Hotels can be expensive, especially during peak travel season. But there are ways to save money on your hotel stay without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
Frequent travelers may be familiar with tricks like taking advantage of elite status perks or searching for hotel deals on comparison sites. But there are other ways to save on hotel costs that may not be as well known.
1. Plan and Book in Advance
Planning a hotel stay can seem like a simple task – just hop on the computer and click “book.” But before you put down your credit card, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Different hotels and booking platforms offer different terms of service, including cancellation policies and included amenities. For example, some hotels may include breakfast with your reservation while others charge a fee for it. It’s also important to consider how much time you’ll actually be spending in the hotel itself.
A good way to save money on your hotel stay is by booking directly with the hotel. This will give you access to exclusive deals that aren’t available through other booking services. Additionally, some hotels may be willing to offer discounts for longer stays or payment in cash (which can save the hotel money on credit-card processing fees). Whitewater Hotel Backbarrow can be one of the best option that you can look into if you are finding for a comfy and welcoming hotel.
Another way to save money is by avoiding peak travel seasons. During these periods, hotels can be more likely to overbook rooms and raise prices. This is because demand for hotel rooms is higher and competition is stiffer. To avoid these pitfalls, it’s best to plan ahead and book your trip well in advance.
2. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
When it comes to booking hotel rooms, being flexible with your travel dates can be a game-changer. It can also save you a lot of money and stress. This is because hotel prices are always changing and fluctuating, depending on the season, demand, and other factors.
This is why it’s important to be open to traveling at different times of the year, and to use a variety of search engines to compare prices. In addition, be willing to change your travel plans if you see a good deal on the price of a room. This will help you find the best deal and ensure that your trip stays within budget.
Similarly, be flexible with your flight dates. Generally speaking, airline tickets tend to be cheaper when booked at the last minute or closer to your departure date, compared to buying them well in advance. The reason for this is that hotels want their rooms to be filled, so they will often offer lower rates at the last minute in order to attract travelers.
This is especially true in big cities, where hotels compete for business and have more flexibility with their rates. In fact, a 2019 study by D-Edge Hospitality Solutions found that hotels with flexible booking policies were up to 65% more likely to sell their rooms at the last minute versus non-flexible rates.
3. Compare Prices and Look for Deals
The best way to get a good deal on your hotel stay is to compare prices. This can be done by using online tools like price comparison websites. These sites display prices from multiple booking websites and can save you a lot of time.
Some of these sites also show you the total price, including taxes and fees. This makes it easy to see which site has the best deal. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of each website before you book. This will help you avoid getting ripped off.
Also, be sure to compare parking costs. Many hotels require their guests to pay for parking and this can add up quickly. It’s also a good idea to look for discounts, like those offered by major associations and unions. These discounts can be very valuable and often are better than those offered by the hotel itself.
If you’re flexible with your travel dates and can afford to wait until the last minute, you might be able to find a great deal on a hotel. Many hotel booking websites offer discount deals for rooms that are available at the last minute, so this is definitely worth considering.
4. Consider Alternative Accommodation Options
A hotel stay can be a fun, luxurious, and memorable part of your travels. After all, who doesn’t love room service, giant cushy beds with too many pillows, and mini-bars filled with free drinks and snacks? But hotels aren’t the only accommodation options out there, and some of them can be a lot cheaper than you might think.
Fueled partly by societal paradigm shifts stemming from COVID-19, like increased hybrid work opportunities and consumers prioritizing experiences over physical goods, alternative accommodation is booming. From glamping to hostels, there are many interesting alternatives out there that can help you save money on your travels without sacrificing comfort.
For example, if you’re traveling in a city with an active college campus, you might be able to rent out student housing for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. This is a great option for travelers who want to experience life as a college student (though we’d recommend skipping the alcohol and partying). Plus, staying in university housing can be a great way to save money on food and drinks since most colleges are known for their affordable eateries and bars. If you’re willing to be a little more adventurous, there are also options to sleep in monasteries, synagogues, and convents for a nominal fee.
5. Join Hotel Loyalty Programs
Hotel loyalty programs are a great way to earn perks and rewards for your stay. They also provide a way for hotels to show their appreciation for loyal guests and increase guest engagement.
However, it’s important not to spread your loyalty across too many brands. This can be a waste of time and can clutter your email inbox with account statements and promotions. It’s also possible that you may not get any new member bonuses if you join too many programs at once.
Aside from offering a variety of perks, hotel loyalty programs can also help you save money on your hotel stay. For example, some hotels offer members-only rates that are usually cheaper than non-member rates. Moreover, some hotels even offer complimentary room upgrades for members who book through their direct website.
However, it’s important for hotels to make sure their pricing is competitive and that they’re not losing bookings to OTAs. They can do this by maintaining competitive prices and updated availability on their own websites, or by offering a unique direct booking incentive like free breakfast or an exclusive inclusion.
6. Don’t Overbook
Hotels must be very careful not to overbook because it can lead to lost revenue and a bad reputation. In addition, it’s important for hotels to balance thriftiness with excellent customer experiences that keep people coming back.
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent overbooking. For example, hotels can use data-driven methods to analyze current and forecast bookings and availability. This will allow them to predict the likelihood of an overbooking and make adjustments accordingly.
In addition, hotels can also reduce expenses by implementing new technology and streamlining processes. For example, they can replace traditional paper products like newspapers and magazines with digital subscription services that offer a similar experience at a fraction of the cost. This can help hotels save money on supplies and other operating costs while also reducing waste.
Another way to prevent overbooking is by only selling rooms that are guaranteed to be available. This can help ensure that guests get the room they want, which in turn will reduce guest frustration and improve loyalty. To do this, hotels can identify high-value guests, such as VIPs, families, loyalty program members, and travelers who are arriving late. They can also limit the number of one-night stays or discount rates that can be booked at any given time.
7. Cut Your Trip Short
In some cases, you can save money by cutting your hotel stay short. However, it’s important to remember that this option is only possible if you booked a flexible rate rather than a prepaid non-refundable reservation. Additionally, some hotels offer loyalty program benefits based on the number of nights stayed, so ending your stay early may void those perks. During peak travel seasons or at hotels with high demand, you may also run into issues trying to book future stays if you cancel or shorten your reservation. For this reason, it’s often best to break your trip up into multiple reservations.