If you're planning a trip but want to save as much money as possible for sightseeing and other attraction-based activities, you might be looking to spend as little as possible on your hotel accommodations. Despite your eagerness to save money, you still want to ensure that you and your family spend the night in a clean, safe location with access to a variety of amenities. The good news is that you can find a quality hotel that suits your budget-minded approach, provided that you take the right approach when you book your room. Here are some tips on saving money when booking your hotel.
Book A Non-Refundable Room
When you're booking your hotel room online, you'll often see a variety of pricing options for the same room. In many cases, the cheapest route to take is to book the room at a non-refundable rate. Sure, there's the risk that you won't get your money back if you have to cancel your stay, but if you've expertly organized your vacation, this risk is small. It's especially ideal to book non-refundable rooms early in your trip – later on, your itinerary might change because you've altered your plans, but this is often unlikely on the first few nights of the vacation.
Travel At Off-Peak Times
If you have the choice of when you wish to travel, it's often less expensive to travel at off-peak times. At any time of year, many hotels offer lower rates during the week, given that hotels are often less crowded at this time. Otherwise, booking your accommodations outside of the summer months or away from holidays such as Thanksgiving or spring break can be cost-effective, depending on where you're visiting.
Join An Association
Obtaining a membership with an organization such as the American Association of Retired Persons or American Automobile Association can often give you the ability to book hotel rooms at discounted rates. Although there is a membership fee to such organizations, it can pay for itself if you travel frequently. Check the websites of the hotels you plan to visit and see if they have partnerships with these or other organizations. If so, you can select an association-specific rate at the time that you book to save money.
Consider Extending Your Stay
If you're taking a trip during which you'll be staying at different hotels in different cities along the route, it can be beneficial to think about extending your stay at a given hotel. Many hotels offer rate reductions if you stay multiple nights – a third night at a specific hotel, for example, will often be cheaper than booking a one-night stay at a hotel in the next city you plan to visit. While you may have to alter your travel schedule slightly, doing so can save you money.