Simple Tips for Cheap, Discounted Hotel Rooms
Making the Convenience of the Internet Work for You
In today's economy, people just can't afford these expensive hotel prices. If you want to go on vacation every year, but find yourself too broke to afford hotel accommodations that meet your expense budget, you have just found a solution to your dilemma.
I used to blindly spend my money on any hotel I wanted, without batting an eye until I conducted extensive research on all of the discounts, coupons and promotions that hotels provide on the internet. These companies are competing so heavily with each other that it seems like you are watching an old "Charlie Brown" cartoon, like the episode when Charlie and Lucy had a Lemonade Stand competition and priced each other down until the lemonade was free. It is very easy to trim $50-$100 off of your vacation with just a few clicks if you follow the method I am about to show you.
7 Ways to get a Cheap Hotel Room
So how do I get a cheap hotel room you ask. There are thousands of ways of getting a cheaper hotel room... Ok, not a thousand, but at least seven that I know of. Each hotel wants you to choose their room over the competition's rooms. For this reason, many hotels offer different forms of discounts including: Member Reward Programs, Weekly and Monthly Discounts, Promotional Offers, Discounted Weekend stays, End of the Month stays, Booking Online and Advanced Reservations. Below is an outline and some examples of how you can take advantage of each of these techniques.
Hotel Discount for Members
Many hotels have programs that you can sign up for that can easily save you $10-$50 per night or even earn you a free nights. Each hotel has a different way of earning points, rewards or discounts. Signing up for these programs takes all of 2 minutes and usually does not require a check, credit card or debit card. I will list an example for you to follow for evidence that these programs can and will save you money. Remember there are hundreds of hotel chains out there. If you desire to stay at a different hotel than the one listed below, simply go to their website to see if they offer a member program.
- Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels includes several different hotels such as: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Cambria Suites, Ascend Collection, Mainstay Suites, Suburban, Econolodge and Rodeway Inn. You can earn points, using their Choice Privilege Program, to earn free or discounted stays at any of these hotels. The Choice Privilege Program will earn you 10 points per dollar spent during your stay on the first 6 hotels listed above and 5 points per dollar spent on any of the last 4 hotels mentioned above. Free nights can be redeemed when you have earned at least 30,000 points. This seems like a big number, but say you stay at one of the first six hotels for 5 nights at a rate of $150 a night; you will earn 7,500 points. This, of course, is for those of you who either stay at a hotel for 2 or 3 weeks out of a year, but even so, you can still get a free night if you acquire this many points. There are many other ways to earn points, besides staying at the hotel. You cam sign up for the Choice Privileges Visa Card and earn 15 points for each dollar spent at more than 4,200 locations. In addition to signing getting the Choice Privileges Visa Credit Card, you will earn 8,000 points on your first transaction. You also will earn 8,000 points and 2 free nights at your choice of hotel when you use your Choice Privileges Card on your first stay at a Choice Hotels location. If you tally up the potential totals of getting the Choice Privileges Visa, using it to pay for a 5 night stay, at a rate of $150 per night, and using it to pay for $250 worth of goods, you will then have at least enough points to stay 3 free nights. It may not be the best option for your first vacation, but you could have 3 free nights on your next stay or just add the 3 days to whenever you accumulate enough points on your first stay. This is a savings potential of over $500 at most locations.
Promotional Codes for Hotels
The second tip for a cheaper hotel is Promo Code searching. Promo Codes (Promotional Codes) are closely associated to discounts, but have codes that you can redeem on a hotel's website. These codes, often affiliated with members of organizations like AARP, AAA and many more organizations of than nature, are also, simply, seasonal codes that hotels release to their newsletter subscribers. You won't save a ton of money, but $5-$25 is very common. The way I check for these codes is by performing a Google search for "Promo Codes Hotels." You will have to weed out the repetitive sites, but a couple hours of surfing, while you have nothing else to do, is often well worth $50-$100 worth of savings.
Weekly and Monthly Offers on Hotel Websites
Weekly and Monthly offers apply to the true vacationer or traveler. While most of us can't afford to vacation for a month, those who can will definitely benefit from this knowledge. There are several smaller hotels that may not be franchises that offer monthly stays for winter months and early spring. These may not be the ideal seasons to vacation for most, but the discounted price is definitely alluring. One hotel I priced, for example, charges only $600 for an entire month stay. That may not sound cheap to some, but if you compare it to an average weekly stay it is often cheaper that the cost of a 5 day rental.
Weekly stays also offer discounts, especially for at least a 5 day period. Most booking sites reduce your nightly average by 5% per each day reserved consecutively. Some even offer discounted deals if they are booked for the rest of the month, but have a run of 4 or 5 days available just to have the area occupied.
Discounted Weekend Stays
Almost every hotel offers discounted weekend stays. These reservations must be made for Friday through Sunday to qualify. The reason this promotion exists is to get some people that would only stay one night to spring for an extra night since the cost is minimal. Either way, it works. Sometimes you can get a two for one deal because of these promotions. They are not eligible every week, but I would say at least half of the year most hotels offer some kind of promotion like this.
Hotel Discounts for Booking Online
Many Hotel chains offer discounts for booking online. I do not know the reason for this, whether it is their intention to meet certain statistics or an algorithm they came up with that actually saves them cost on labor to process booking through an employee they are having to pay an hourly wage. It most likely is a convenience for them because all they have to do is file the booking after it is placed. In any case, booking online is a must. I always book online, regardless if it is the day before or two months before check-in. You can usually save around 10% this way along with seeking out some promo codes to enter at checkout. You could potentially save 25% with this method.
Advanced Booking Discounts
Nearly every hotel booking site offers discounts for reservations in advance, especially if it is not a significant holiday season. Bookit.com often offers discounts up to 75% off for advanced bookings. If you know for certain that you will be taking a trip on a certain date in the future, go ahead and book your reservation and save hundreds of dollars.
End of the Month Rental Discounts
One last thing with hotels is end of the month and advanced reservations. Why hotels have end of the month discounts I will never understand. Does it not seem that people are as likely to go on vacation from June 29th through July 2nd? I know I would if that's the time off I was granted. Never the less, hotels do offer end of the month discount, sometimes as much as 50% off. Sites like Hotwire.com, Bookit.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor.com, etc... usually feature these end of the month discounts. Since you are going to book the hotel online, you will also, in many cases, get a discount for advanced reservations. Hotels like to know that they will have someone in a room at all times, so naturally they will entice you with $25 off per night for advanced reservations to get you to go ahead and book that room. I admit, I have been like a cat on a mouse when presented with these types of discounts. If you know you need a room, have compared many hotel prices and are presented with this option, you too will probably find this tempting. In this case, it is alright to indulge in this type of hotel luring, after all, you are getting a discount.