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10 Ways to Save on Hotel Stays

Leave more room for the rest of your vacation budget.

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Hotel stays can take a big bite out of your vacation budget, but there are ways to cut back. With some wise planning and responsible choices, you can spend less on your hotel stay without compromising on your comfort, leaving more room in your vacation budget for other expenses. Here are 10 ways to save on hotel stays.

1. Book directly with the hotel.

Many hotels offer discounts or perks for booking directly with them instead of through a travel site. These perks can include free breakfast, room upgrades and late checkout. Also, when you book directly with the hotel, you have more control over your reservation. If you need to make changes or cancel your reservation, it’s often easier to do so when you book directly with the hotel.

2. Use hotel loyalty programs.

Many hotel chains offer loyalty programs that allow you to earn points for each stay. These points can be redeemed for free nights, upgrades and other perks. Signing up for a loyalty program is often free, and it can be a great way to save money on future hotel stays. Additionally, some hotel loyalty programs offer elite status to members who stay frequently. This usually includes additional perks and conveniences like free breakfast, lounge access and late checkout.

3. Check for hotel deals.

Before you book a hotel, be sure to check for deals and discounts. Many hotels offer discounts for military personnel, government employees, seniors and AAA members. You can also find hotel deals on third-party websites like Expedia, Priceline and Hotwire. These websites often offer discounts on hotel rooms, flights and rental cars.

4. Ask for a room upgrade.

It never hurts to ask for an upgrade! When you check in, politely ask the front desk if there are any upgrades available. If there are, they may offer it to you at no extra cost. Also, if you have elite status with a hotel loyalty program, you may be eligible for a room upgrade. Don’t forget to mention your elite status when you check in.

5. Be flexible with your travel dates.

When demand is down, rates go down, too. If you haven’t yet set an exact date for your vacation, consider traveling during off-peak times to save big on your hotel stay. By booking your stay during off-season or mid-week, you can score a great deal.

6. Bring your own amenities.

To save money and make your hotel stay more comfortable, consider bringing your own amenities. This can include all toiletries, snacks and even a pillow. By bringing your own amenities, you can avoid paying the high prices that hotels often charge for these items.

7. Book early.

Last-minute stays are nearly always more expensive than advance bookings. Hotels may also offer discounts for early bookings. As soon as you have your vacation dates planned, look for deals at hotels at your destination, so you can book your stay as early as possible.

8. Use all free amenities.

Many hotels offer amenities like a complimentary breakfast, fitness centers and swimming pools. To make the most of your stay, be sure to take advantage of these amenities. This way, you’ll save money on food and entertainment outside the hotel.

9. Check for hidden fees.

Before you book a hotel, be sure to check for hidden fees and charges. These fees can include resort fees, parking fees and internet fees. Some hotels may also charge fees for early check-in or late checkout. Unfortunately, a dirt-cheap rate often comes with so many fees attached that, by the time you’ve finished paying for them, the rate is not that cheap after all. To avoid these fees, be sure to read the fine print before you book a hotel. Additionally, if you’re unsure about any fees, be sure to ask the hotel directly.

10. Book on a weekend.

While weekends at hotels often have the highest rates, they’re the ideal time for booking a stay. In the months and weeks leading up to your vacation, spend some time each weekend looking for great deals on hotel stays at your destination.

Have a safe, enjoyable and budget-friendly stay!

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CUNA 2023 diamond award trophy icon

CUNA 2023 Diamond Award Winner

Financial Education

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