You Need A Car Or Flight
If you are flying into your destination, chances are you are going to need a hotel, flight (obviously), and a rental car. Booking all of these separately can get expensive. Find offers that bundle them for a package price that can instantly save you money.
Bundling your rental car, hotel, and even flight together usually always results in a cheaper package price. This is due to them enticing you into spending more money with them.
Companies work together to bundle packages to sell more services. By taking advantage of these offers, you are not only going to save time and money, but you get everything built in together for a better peace of mind.
14. Speak With The Hotel Directly For Direct Pricing
If you have taken our advice and have tried many of the above methods but still feel that there is money left on the table, give the hotel a call directly. By bypassing the middleman (third party sites) you can usually find that there are great deals to be had.
When a hotel uses a third party company to book their hotels for them, you will most likely paying a little more due to the third party having to make money as well. The biggest benefit of using third parties is comparing multiple hotel prices all at once. Once you have found the lowest prices, give the hotel a call to see if they can beat the price for maximum savings.
15. Use Yelp To Check Customer Reviews For Best Value
The last thing you want to do when booking a room is to find out that the great deal that you got was the result of the terrible customer service or sub par rooms. With a little research, you can find out just how the hotel really is in the eyes of other guests.
Use a review site such as Yelp to get unbiased, unfiltered reviews from people who have actually stayed at the hotel and have given their take on their stay. This will help give you a first hand look of how you can expect your trip to go.
While most reviews will be truthful, you may want to look and see if the review was really about the bad service or if it was just a picky guest.
16. Check Coupon Code Sites For Hotel Discounts & Promo Codes
Just about every hotel is going to have a coupon code or promotion going on at all times. While they may not promote it, you may be able to find a coupon code with a simple internet search.
Sites like Honey and RetailMeNot have been created to house any coupon code that its site can find all in once place for easy search-ability. You can find the codes that were sent by email, leaked out by employees, or even given out to VIP customers.
The best part of the service is that they show you exactly how much you can expect to save and what the success rate of each coupon code was. This is an easy way to save some money with a quick search.
17. Take Advantage Of Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses
Credit cards and hotels go hand in hand. Hotels require credit cards to make reservations and most will require you to keep one on file in case anything is damaged, stolen, or used in the hotel that you did not originally pay for.
Credit cards often offer sign up bonuses in the form of points or miles that can be used to redeem on hotels across the world. For example, a credit card company may offer your 20,000 bonus points for signing up and spending a certain amount of money within the first couple of months.
By using a credit card to pay for things such as bills, gas, or other small purchases, you can easily pay off the monthly balance while racking up points for future hotel visits.
18. Don’t Cancel, Resell Your Room With RoomerTravel
Life happens, we all know this, but when it happens and prevents us from fulfilling our hotel that we had booked, it can become money lost if you did not get a protection plan. While many places offer free cancellation 48 hours before the night of your stay, sometimes it’s just not enough time.
That is where an app called RoomerTravel comes in. RoomerTravel allows you to sell your booked hotel room to help you recuperate some of your funds that you may have otherwise lost. This app makes it easy to list your room that you have booked, even far in advance, for potential buyers to purchase from you.
This is also a great way to find great deals in the cities that you may want to visit. I mean, who doesn’t like a good deal on a hotel room?
19. Check To See If You Get A Better Rate Booking Multiple Nights
Just about anything you buy can always be cheaper in bulk. The same rules apply to hotel rooms. Most larger hotels often offer discounts for extended stays due to them knowing those days will be booked. It is also an incentive to help get guests to book longer stays.
To find these deals, you can easily use any of the above tactics to see what your best deal can be. Using a comparison site will be the quickest way to scan through multiple hotels and see which is going to be the best value. For the best deal available, we suggest giving a hotel a call and talking to them directly about multi-night discounts. Who knows, maybe you will get a special deal from a manager.
20. Ask For Refer A Friend Perks
Refer a friend programs are always a great deal for the consumer and the company. The consumer gets a discount or perk, and the company gains another customer. Hotels use these promotions from time to time to help bring in more guests throughout the year.
Common offers may include a free night, a discounted night, or even free drinks when you refer family and friends to a specific hotel. Of course, this is going to differ between hotels and companies.
A good tactic to use if you are traveling as a large group is to allow one room to get booked and then “refer” each other so that you can get a discounted rate on all of the other rooms.
21. Become A Member Of A Hotel Chain
When it comes to larger hotels chains, many will offer a membership so that you can take advantage of exclusive deals and offers not readily available to the general public.
This is a great way to get discounts as they are usually free and you will be emailed or mailed discount offers to be used on your next stay at their hotel. Some hotels may even offer a rewards program where you earn points for every night you stay. These can usually be redeemed for a free night or different amenities around the hotel.
Memberships are usually free and are easy to sign up so there is no excuse not to use them!
22. Free WiFi By Becoming A Loyalty Member
Hotels love to give extra perks to their loyalty members. As we just mentioned, memberships are a key part to the success of hotels keeping lifetime value up on their guests.
One of the simplest perks that goes a long way is free Wifi for loyalty members. While Wifi services certainly won’t break the bank, it’s still saving you money and helps to make the guest feel appreciated for their loyalty.
23. Bring Your Own Food/Drinks
Last but not least, one of the easiest ways to save money on your next hotel visit is to bring your own food and drinks with you. Before you go packing up perishables, you need to confirm that your room will have a mini fridge.
If not, no worries, you can always bring non-perishables like chips and crackers to help prevent overspending at the food court.
As for drinks, the mini bar is notorious for being outrageously priced, and if you are trying to get by on a budget, the temptation may be too much. To keep yourself from overindulging, bring your own beverages.
If you need to cool your drinks down without a mini fridge, simply fill the sink with ice from the ice machine and you have yourself a makeshift cooler.
So whether you are planning your next family vacation or trying to stretch your per diem budget on a company trip, these tips and tricks can help make every dollar count. The biggest takeaway is to do your research and find the best deals and cashback offers that you can find.