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The Best Ways to Save on Hotels

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South_agency / Getty Images

Aside from airfares, hotel stays tend to be the biggest expense when planning for a trip.

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Regardless of budget, you always want to find a hotel that is convenient and comfortable without sacrificing affordability. If you’ve been thinking of taking some time off for vacation, here are new ways you can save on hotels.

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Check Early, Check Often

While it isn’t always easy to plan a trip so far ahead of time, the price that you pay will be worth it! Whether you’re still in the planning phase or have a definite destination, start reserving early in the planning process.

One way to save money is to always opt for the “pay when arrive” option and try to avoid “non-refundable” bookings. This way, you’ll be all set with a living situation that provides you with more flexibility for any last-minute changes. Making early reservations at cancel-friendly hotels is a great way to save money without sacrificing the flexibility of your trip!

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Be a Loyal Customer to a Chain Hotel

According to data from UK transportation service website Condor Ferries, 83% of American adults prefer to book their travel through travel agencies’ mobile apps for the best price.

However, contrary to many beliefs, hotel websites are actually competing with third-party travel companies by offering a “member’s rate” — a rate that is lower than their competitors and only offered to customers who are enrolled in their loyalty program.

With no required fee, why shouldn’t you sign up? Weekly or monthly newsletters from hotels will keep you updated with the latest lowest prices and any promotions. And loyal members are likely to receive prioritization on the hotel’s availability, making the reservation process much quicker and efficient.

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Earn Rewards Through Partnering Credit Card Companies

It’s highly recommended to use a credit card when booking a trip since credit cards may offer customers better fraud protection and travel insurance than debit cards or cash.

Additionally, using a travel credit card will allow you to receive more rewards points which could go towards your future trips. Some credit card companies such as American Express and Chase also partner with airlines and hotels. With a lower cost of travel and earning more points, it’s a win-win situation.

Make Your Money Work for You
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Pack Your Own Liquor

For adult travelers, a vacation may not be complete without a little “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” session. Minibars at hotels are usually costly and overpriced, mostly because you’re paying for the experience and convenience. 

Instead of grabbing a cool one out of the minibar or ordering a room service bottle of wine, pick up a 6-pack or bottle of your favorite liquor from a grocery store nearby and enjoy it in the hotel room. You can put the money you save towards more activities on your vacay.

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Bundle Your Stay With Parking

If you’re staying at an airport hotel the night before an early flight, it’s easier and cheaper to bundle your parking with your hotel stay — which comes at a fraction of a cost compared to the parking rates at the airport. 

However, if you are driving to your destination, bundle parking with your hotel stays, too! Chances are, it’ll be cheaper to park at your hotel compared to having to spring for the parking meter all day every day. Plus, the hassle of finding a parking spot is the last thing you want to deal with during a vacation.

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Check-In Early, Check-Out Late

Most hotels’ check-ins are around 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. while check-outs are usually sometime between 11 a.m. to noon. When you are already paying for your hotel stays, take advantage of that — check-in early and check-out late to maximize the price for what you pay for, that is if you can of course. If you need to stay longer but not the entire night, some hotels will allow you a few more hours at a cut rate.

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