October 29, 2016
November and December are busy travel months, and the costs can add up. We already discussed some ways to spend money on Holiday Travel, but what about saving money on a hotel? Sure, if you can stay with friends and family that’s always the cheapest option. But maybe you can’t (or you don’t want to – we won’t judge). Here’s some ideas for how to save money on hotels this holiday season.
There are plenty of resources available online that allow you to research prices for all different hotels. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity allow you to search for hotels within a particular radius, see reviews, and price match to find the best one to your liking. Other sites, like Hipmunk will take it one step further and also let you filter by amenities. These websites often have a best rate guarantee so if you find a cheaper site somewhere else, they will match it and sometimes even give you a credit. A little bit of research could save you quite a bit of time.
Get a Discount
Hotel rooms often publish the standard rate, but you may be eligible for discounts that are not advertised. Some of these, like AAA rates, you can sometimes select directly on a hotel’s website. But there may be other unadvertised rates for other groups, like students, teachers, military, etc. The best thing to do is call a hotel that you’re interested in booking and see what kind of special rate they can offer you. Even if you aren’t able to get a discount, it never hurts to ask.
Watch out for those fees
So, you think you found a great deal on a hotel? Not so fast! Before you pull the trigger, be sure to take note of the total final price AFTER all the fees. Certain touristy destinations like Vegas and Orlando are notorious for adding on resort fees outside of the advertised room rate. This can add anywhere from $15-$45/night and may be for amenities you may not even plan to use. Even if there isn’t a resort fee, also consider other hidden fees like parking, service charges, or breakfast (if it is not included). If you’re not up to paying those fees, try looking for a hotel outside the main area. You’ll find the prices go down and sometimes those resort fees even disappear completely.
Consider travel rewards
If you think you’re going to be traveling to the same place year after year, it’s worthwhile to invest in the same hotel chain so you can accumulate points and rewards. This way your stays are not going to waste. You can also consider getting a travel reward credit card to help offset the fees or give you a free night or two. Just remember, as we discussed in an earlier article, be careful of the annual fees and also you must first decide if a credit card is really right for you.