Learn how to save on hotel rooms when planning your next vacation. If you are looking to travel with your family on a budget, these tips for saving on hotels are so helpful!
Hotel hacks to save money
Do you love staying in hotels? Or is renting a home on Airbnb and VRBO more your type? No matter how you decide to travel, it is a given that you will need a place to stay! Sometimes we go for the long-term Airbnb rental, but when we are staying somewhere for just a few nights, hotels fit the bill best. We travel often as a family and we have picked up some handy tips for saving on hotels along the way.
10 Tips on How to Save On Hotel Rooms
Looking at destinations for your next family vacation? With multiple adults and kids, the costs for transportation, lodging, food, and extras definitely add up. There are a lot of ways you can save money on hotel stays, you’ve just got to know how to do it! If you are looking to book your next hotel room on a budget, here are a few tips on finding cheap hotel prices and how to save money on hotel rooms.
1. Shop around various hotel booking sites and compare
There are so many different ways to book a hotel room. Between the many online travel search engines, hotel websites, home share options, and calling hotels directly, you can find the best price for your trip. Taking the time to compare hotel rates can save you hundreds of dollars. I like Hotels.com, they always have coupon codes and offer the best hotel rates.
I also like to compare hotel room prices on Kayak.com. They will show you the different prices offered on multiple websites and other travel search engines all at once!
2. Book your flight and hotel in a bundle
One of the most popular ways to save on a hotel room is to book all of your travel in a bundle. Travel search websites such as Hotels.com, Priceline, Kayak.com, and Orbitz offer some great discounts and perks if you can find them. They allow you to book the best flight and hotel options together and offer additional savings. Sometimes, they are allowed to offer hotel rooms on sale, so it’s a great way to save when you book everything together.
Example: Here’s a flight and hotel bundle (called Vacation Packages) from San Diego, CA to Maui, Hawaii on Hotels.com, generated Feb 20, 2021. They are offering a 19% savings if you book them together! These prices will vary based upon the origin and destination cities, the dates, flights, and hotels you choose.
3. Accumulate and use travel and hotel rewards points
I have been signing up with various airlines, hotels, and travel sites to take advantage of their reward perks. We have gotten a couple of free rooms from Hotels.com, $50 off from Expedia, a one-night stay with the Marriott Rewards program, and miles from Southwest Airlines that I have used to book hotel rooms. Every time you travel, you accrue points, so sign up for all of the free loyalty programs that you come across!
Note: This tip is not just for hotels. If you are an American Airlines or Southwest rewards member, you can actually book hotels and rental cars through their websites and earn miles!
4. Choose a hotel whose location is off the beaten path
Most travelers want to stay at the top hotels in the middle of the action. Yes, the Las Vegas strip is amazing and the center of the excitement, but if you’re on a budget, you can find hotels a few blocks over for a fraction of the cost (read our review of the Park MGM hotel in Las Vegas).
You can save by researching hotels that are off the beaten path. They will charge less due to their location. I am a fan of rideshare services like LYFT to get me where I need to go. Click my LYFT referral link to get your first ride for free!
5. Share a single room with friends and family
A great tip on how to save on hotel rooms is to bunk with more people! Staying in one room with extended family can save you a bundle, up to 50%. Instead of getting one separate hotel room for each family, bunk together and request cots from the front desk. They are normally free, but if there is a fee, it will be much less than booking a whole extra room.
If you are not into sleeping on cots, take an air mattress. We bring an air mattress and sheets any time it fits in the car. If you’re taking a road trip, pack this queen-sized air mattress and take it to your hotel room to sleep two extra people!
6. Avoid booking two rooms by staying at a suite hotel
Got a large family? Need space to sleep more than 4 people? Instead of booking two adjoining rooms, you can save money on hotel rooms by comparing the cost of renting out a suite. It’s normally just a little bit higher than a regular room, and sometimes has separate bedrooms, a pull-out sofa bed, and tends to have more space.
7. Be flexible with your travel dates
Can you leave a day earlier or stay a day later? This is one of the best ways to save on a hotel room. If your travel dates are flexible, you can search for many alternate dates and time frames to see which combination is the cheapest.
Also, if you do a little research, you’ll notice that flight fares are notoriously lower when you fly Tuesday through Thursday, with the exception of them falling on a holiday. Hotels tend to follow suit, I guess fewer people are traveling in the middle of the week. Search flight and hotel combinations here.
8. Stay at hotels with free breakfast, wifi, and other perks
Calculate the costs for a family breakfast each morning, daily wifi charges, mini bar items, and evening movie rentals… it really adds up! Learning how to save on hotel rooms means booking smart, and staying at a hotel that offers some of these perks and freebies would save my family about $200 over a 1-week stay on breakfast alone. Other perks can include shuttle service to and from the airport, evening receptions, free parking, free coffee and water in the lobby, and even warm cookies at check-in!
My family enjoyed our stay at the Best Western Plus in Palm Springs, CA. The rate was low, the property was beautiful, the breakfast was free daily, and it made our whole stay much more affordable!
9. Call the hotel directly
Sometimes hotels have unpublished specials that you can take advantage of. Occasionally, they will have a “stay 3 nights, get the 4th free” or similar type of offer that you can only get directly. They also offer discounts when you book directly through them versus booking through a third-party travel agent or website.
Currently, the Red Roof Inn has a great deal where you can save 15% on your next booking with code 614872 (also try Red Roof Inn code 621277, we are not sure if it is still valid). You won’t be able to find this special rate anywhere else!
10. Look at other options besides chain hotels
Boutique hotels, bed and breakfast, guesthouses, and even condo and house rentals are great ways to save on a hotel room, available for a fraction of the cost. To find them, do a search on the city outside of your usual travel search engines. Airbnb and VRBO are also good places to look, just be sure you factor in all costs, cleaning fees, and booking fees when you compare. I personally would not recommend a hostel for family travel.