9 Hacks to Save Money on a Hotel Room

by Female Abroad

Hotels can be luxurious and pricey but if you stick to a few straightforward suggestions, you can find fantastic hotel rates. Here are some of our hotel "hacks" to save when booking a hotel room.

How to Hack Hotel Prices

  1. Sign up for a price tracker.
    Kayak.com actually features a price drop alert that you can sign up for. It is setup so that as soon as the price drops on the hotel and room you pick, they will send an alert to your phone (make sure to have notifications turned on).

  2. Last-Minute Reservations
    If you can wait until the last minute, you may be able to save big and score on a last-minute room cancellation. As the room will be paid for as per the person's cancellation policy agreement with the hotel, the hotel will usually put the room back out for sale to see if they can make some more money off of it. So if you can be flexible, check the hotel's website throughout the day or pickup the phone and call to ask if they have space (call the hotel's front desk and not the reservation hotline as they see different availability and prices).

  3. Coupons or Group Deals
    Do you remember Groupon? Living Social? Lime & Tonic? It is time to give them a shot and see if there are any coupons. Also sign up for the hotel's emails and follow them on social media, as they will sometimes release coupons or deals to people on their mailing list or social media (usually Twitter).

  4. Check your credit card.
    Does your credit card rack up points that you can redeem towards your trip? Do you get cash back on travel? Are there any partnerships with any hotel chains? You may be surprised at what your credit card actually has to offer.

  5. Check out any membership, age, or demographic discounts
    Military member? Traveling for a funeral or medical reason? Member of AAA or BCAA? Over 65 years of age? All of these may score you a deal. If you cannot see anything on the website, then pick up the phone and call the hotel to ask.

  6. Check out SnapTravel or Hotel Tonight.
    I've used SnapTravel but heard that Hotel Tonight is also trustworthy. Snaptravel texts or messages you on Facebook Messenger about deals for the city that you are looking for. Hotel Tonight is where some hotel chains will list their last-minute rooms (a la the cancelation idea listed above).

  7. Book a Year Out
    Hotels usually release their hotel rooms a year in advance. Prices are based on a rolling average over the last five years, and as the hotel fills up, prices increase. As long as you don't book a full-price, non-refundable room, if for some reason the price does go down, you can always rebook at the lower price. I always try to book as far out as possible; it is how I've stayed in Diamond-level hotels and on Club Floors for less than $ 200 per night when they go for $ 600 or more per night for a standard room come check-in.

  8. Reach out to the hotel directly.
    A lot of hotels have a general reservations phone number, but some chains actually just "sell" their name to a property and actually have no hand in the day-to-day running of the hotel. This is why it is best to call the hotel directly (if you can find the phone number) and speak to them about making a reservation. They can usually undercut what the general reservation phone number and website will provide. Worst-case scenario, you end up with a room at the same price you were originally quoted.

  9. Go during the shoulder / low season.
    If you do not have to go during high season (generally when the kids are out of school, the weather is the best, and holidays) then you can save a lot of money by travelling when it is quieter. Hotels will want to fill rooms so they can offer deep discounts or additional value add-ons (breakfast, spa credits, etc).