Vacations can add up very quickly. Between the flight, rental cars, meals, entertainment, it can be hard to think about hotel costs, especially when you are really only in them to sleep! Here we have some tips for penny pinching lodging for travel, to help save money on your trip.
Here, you can find the 3 hotel sites you must know about for finding the cheapest hotels!
Booking reasonably priced hotels do not need to be expensive or stressful. Although the hotel has a large effect on your overall happiness of the vacation, we have some tips to make your hunt for the best and cheapest hotel as easy as possible.
Continue reading for more on penny pinching lodging for travel!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
1. Stay Longer, & Mid-Week
Our first tip for penny pinching lodging for travel is to aim for longer stays and to avoid booking on weekends.
The longer you stay at a hotel, the more likely each daily cost will decrease. Play around with dates, and watch the nightly cost fluctuate depending on how many days you are staying.
Additionally, if you can, plan to stay during the week instead of the weekends. Weekend hotel costs are often much higher, especially during peak seasons and holidays. If you need to stay on a weekend, try to check in and out during weekdays, if possible.
Hotel costs will fluctuate for a number of factors, so play around with dates and hotel companies, and see what you can come up with!
Here are some more budget travel tips to save you hundreds!
2. Buy Someone's Reservation
Sometimes things come up, and travelers are no longer able to make their hotel reservations. Unfortunately, many hotels do not allow free cancellation, so travelers are stuck with an already paid for the hotel stay.
Websites like RoomerTravel allow you to buy and sell hotel reservations up to 90% off! The closer the reservation date, the more discounted the hotel reservation is.
Using Roomer is a lot about luck, but if you check daily, you can find some great deals that match your stay!
If you are more of a last-minute traveler, this is definitely the way to go. Book the day of or the night before for the best possible deals!
Additionally, if you need to cancel your reservation for whatever reason, you can have peace of mind knowing you will get at least some of your money back using this site!
3. Hold Onto Good Rates
Maybe you are casually looking for hotels, or don’t even have your flights booked yet but found an awesome hotel deal!
Look for hotels that offer free cancellation. This is usually pretty clearly shown, as it is a perk for customers.
If the hotel has free cancellation, there is no risk for you to book the hotel if you find a good price. You might find something better in days to come and can easily cancel the other reservation with no fees.
Hotel costs can change on a day to day basis, so if you see a good deal, snag it up!
Check out these clever hotel hacks to improve your stay!
4. Become a Member
Another great tip to penny pinching lodging for travel is becoming a member. Websites like Expedia have deals only available to members. Expedia also allows customers to gain points for every booking, which turns into money off!
Make sure you take advantage of these freebie deals, as you only need an email to sign up!
Additionally, many hotel booking sites offer discounts only available on the website’s app. Download the app, and you could save 10%! Why not!
Be on the lookout for email offers as well. Many websites will offer discounts for new email subscribers, such as 10% off!
5. Don't Judge by Price Alone
This is one common travel mistake that we have made one too many times! It may be tempting to book a hotel based on the fact that it is cheap or a good deal but do some more research.
The hotel may be $20 cheaper than one down the street, but maybe it does not include free breakfast, free parking, or a free airport shuttle. Take into consideration different amenities that could save you money, before deciding it is a good deal.
For example, we stayed 45 minutes outside of London, because we got a great deal on the hotel. However, we ended up spending MORE money than if we had just stayed at a more expensive hotel in the city center, because of transportation costs.
Do some research, and compare hotels to see which is actually the better deal, and which gives you more for your money!
6. View Visitors Photos
Another tip to penny pinching lodging for travel involves looking at real photos of the hotel.
We all know hotels will only post the best pictures of their rooms and grounds. When comparing hotels, look at pictures from real customers.
I like to use Google Photos and Instagram. On Google, search the hotel on images, then select photos from visitors. On Instagram, search the hotel as a tag or the location. This will give you a better idea of what the hotel actually looks like.
Be advised though, that most people who review hotels either really love, or really hate the hotel, so take pictures with a grain of salt. This is why I prefer Instagram for this search because pictures are posted not for reviews, but to show where they are staying to friends.
However, Instagrammers can be biased with their picture taking as well, especially if they know how to take the best pictures on vacation!
7. Check in Late or Early
This tip to penny pinching lodging for travel is debatable. Many people suggest checking in late will give you the best hotel room, while others believe checking in early will give you more options for better rooms.
By checking in late, the hotel may have already given away subpar rooms, and might only have the good rooms left.
By checking in early, your room may not be ready yet, and you might have access to better rooms, especially with a little bribery.
Whatever the case, experiment with this! See what works for you.
8. Negotiate Prices
Most hotel managers will offer you a discount or a special perk if you just ask! Simply call up the manager, and have a chat. Here are some tips on how to negotiate prices!
Make sure you know the manager’s name and a little about the hotel. Try not to call during peak times, rather a time where they will have time to talk with you.
If you are traveling or a special occasion, mention that. Maybe they will give you a free upgrade.
Also, make sure you know neighboring hotel costs, to use as a comparison.
Be nice, be kind, and be understanding, and you should be able to get something out of the deal!
9. AAA/Student Discount
If you have AAA, you might be able to get discounts on certain hotels, but only if you ask.
Make sure you look at the AAA discounts ahead of time, to see if the hotel is listed. You can also ask the hotel if they accept AAA and have discounts available.
Additionally, if there is a university in the area, many neighboring hotels will offer family discounts. If you have a student ID to the school, it can help, but often they do not even ask for it. Give it a try, and you could get 10-20% off!
My absolute FAVORITE website to book hotels is Hotwire. You can trust this statement even more because no, I do not have a business partnership with Hotwire, I just really love them!
I have found Hotwire to have the cheapest hotels out of any travel booking site.
Specifically, I use the hot rate hotels, where you don’t get to know the hotel until after booking. However, now, they usually tell you it will be 1 of 3 hotels listed, so you have an idea of the type of hotel.
Their prices just can not be beaten, so give it a try!
Thank you for reading penny pinching lodging for travel! What hotel saving tips do you have? Let us know in the comment section below!