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Hotel Hacks to Help You save on Your Next Trip ...

By Valencia

If you're tired of paying an arm and a leg for hotel rooms, there are several hotel hacks to help you save money. Nowadays, just about everyone's interested in saving a buck. If you enjoy traveling, you may look for ways to save money on vacations and getaways. Accommodations are a huge expense, but these seven hotel hacks will keep money in your pocket.

1 Book Flight and Hotel Together

When making reservations, some people book the hotel and flight separately. However, you might save by booking a vacation package. This is one of the best hotel hacks. Several travel websites let you purchase both together, and in many cases, you receive a slight discount. Also, if you check sites such as Groupon, you can find amazing air and hotel package deals for domestic and international travel.

2 Use Your AAA Membership

AAA isn't only beneficial when you have a flat tire or other car trouble. Flash your AAA membership and save 10% off your room at most hotels. Additionally, some restaurants and tourist attractions in your destination city might give discounts if you're an active AAA member.

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3 Bring a Cooler and Hotplate

Food is another big expense when traveling on vacation. If you prefer preparing meals for your family, getting a hotel with a kitchen might be ideal, but unfortunately, you'll pay a premium. To keep your hotel cost reasonable, book a standard room, but bring a hot plate and a cooler if there isn't a refrigerator in the room. Confirm with the hotel in advance to see whether hot plates are permitted.

4 Book a Refundable Room

Sure, you can save money by booking a non-refundable room, but since hotel prices tend to fluctuate, you're better off booking a refundable room and then continuing to check rates up until the time you're scheduled to arrive. For most hotels, as long as you cancel a room before 3 PM or 4 PM on your check-in date, you won't be charged. Besides, refundable rooms provide the flexibility to cancel if your plans change at the last minute.

5 Book Directly through the Hotel

I recently tried this technique and it worked. It's smart to compare hotel rates across different travel websites, but if you call hotels directly, you might be able to snag a cheaper rate. Some hotels offer promotions and discounts that aren't advertised online.

6 Ask for a Discount or Upgrade

This doesn't happen all the time, but if you book during the off-season, or when the hotel isn't receiving a lot of business, you might be able to negotiate a discounted rate. You'll have to call the hotel directly when booking your reservation, or you can ask for an upgrade at check in.

7 Write a Review

If you’re a freelance travel writer, contact a hotel directly, speak with the manager and mention that you’re going to write a piece or review on the hotel. Since most hotels welcome the opportunity to drum up business or promote their amenities, you might receive a discounted or complimentary room. For this to work, however, the piece must be published on a high traffic website or a well-known print publication.

Getting a hotel discount isn’t rocket science. Most of the times, it’s a matter of booking at the right times and asking for better deals. What tricks have helped you save on hotels?

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