Accommodation makes up one of the “Big Three” travel expenditures, so finding ways to save big on hotel discounts, and coupons will help you save significantly on your travel costs. You need not even compromise comfort when you are on the road; you just need to be resourceful, patient, and polite when seeking out accommodation freebies or price cuts. Here are some of the more popular places to look to for saving on your hotel and free up some of your cash for spending money.
1. Look up travel aggregator sites online. There’s virtually an ocean of information out there on the Web. Instead of looking up individual hotels; however, you can utilize the aggregator sites "deep-linking" arrangement with hotel websites, so you pull up price comparisons with just a few clicks. Then, instead of booking online with them, get the phone number of the hotel you are interested in and call them directly to confirm if the deals mentioned online are indeed up for grabs. Often, you will find that talking to the front desk directly yields better prices than if you were to book online with an aggregator site.
2. Get alerts from coupon sites online. There is a plethora of sites that deliver coupons exclusive to travel. Consider subscribing to them to get in the loop, so you snag hotel coupons and discounts as they are rolled out. Here are some of the websites you can check out.
3. Snoop around online travel agencies. Check out the information put out by travel agencies that often partner with a broader network of hotels, so you’ll have better choices. You can then opt to book online or book directly with the hotel. In most cases, it is far safer (and cheaper) to deal directly with the reservation desk of the hotel you plan to stay in as hotel employees have more access to better deals than the ones they made available to partner agencies.
4. Browse through the pages of travel magazines and newspapers. Coupons can be found inserted in newspapers and glossies, so if you are still in the pre-travel stage, it helps to scout coupons in between pages. The partner hotel may not be within your preference or price range, but you can use it as a point of comparison when shopping around.
5. Enroll in a travel club. For an upfront membership fee, you get access to discounts and coupons, not only for hotels but also for airfare, transportation, food, and travel insurance. You need to be a frequent traveler; however, in order to recoup your membership fee and enjoy other perks.
6. Convert your frequent-flier miles. Depending on how the partnership between the airline and hotel is arranged, you might either get to enjoy a free night in a hotel of the airline’s choice, stay on the third or fourth night free, make use of a straight-up discount, receive preferential treatment during peak travel season, or simply get upgraded for free to a room with a view or better amenities.
7. Book your room during off-peak seasons. It stands to reason that the best time to book a room for cheaper than its advertised price is when no one else wants it. Travel during off-peak, or even “shoulder” seasons (the week before or after the peak window), and you are likely to get the same room for a much lower price than if you were to stay in it with crowds of travellers competing for accommodation. If you must travel with everyone descending on the same destination on the same weekend, book far ahead of your planned travel date, and you are likely to get the cheapest available room of the same quality, albeit with a lesser square footage.
8. Inquire about discounts available for certain memberships. Chain hotels often have discounts available for members of AAA and AARP or travellers coming in for business or government conventions. Do not overlook corporate discounts as well as discounts extended to visitors who need to stay longer for purposes of medical treatment.
With so many options on how to get hotel's discounts and coupons online or otherwise, you need not to pay the hotel’s published room rates. Keep your eyes open, ask around, and negotiate—politely—if necessary.