One of the biggest expenses when traveling always ends up being your accommodations. On top of being a large part of the budget, a good (or bad) hotel can make or break your vacation. That’s why finding the best hotel for the best price is so important when planning your trip.
To help simplify the process and make it easier to find the best hotels at the best prices, here are some tips for finding those deals.
Search Using the Best Sites
You certainly won’t find the same price across all of the booking and hotel websites out there, so it’s important to know where to look. Some sites might tack on commissions, or have inflated rates. Well-known and often recommended sites, such as Expedia.com, Booking.com, and Hotels.com are obvious choices here. Just make sure that you are comparing prices across multiple sites to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Check the Hotels’ Websites
I know I just told you to check booking websites, but I wouldn’t be doing you any favors if I didn’t also suggest looking at the hotels’ websites, as well. It’s worth mentioning that third-party booking sites are not actually “discount” sites, but instead are companies that have agreements with hotels.
Some major hotel chains offer best-rate guarantees, so if you do happen to find a better rate on a booking site, let them know and they’ll honor it pending claim approval. Some chains might even give you bonuses on top of matching prices such as extra rewards points, gift cards, or an extra percentage off the cost.
Sign Up for Members-Only Savings
Take advantage of those rewards programs! Both travel booking sites and hotel sites can have members-only savings for you to take advantage of. Some booking sites offer rewards programs, where you can earn credits toward things like free nights after a certain number of bookings. Others might offer exclusive discounts to members. Rewards programs through booking sites can be good for travelers that stay at different hotels.
Major hotel chains have rolled out rewards programs, where you can earn points that you can exchange for free hotel stays or upgrades to your bookings. They might also offer exclusive pricing to members, or perks like later check-out times or complimentary wifi.
Consider the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy is changing the face of travel as we know it. Tapping into it to find lodging can save you money, but can also open up a world of possibilities. You don’t just have to stay in a regular hotel when traveling. Not only can you rent timeshares that owners aren’t using, but you can also stay in condos, houses, and even tree houses.
Tap into sites like Airbnb, or HomeAway for a variety of different rentals, or even SellMyTimeshareNow to search timeshares that are available to rent from owners.