Six Ways To Save Money On Hotels

by : Steven Gillman



To save money on hotels, you can start with the internet. Be careful relying solely on travel web sites, however. The ones that find the cheapest plane tickets work pretty well, but you'll never find the cheapest hotel rooms online. Of course, you probably don't want the cheapest room, but you do want to know what your options are, right?

It seems that the web sites which locate cheap hotels for you only work with those that have a decent marketing budget. Or perhaps they assume for you what kind of room you want, and so exclude the ones that they don't think are appropriate. This is speculation on my part, but what is not speculative is the fact that I have often found cheaper rooms than the ones listed on these web sites. How? By doing the following.

1. Start with sites like cheaptickets.com, but don't stop there. This just gives you an idea of what is available - and sometimes you will find a great deal.

2. Find a online phone book for the town you are traveling to. Look up hotels and motels in that, and call them directly.

3. When traveling by car, take the hotel coupon-books available at gas stations, rest areas and visitor's centers. These will often save you $10 or $20 at hotels you might have stayed at anyhow.

4. Ask for AAA and other discounts that you may qualify for. I saved $15 recently just by showing my business card to get the corporate rate. There are sometimes senior discounts as well.

5. Negotiate. This won't always work in the United States, but we occasionally have an owner drop the price when we start to walk away. Also, we have paid cash for several days in advance to get a discount. This negotiating tactic has worked for my wife and I from Ecuador to Montana and California.

6. Plan ahead and call ahead. When making a multi-day trip by car, you have some flexibility in where you stop for the night. Check hotels in various towns online before you leave. Sometimes the rooms in the next town will be $30 less just because there are more hotels. Why not drive the extra forty minutes today (or tomorrow) to get the cheap hotel rooms?