Summer is a great time to travel. However, hotels can be so expensive depending on when and where you travel. But don’t fret! There are ways of getting around the expensive rooms and booking a cheap hotel, even on a college budget.
1. Sign up for loyalty programs
If you travel a lot, signing up for loyalty programs can be beneficial. Whether you opt for a booking website’s loyalty program or a program offered directly from the hotel, these programs offer great rewards–including free nights!–after so many stays. Many hotels even have rewards credit cards that earn you rewards for purchases.
2. Book through a booking website
Booking a cheap hotel through a booking website is the best way to ensure that you find the best rate for the perfect room for you. They offer alerts for when hotel prices drop, so you will know the best times to book without having to constantly keep an eye on the prices. These sites also save you time so you do not have to check a bunch of individual hotel websites.
3. Call the hotel directly
If you know what hotel you want and the exact location, call their number directly and not the 800 number for booking. This allows you to talk to someone immediately at the hotel, and you will have a chance to ask them directly if there are any deals available for you to take advantage of. Also, mention if you are celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday, as this may give you an upgrade or special package. Booking a cheap hotel gets a lot easier when you’re talking to a real person.
4. Book at a new hotel location
New hotels and new hotel locations are always looking for customers to come in and stay there. This allows them to get the word out and bring in more people. Therefore, they often offer lower prices to help draw people in to get the word out and bring in more business. Do some research into your destination to see if any new hotels are being completed in the time around your stay.
5. Use coupon codes and websites
Using coupons or coupon websites can help you earn cash back and find the lowest deals on hotels. Websites like RetailMeNot allow you to find coupons for various things, including hotels, while sites like Ebates give you cash back. These websites offer coupons and cash back at booking websites as well as individual hotel sites.
6. Location matters
Avoid staying in the heart of a city, like Times Square in New York City. These hotels tend to jack up the prices since they are where tourists like to be. Be willing to stay a little further away and either take a cab or public transportation to where you want to be. If possible, stay in a nearby town and commute in so you save even more money.
7. Be selective in your dates
It may not seem like it, but booking to stay on specific days can actually help you save money. If you are taking a weekend trip or a trip over the summer, consider staying at a business hotel as these hotels often have lower booking rates around these times. Also, stay over on Sunday as Sundays are often low-business days for hotels.
8. Book at a location or on a site that offers free cancellation
Some hotels or hotel booking sites offer free cancellations. This allows you to keep an eye on other hotels or rooms in the hotel you already booked at so you can see if a lower price is available without losing money that you already put out plus any cancellation fees. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure you making the most of the opportunity.
9. Check out the dining options
Many hotels have restaurants in the hotel vicinity, but they tend to be expensive unless you are offered free breakfast. Book your room at a hotel that has a wide variety of food options in the neighborhood so you can find less expensive food options. If you do opt to use the dining at the hotel, ensure that the prices are reasonable.
10. Check out the hotel’s facilities
Many hotels are more expensive because they have amenities such as pools, spas, and laundry on the premises. If you have no intention of using these, look for a hotel that does not include these, which will bring the price you are spending down. Also, do not be afraid to stay in a smaller room, especially if you plan on exploring your destination.