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Tips For Finding Great Hotel Deals
By Melissa Bailey on Feb 15 2014, 12:40 PM
Everyone has that friend that knows how to find incredible hotel deals. It seems like they are constantly receiving 2-star prices for great deals on 4-star hotels. Here are some tips to help you get incredible deals on hotels to maximize your travel budget:

1. Always check hotel websites
While discount websites are popular, it never hurts to check the hotel website to see if they are offering the same deal. This can often give you more flexibility when it comes to cancellation and can also earn points for reward programs. Some hotel chains won't let you earn points for your stay if booked through a third party. If you find a better deal on a travel website, it never hurts to call the hotel directly and see if they'll match the offer.

2. If possible, wait until the last minute
Some of my best hotel deals have happened when I waited until the very last minute to book my hotel. For example, my husband and I received a great deal on a 4-star hotel in downtown Chicago on the riverfront. We paid $75 (all taxes included) for the one night stay by booking the hotel in the car on the way downtown.

3. If you feel daring, book through a blind search
Many popular websites offer significantly reduced hotel stays when you agree to find out the name of the hotel AFTER the booking. This is a great way to get a 4-star hotel for dirt cheap if you are willing to take the risk.

4. Always search for discount codes
Discount codes are often found in the least obvious places. Look for banners on hotel websites, sign up for rewards programs, and search a company's Facebook page. Do your homework to make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.

5. Consider the freebies when booking
If you are truly traveling on a budget then little freebies quickly add up. For example, if my family can stay in a hotel with free breakfast, we've just saved $30 - $40. If I can get free wi-fi, I've saved anywhere from $15-$20. Then you consider free parking that could potentially cost you $25-$30 a night in up charges. These little charges can quickly make a great hotel rate not that amazing. 

As winter is slowing fading away and Spring and Summer are coming, it's time to start thinking about Spring and Summer vacations. Keep these cost savings in mind to make sure you get an amazing hotel rate that leaves more money in your pocket for those fun vacation activities that take you out of your hotel and all over the world! 
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