6 Pointers for Getting Great Rates on Quality Hotel Rooms

Finding a great deal on a hotel room can feel like a full-time job when you’re planning a trip. Luckily, the Internet makes it easier to find deals on quality hotel rooms, including four- and five-star resorts. Read on for some tips on how to get great rates on quality hotel rooms.

Use Your Memberships

If you’re a member of AAA or AARP, you could get a discount over the normal nightly rate. When comparing prices of hotels, ask for discounts for any associations of which you are a member. Even if you don’t save too much on the price, hotels may offer free room upgrades, dining credits, or free services to members. Many hotels allow you check the membership rate directly on the company’s website when you book a reservation.

Compare the Top Travel Websites

When booking a hotel reservation, check all the top travel websites for the cheapest rates. These sites buy rooms at a discount in bulk and then resell them at a lower rate than you can book directly with the hotel. Check sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, Hotels.com, and Booking.com. The rate may include free room upgrades, dining credits, attraction credits, and reward points.

Booking last minute could save you even more, as these sites will try to move rooms by dropping the price and offering promotions you can’t find anywhere else. If your dates are flexible, try booking during the middle of the week when the rates are typically lower than they would be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Some sites like Kayak.com allow you to compare the rates of their competitors at the same time, saving you the time and hassle of having to go to each site individually.

Join a Rewards Program

Many hotel chains offer a loyalty or rewards program you can join free of charge. Most allow you to accumulate points anytime you stay a night. Once you’ve reached a certain number of points or stays, you can cash out for discounts on the nightly rate, or free nights if you’re a frequent traveler.

If you join a rewards or loyalty program offered by one brand or company, try to book your reservations through them as often as you can. You’ll earn points faster, which can lead to bigger discounts and free stays. It can be harder to accumulate points if you stay at multiple chains that all offer their own loyalty or rewards programs.

Some credit cards or banks may offer rewards whenever you use their card to make a purchase or book a reservation. If you already have a travel rewards credit card, make all your reservations using this card. You could even earn extra points by using a travel rewards credit card and the hotel’s loyalty program at the same time.

Book a Package

Many travel sites offer deals when you book entire packages including airfare, car rentals, and hotel rooms. Try booking your airfare, car rental, attraction tickets, and hotel all at the same time. You can find packages through sites like Expedia, Kayak, and Travelocity, or at your local travel agency or AAA office.

Use Coupon Sites

Many hotels and resorts may offer discounts on the nightly rate using services like Groupon and LivingSocial. If you’re still in the planning stages of a vacation, check coupon sites for group rates. You can even find packages that include dining credits, room upgrades, and other promotions not available by booking with the hotel directly. You’ll most likely have to be flexible with your dates, as there may be blackout restrictions. The number of available packages can also be limited, so if you find a good deal, make sure you purchase and book early.

Check with the Hotel Directly

You may find the best rate by booking with the hotel directly, either through their website or by calling. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better rate, or ask for upgrades or credits. Many hotel managers would rather fill a vacant room for a lower rate than leave it empty for a night. If the hotel has availability, there is almost always room for some form of negotiation, especially with the smaller or independent chains.

When you’re browsing websites like Expedia and Kayak, ensure you check the rates on the hotel’s website as well. You could find promotions or specials that are only offered directly through the hotel by either calling or booking online. You could also receive a discount by paying in advance, although there could be a no-refunds policy if you choose to go this route. Make sure you read the fine print before booking and paying for anything in advance.

Research, Compare, Repeat

With a little bit of work and research, you can find great deals on quality hotel rooms. In addition to checking the top travel websites and directly with the hotel, check with coupon sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and RetailMeNot.

If you have flexibility with your dates, you could find cheaper rates during the week than you would on a weekend. Stay away from the busy times of year like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s if at all possible.

Don’t forget to look into loyalty and rewards programs, last-minute travel deals, and booking packages that include airfare, car rentals, attractions, and hotel reservations.

How do you save money on high-quality lodging? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!

Brian Flax is a freelance writer based out of the Washington, D.C., area. He is experienced in a variety of topics including technology, education, and travel, such as how to find cheap hotels in Las Vegas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.