If you’re a fun-loving yet practical traveler, we know you’d rather put a huge chunk of your vacation budget on extraordinary activities, sightseeing tours, and delicious meals, than on an expensive, well-furnished hotel room.
A hotel stay doesn’t have to be overpriced. Not everyone gives a damn about high-end décor, over-the-top room services, and luxurious marble bathtubs anyway. The majority is always on the hunt for the cheapest yet well-maintained hotel room possible, with a spacious and comfortable bed, working AC units, free wi-fi, and access to decent amenities that are worth the price.
Besides, the core purpose of hotels seems pretty straightforward – to offer a comfortable place for travelers to sleep and relax, right?
To help you with your search, here are 12 tried and tested tricks and tips to score a cheap hotel room for a guilt-free stay.
- Book at the last minute
If you’re looking for more options (like a beachfront hotel room), make your reservation months ahead of time.
But if you want to score the cheapest hotel room, book the last minute.
All good things come to those who wait – it could get you the same room for a lower price. Book one day or two before your stay. This is when other travelers have canceled their bookings for the same timeframe, causing hotels to drop their prices accordingly to fill their rooms.
- Look for coupon codes
Hotels don’t always offer coupons. If you book with third-party booking sites, you can find coupon codes or those computer-generated codes you may enter into a promotional box on the site’s checkout page to obtain a discount. Coupons.com and DealsPlus.com have an entire section of coupon codes available to travelers, which include hotel stays and flights.
- Buy discount gift cards
Like Starbucks gift certificates, discount gift cards are also available to effectively score a cheaper hotel room. GiftCardGranny.com is one great example.
- Buy someone else’s reservations
One man’s junk might be another man’s treasure.
In this case, you might be the lucky person to score other travelers’ unwanted hotel room reservations at a discounted rate. RoomerTravel.com is one great site which connects you with folks who are stuck with a reservation they can’t cancel and are eager to sell and transfer it at a cut price.
- Find the secret hotel room
Sign up for Hotels.com’s membership program and you can have access to the “secret prices” for hotel rooms, which offer huge discounts. That being the case, you’re a step ahead of the regular users, looking to snag discounted rates.
- Stay during the midweek
High demands on weekends mean higher prices. That said, avoid scheduling your stay on a Friday or Saturday, and go for Sundays to Thursdays, especially if you’re staying in resort hotels. Most hotels offer significant discount rates on these off-peak days. Apart from saving cash, you may also relish a less crowded pool, gym, spa, and restaurant.
- Check the perks of your credit card
One of the perks of being a credit card holder is getting exclusive deals on hotels. You can enjoy incentives like cash back, sign up bonus, and sometimes, discounts. If you’re a seasoned traveler, you can make use of your credit card airline miles for savings on hotel accommodation. You may also redeem credit card rewards for gift cards, to be used for a hotel room.
You can also sign up for the hotel’s credit card. One of the best hotel credit cards is the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. If you frequently stay in hotels including the Intercontinental, the Crowne Plaza, or the Holiday Inn, then this card is perfect for you.
- Opt for a business hotel
Following the rule of the opposites, you can book hotels in metropolitan areas during seasons when the majority is going for resort hotels. During the summer months and on weekends, business hotels are usually slower. That means you’re more likely to snag a good deal and enjoy less crowd. Just make sure the attractions of the business dIstrict can make up for the lack of splashy amenities.
- Consider a newly-opened hotel
A new hotel property often offers lower rates. Typically, when they are still starting, these hotels are looking to increase business and spread the word, which then leads to the ability to snag upgrades.
- Set hotel price alerts so you don’t miss out
Don’t have the time to keep an eye on prices? Sign up on alerts via Kayak, Priceline.com, and Hotels.com. By doing so, you’ll get e-mails when the prices start to drop.
You can also tap into apps. The Hotel Tonight app, for instance, allows you to snag last-minute discounts on unsold high-end hotel rooms.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Accommodation, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travelers in Australia. She has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementos from different places.