Save Big On Future Hotel Stays

Save Big On Future Hotel Stays
Many avid travelers are dreaming about traveling and are beginning to plan their future vacations. In the process, they’re booking hotels and resorts and are seeking outstanding hotel deals for their trips. In fact, a recent Vrbo research study showed that 82% of families surveyed already are making travel plans for 2021.

When you feel it’s appropriate to travel or if you're planning on booking a hotel or resort as part of a future trip, here are ten tips to help you score big savings on your next hotel stay:

1. Shop The Holiday Sales. Certain holiday sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday can yield massive savings on domestic and international hotel and resort bookings. Do a simple online search using search terms like “Black Friday Cyber Monday travel deals” to find articles and landing pages with 75-100+ of the best deals on hotels and resorts. Other holiday periods throughout the year also can also generate major hotel deals. These include Valentine’s Day, Easter/Spring Break, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. Savings during holiday sales can be as much as 35-50% off regular rates. When shopping, make sure to check out restrictions and fare additions including nonrefundable rates, mandatory resort fees, minimum stays and other caveats.

2. Compare Prices On Multiple Websites. There are numerous hotel booking sites on the Internet promising great prices. Rather than visit every one, check out sites like TripAdvisor and Trivago to see which websites are offering the best rates. Sometimes you may be surprised to find even lower deals from TripAdvisor itself. SnapTravel provides hotel deals over messaging and can be a source of great rates, too.

3. Seek Out Deals With No Cancellation Or Re-Booking Fees. Carefully read the fine print and contact potential resorts and hotels in advance to make sure you understand the cancellation policies for any property you're considering. Cancellation policies may be more liberal this year. If cancellation should become necessary, find out whether you will be receiving a cash refund or a credit for future use and if so, learn if there are black-out dates for rescheduling your trip.

4. Consult With A Travel Advisor. Travel advisors can often help you find excellent hotel deals including some that may only be available to travel advisors, and they can expertly evaluate vacation packages as well. They are often aware of unique money-saving strategies and can alert you to potential issues with cancellation and rebooking fees. More importantly, a good travel advisor can match the right options with your needs and help you plan the best travel experience for your family. Travel advisors can also be excellent risk navigators, checking on key details and getting the inside scoop on properties. They are great to have on your side when problems arise on your trip as well.

5. Play Your Cards Wisely. Membership in clubs such as AAA, AARP, Costco and Sam’s Club can generate substantial savings on hotel room rates. Make sure to inquire about reduced rates and remember to bring your card along with you to the hotel. Certain credit unions have programs that offer hotel discounts, too.

6. Book With Points. Points earned through credit card purchases can be a great way to save on hotel and resort stays. Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Card, American Express Platinum and Gold Cards, Citi Prestige Card, and hotel affiliated credit cards offer travel affiliate programs that enable members to use points for hotel stays, or to buy down the rates for certain hotels and resorts. If you’re a member, check out the various offers and options available for using your points and compare them with the best hotel prices available for your desired dates.

7. Sign Up. Join hotel guest rewards programs and sign up for their newsletters. There’s absolutely no cost to join and the benefits can be substantial. Hotel chains often sent out e-mail newsletters with special savings offers. In addition, membership in hotel guest loyalty programs can often come with additional special perks such as free Internet, room upgrades, continental breakfast, late checkouts, and other amenities. You'll also get points to use for a future free hotel stay. Some hotels offer special rates via Facebook and Twitter, so make sure to follow your favorites on social media.

8. Grab Last-minute Steals. If you're making a last-minute or same day reservation, check out sites and apps like HotelTonight and Booking.com for low rates. These are good tools for vacationers who change their plans or for those who are playing the last-minute vacancy game in hopes of getting an exceptionally low rate.

9. Skip Hotels Entirely. If you’d like to save money and get more space, consider bypassing hotels completely. Instead, choose to stay in a resort residence, condominium, villa or other type of accommodation. Rates for these properties can sometimes be 40-50% less than those charged by nearby hotels and many offer a wide range of exceptional amenities. Check out sites like Vacatia.com, HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, airbnb.com, FlipKey.com and others. Some options may require a minimum booking of two nights or more.

10. Read The Reviews. Let’s face it – a great hotel bargain isn’t much of a deal if the property’s not well-cleaned or it doesn’t fit your needs. Cleaning and sanitation are top of mind for today's travelers. Read hotel reviews on TripAdvisor and other booking sites to see what guests have experienced during their stays. Also reach out to hotels you're considering and ask specific questions about the cleaners that are being used, cleaning standards, social distancing requirements, and other safety and sanitizing topics. Learn whether HEPA filters are used at the hotel, how often common areas are disinfected, whether hand sanitizing stations are available, and what other protocols the hotel has put in place.

When booking your hotel or other accommodations in these constantly changing times, you may also want to consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance can help alleviate some of the financial risks of travel. Purchasing travel insurance as part of your booking or within 15 days of your first vacation payment can provide additional coverage for pre-existing conditions, so timing can be important. If you decide to buy travel insurance, check with trip insurance companies carefully to understand what's covered.





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Content copyright © 2019 by Nancy Schretter. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Schretter. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Nancy Schretter for details.