4 Tips to Save on Hotel Rooms

With summer around the corner, you may have started planning your well-deserved vacation. One of the most complicated aspects of planning the perfect vacation is finding an affordable hotel. Sometimes you end up paying hundreds of dollars for a hotel not worth the money. Or sometimes you find a cheap hotel that doesn’t meet your expectations.

So, how do you find a comfortable and affordable place to stay during your vacation?
First, you should know that the average hotel room prices across the world increased 3 percent, according to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index. When examining the United States, hotel room prices in Austin experienced the largest annual increase, rising 9 percent in 2012, the report said. This was followed closely by hotel rooms in other cities, such as San Antonio and Big Sur, California.

It’s smart to avoid these cities when planning your vacation and to maximize your savings follow these tips:

Stay with friends and family

Spending time in a hotel room can be a lot of fun, but it may not be necessary. If you have friends and family living close to your next vacation destination, see if they can put you and your household up for a few nights. Just make sure you don’t show up empty-handed. A small offering, such as a bottle of wine or taking your hosts out to dinner while you’re there can show them you appreciate their hospitality.

Hotels off the beaten path

To keep from incurring more credit card debt on your next vacation, opting for a hotel far from tourist hotspots and city centers could be a great way to save. Although you may end up spending a bit more getting around once you arrive at your destination, chances are this cost will be much lower than the paying for an expensive hotel room.

Get an American Automobile Association (AAA) membership

An AAA membership costs about $40-$80 depending on where you live, but it’s well worth it if you stay at hotels every year. The membership can save you up to 50 percent on hotel rooms at large hotel chains such as Marriott and Sheraton.

Ask for hotel discounts at work

One easy way to make your vacation cheaper is by checking if your employer offers hotel discounts. Also, if you have family members or friends who work in the hotel industry, ask them if they can give you a “family and friends discount.” This discount could save you from 10 to 40 percent on a hotel room. Just make sure that this rate is cheaper than any other deals offered online.