11 tricks that will make you get a cheap hotel room
You might have heard plenty of tips from regular travelers on how to hack a good hotel room and still have enough money to get those gifts from the trip.
Staying at a hotel can be the most expensive part of a trip, but it doesn’t need to be.
From travelling off-season to booking a stay on certain days of the week, there are a number of ways to save money on accommodation.
We found this Business Insider interview with Cheryl Rosner, co-founder and CEO of the hotel booking website Stayful and former president of Hotels.com and Expedia Corporate Travel, for her advice on getting a cheap hotel room.
Here are her 11 top money-saving tips:
1 – Don’t ask for an upgrade.
Many guests think asking for a larger room will help them get one, but Rosner advises against this. Instead, she recommends that guests staying at a hotel during a quiet time — midweek at a resort hotel, or at the weekend in a popular business hotel — ask to “experience” another type of room.
“I will ask, ‘If you happen to have a suite available I would love to experience it.’ As a result I get upgraded a lot,” Rosner said. “The hotel knows because I’ve asked if I can experience it that I intend to share my experience.”
2 – Book another guest’s cancelled room.
This works especially well if you’re looking to get a low-priced room at the last minute — even at a sold-out hotel, according to Rosner.
Contact the hotel where you’d like to stay a day or two before you plan to arrive to see if there are any cheap rooms available. “Cancellation policies are typically 24-48 hours in advance of the arrival date,” Rosner said. “One person’s cancelled room is another’s reservation!”
3 – Or book a month in advance.
If you would rather plan your trip in advance, the best time to book a hotel is around 30 days prior to your stay, Rosner says, referring to findings from Stayful.
Though if you’re planning on a somewhat last-minute trip, booking 7-10 days before you plan to arrive should turn up more affordable results as well.
4 – Include a Tuesday and Sunday in your stay.
If you can, start your hotel stay on a Tuesday. It’s “the best day of the week for saving money on booking hotels, travel and flights,” according to Rosner.
For a better deal at the weekend, include a Sunday night stay. “Most travelers book their trips for Friday and Saturday night stays,” Rosner said, explaining that there are usually more cheaper hotel rooms available on Sunday nights.
5 – Opt for a new hotel.
You might think staying at a brand-new hotel would cost more than staying at an older establishment, but Rosner explains that often hotels that have recently opened — or that are undergoing renovations — offer cheaper deals on rooms.
“Hotels are more likely to have more availability or offer discounts during this time period,” she said.
6 – Travel off-season.
Instead of going to the Caribbean islands in the winter, Rosner advises visiting in the summer. Hotels offer lower rates on rooms during their off-peak seasons, when they’re less likely to be inundated with guests, according to the booking expert.
Travelling off-peak also gives you the benefit of feeling more like a local in your destination, and will likely mean cheaper flights too.
7 – Avoid staying during big events.
Hotels hike their prices up when conferences and conventions are happening nearby. Rosner recommends doing your research to make sure your stay doesn’t fall during an unusually busy time.
If you can be flexible with your dates, book your stay at another time to ensure a cheaper room rate.
8- Sign up for hotel loyalty schemes.
“Many hotels and sites will offer special promotions and exclusive discounts for members,” Rosner said.
Simply sign up for a hotel’s email newsletter and register for an account with them to get the best treatment and save cash on your next stay.
9 – Be flexible.
Hotels love easygoing guests and many like to reward them with a better room if they can.
Tell a hotel you’re happy to stay in any type of room when you book and you’re more likely to get a discount on the best available room, according to Rosner.
10 – Plan your stay during a quiet time for the hotel.
If a hotel has a number of empty rooms, your chances of finding a lower room rate are higher. That’s why Rosner recommends booking “opposite to when the majority [of hotel guests] would.”
“Hotels in business districts can offer great deals during the weekend, while resort areas should be booked midweek for savings.”
11 – Stay in a local hotel.
When everyone else has left for their summer or winter break, stay at a hotel in your area to find a cheaper deal and enjoy a luxury experience closer to home. Since you’re not travelling far, travel costs will be lower as well.
“You are more likely to get a better deal when everyone else is getting out of town,” Rosner said.