Beginner Travelers: How to Score Cheap Hotel Rooms

Traveling to new places is great fun, and it’s even better when your hotel room doesn’t cost a fortune. The smartest travelers know there are deals out there for saving on hotels. The trick to scoring a cheap hotel rate is to use the Internet and well-known travel deals sites to research and compare prices. These tips might help you find some of the best rates and keep a little bit of spending money in your wallet.

Travel Dates/Locations

Flexibility is the key to saving on hotels and airfares when traveling. Typically, hotels charge the highest rates during busy seasons. Right after the tourist season, many hotels almost empty out, and they are anxious to fill empty rooms. So, if you can travel right before or after the busy season, you’ll usually score lower hotel rates.

Hotels located the closest to major tourist destinations always charge the highest rates. People choose these hotels because of location and convenience. However, you can get cheaper hotel rates by staying at a hotel just a little further away from your true destination.

For example, if your destination is Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, you could probably get much better rates staying in a hotel in Santa Ana or Fullerton. Granted, you’ll spend a little more on gas, but it won’t cost as much as paying top dollar for expensive tourist hotels.

Searching Online Websites

After narrowing down your travel dates and desired destination, you should take advantage of several online websites to search for cheap hotels.

Priceline.com

Priceline is a website that allows you to search for car rentals, flights and hotels by stating the price you’re willing to pay. In some instances, you may save as much as 60 percent when looking for hotels. You should be aware that you may have to be somewhat flexible about your travel dates, but this site could provide great savings.

Expedia.com

Expedia is another well-known website for discount travel arrangements. They offer vacation packages, flights and inexpensive rates on hotels. They even have a guarantee. If you find a cheaper rate within one day after booking through their services, you’ll get the difference refunded.

StudentUniverse.com

StudentUniverse offers discounts on a variety of travel plans for young people under 25, university administrators, professors and students. If you meet any of these requirements, it may be worth visiting their website.

Groupon.com

Most people think Groupon mainly deals with discount tickets to events and activities. However, they also have travel plan discounts, and you just might find a good deal for a clean and inexpensive hotel.

Hotwire.com

Hotwire is well known for not only good hotel prices but also entire travel packages. Booking your hotel and airfare all in one package is a great way to save, and it makes vacation planning so much easier.

Bookingbuddy.com

Use BookingBuddy to compare hotel quotes you’ve already received to many other websites. This is a wonderful way to find out if you really are getting the very best deal.

Finding Hidden Discounts

If you’re a member of a professional group, you should check with them to see if they offer member discounts on hotels. Frequently places like AAA, AARP or the American Medical Association offer special discount rates to their members.

Booking Cheaper Hotels

Consider booking hotels that don’t come with all the fancy amenities like spas, workout rooms and swimming pools. If you really don’t need Internet access, or a free breakfast, look for a basic hotel that offers a clean room at reasonable prices.

Negotiating

For one reason or another, most people never think to haggle over the price of a hotel room. However, in most instances, if the hotel has a large number of empty rooms, the manager would more than likely be glad to offer a substantial discount just to book the room. All you have to do is ask.

It really is possible to save on hotel rates if you book in advance, avoid the busy seasons and search for the best rates using travel websites. However, there are also sites that specialize in last-minute travel deals — so it’s never too late to get away from it all!

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