There are plenty of other ways to save, regardless of your destination or negotiating skills:
- Go in the off-season. If you have control over your travel dates, this is one of the best and most powerful ways to save. Off-season dates can vary from hotel to hotel, so you may want to call and ask.
- Check promotions. This might also require some flexibility in travel dates, but it never hurts to look before you book. Check a site like Hotelmine.com for special rates, Deals of the Week, Last Minute Deals, Packages, and Hot Dates & Rates. When you sign up as a Member hotels can send you special promotions that aren’t available on other websites.
- Book early. If your travel dates aren’t flexible, book as soon as you know what they are. If it’s an annual trip, for example, there’s no reason you can’t reserve months in advance while occupancy — and prices — are lower.
- Compare weekdays with weekends. Tourist-oriented hotels tend to charge more on the weekends because that’s when they get more customers. Hotels that target local businesses and events tend to charge more midweek for the same reason.
- Comparison shop. A bit of research can make competition work in your favor. Know what competitor rates are, and what amenities are included so you don’t get hit with fees for Internet, breakfast and other services.
- Join the club. If you’re a frequent traveler or typically stay in the same chain of hotels, sign up for rewards programs.
- Look farther away. While it’s nice to stay at the hotel that’s hosting the event you’re attending or is just a block away, that convenience comes at a cost. Everybody’s going to book the closest spots first, so widen the radius of your search to find hotels a little more desperate for your business.