Invest in a AAA Membership
Did you know that investing in a AAA membership can save you on average 5-10% on your hotel bookings? There are also other great perks as well. For example, rates booked through AAA are usually able to be canceled up until the day of check-in. This can offer a fair share of flexibility to your travel plans.
Utilize Hotel Credit Card Bonuses
Matt Kepnes who blogs as “Nomadic Matt” has been a world traveler since 2006 and is all about saving money. He is a huge supporter of applying for hotel credit cards that provide substantial sign-up bonuses. Many of these perks can end up equaling up to a week of free accommodations! How awesome is that?
Make Use of the Shower Cap
Do people really use a shower cap in 2019? It seems like hotels still provide them, although no one really uses them. Well, we’ve got a solution for you. The next time you’re staying at a hotel and need to pack away your shoes, simply wrap them in a shower cap. You won’t have to worry about your clothes getting dirty, and your shoes will also stay clean! It’s a win/win!
Bidding Sites Are Awesome
Booking hotels on bidding sites like Priceline and Hotwire is a great way to save money during your travels. The discounts are deep and you can get great rates on four and five-star hotels. The only downside is you usually don’t know what hotel you will be staying at until AFTER your bid is accepted, although the outcome is usually a positive one for most travelers.
Towel Heaters Are Excellent Clothes Dryers
There’s nothing worse than being stuck with wet clothes while you’re traveling. Thankfully, we’ve got a great solution for you–the towel heater. While not all hotels have these available if you’re lucky enough to have one they dry clothes incredibly well. While not perfect, it will at least allow you to avoid damp clothes in your suitcase and some unpleasant smells.
Divide Beds for Kids with Pillows
Traveling with children can be a real handful and when it comes to who gets to share the bed, you can be facing an all-out sibling war. Thankfully, this little hack will make life so much easier. Ask the front desk for extra pillows and simply divide the bed so each child has their own space. It may seem like a no-brainer, but children seem to love it!
Transfer Miles from Universal Credit Cards
Many expert travelers swear by using their universal miles and travel rewards credit cards to save a few bucks on their hotel bookings. You want to utilize cards that allow you to transfer points to any airline or hotel programs. This can lead to the redemption of free rooms. Traveling can be way more fun when it’s free!
Offer to Write a Review
Sometimes booking a great rate ahead of time isn’t possible, but Sabrina Iovino of JustOneWayTicket.com has a solution–offer to write a review. Sabrina has had great success with landing deals and upgrades right at check-in by offering to give a great write up on the hotel.
“It helps to mention something like ‘are you also on TripAdvisor? I’d love to write a review— sometimes it leads to an upgrade, better rooms, or a free breakfast.”
Book Longer Stays for Lower Rates
You may think to stay at a hotel for a longer period of time is going to break your bank account, but it’s actually the opposite. Booking longer stays can sometimes qualify you for a lower room rate. It’s definitely worth inquiring about if you’re planning an extended stay and want to save a few bucks.
Ask for Dishes
Due to most hotels having a complimentary breakfast, you can usually ask for dishes at the front desk for your room. This allows you to stock up on essentials in the morning, as well as cook in your room later. This can be a huge money saver since you won’t be forced to eat out every meal. Seriously, spend your money on fun activities, not overpriced dinners!
Ditch the “Clean Room” Sign
When it comes to keeping your valuables safe, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and not advertise that you are out of the room when staying at a hotel. We don’t care if it’s a 5-star luxury resort, you always want to be careful. That’s why most travel experts recommend ditching the “Clean Room” sign. Why alert the whole building you’re not in?
Enhance Your TV Experience with a Streaming Service
Let’s be honest here, a hotel usually offers the bare minimum when it comes to in-room entertainment. The cable is basic and the pay-per-view movies cost a fortune. However, there is a way around this if you have an Amazon Firestick. Just plug it in, connect to the Wi-Fi and you’ve got all the entertainment you need and can bypass the hotel’s lousy three channels.
Upgrade Your Status Through Credit Card
Depending on the hotel credit card you have and the perks available, you can usually upgrade your status (and room rates). Many times other hotels will match your upgraded status as well. It’s important to be on top of your perks, rewards, etc. so you can negotiate the best rates possible when you travel.
Book on Sites with Loyalty Benefits
Loyalty Benefits are a wonderful thing. If you choose to stick with one hotel chain, the more you stay, the more reward points you can earn for better perks. This can lead to free nights at your favorite hotels! And if you don’t want to be stuck at the same hotel, sites like Hotels.com offer rewards programs to earn free nights as well the more you book with them. It’s a win/win situation for the traveler on a budget.
Charge Phone with TV USB
Do you have a large family and not enough outlets in your room? Well, here’s a little tip: you can charge your phone in the TV’s USB slot. Most people wouldn’t even think to look there, but it is a great way to keep your phone charged when all other plugs are occupied. Don’t you just love a convenient life hack?
Request to See Different Rooms
Rooms in hotels can vary greatly when it comes to size and view. Most of the time, hotels will try to offload the least desirable rooms first. Therefore, we recommend asking to see a few different rooms when you arrive. Rather than getting stuck in a dark, damp room with a view of the neighboring building, you could end up with a bright room with an incredible view. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Write the Manager for Better Rates
Sometimes (not all the time) it’s worth emailing the general manager of the hotel to inquire about better rates. One professional traveler revealed that after having a subpar stay at a resort, she emailed the general manager about the issues. She was immediately upgraded to a better room and rate for her next stay. Now, she emails the general manager before booking to lock in a great rate. Sometimes a simple email can go a long way.
Check for Price Match Guarantees
Some booking sites will offer price match guarantees if you find a better deal elsewhere. If there’s a certain hotel you love or site you use that has loyalty perks, but not the rate you see advertised elsewhere, just ask for a price match! You can end up saving money plus earning the rewards you are used to!
Go with Groupon
Groupon is a wonderful way to travel on a budget. Period. The deals you can find on hotel rooms and all-inclusive travel packages are almost criminal in terms of price. However, it’s important you look up reviews on the resorts and the package itself from others who have purchased it. Many times the hotels used in these deals aren’t worth the savings.
Disable Thermostat Motion Sensors
There’s nothing worse than spending the day at a hot theme park and returning to a stifling hot hotel room. This usually happens because the thermostat is on a motion sensor. Thankfully, these can easily be disabled so you can keep your room icy cold. This also works throughout the night when you are sleeping and don’t have to worry about tossing and turning to keep the AC on.
A $20 Can Work Wonders
This may seem in poor taste, but when push comes to shove a little bribery can work wonders. One frequent traveler to Las Vegas swears by passing over a $20 at check-in which has resulted in upgraded rooms and better views. Sometimes a little cash can go a long way in terms of savings.
Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” Sign
The fewer people in and out of your room the better, this includes the cleaning lady. If you don’t want to risk your valuables being snatched or your stuff being rifled through, we recommend always having your “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. If you need clean towels or sheets, simply request them from the front desk. This keeps you and only you in your room.
Keep the Power On With Spare Key Card
Did you know that many times hotel rooms shut the power off to rooms when people aren’t in them? It’s a cost-saving measure, but can be a real pain if you’ve left devices charging while you’re out and about. A simple solution is to stick a credit card or old membership card in the slot when you’re out of the room. It will keep the power on.
Tell the Hotel It’s A Special Occasion
Sometimes you can get great rates and upgraded rooms if you call ahead and say it’s for a special occasion. Whether it’s your birthday, anniversary or honeymoon, some hotels are willing to go the extra mile to make the day special for their guests. Also, booking during holidays can get you great deals as well. It’s all about communicating with the hotel and asking.
Iron Board Dining Table
Traveling with kids is always a challenge, and eating out every meal can be a real pain. Therefore, turning the ironing board into a makeshift table, and dining in the room can be a real money saver and also keep your stress levels down. “Use what you got to” is our motto.
Enjoy Instant Foods with the Coffee Maker
The coffee maker isn’t just for coffee people! If you’re traveling on a budget and don’t want to waste money on food, all you need to do is utilize your coffee maker. It can make instant oatmeal, mac and cheese, and even ramen! Just make sure to give it a thorough cleaning after each use. Nothing tastes worse than coffee with a hint of cheddar.
Dryer Sheets in Luggage for Odor
Anyone who has traveled extensively knows that your dirty clothes can start to smell real quick. And the last thing you want is to taint your clean clothes too. Thankfully, this simple hack will solve your problems, just add dryer sheets to your luggage. They will keep things smelling fresh and you won’t have to worry about the “travel funk.”
Damp Towel to Humidify the Room
Sometimes you’ll walk into your hotel room and get hit by a wave of heat and humidity. To be frank, it’s gross. Thankfully, a simple solution is to put a damp towel in front of the AC unit. It will help dehumidify the room and get rid of any odd odor that’s built up in the place.
Amazon Prime Now offers a wonderful grocery delivery service that’s perfect for your hotel stay. Why spend hundreds of dollars eating out when you can have groceries delivered and eat at the hotel? If your room comes with a fridge or a kitchen, you’ve got it made. And even if it doesn’t, a hot plate can work wonders to cook up some warm meals.
Combat Wrinkled Clothes with Shower Steam
Wrinkled clothes can be a real problem when you travel, but here’s a quick hack. After you’ve taken a steamy hot shower, hang your clothes in the steam for a few minutes. Those wrinkles won’t know what hit ’em!