Vacations are great, but they are also expensive. The biggest part of travel expense is usually air fare and accommodations. We are here to lend you a hand in savings on your stay and to make sure that you don't get discouraged from traveling because everybody needs some vacation time. Spending less on hotels means that you can allocate more money for the activities and even put away some towards your next one.
Don't ever book your hotel without checking prices on more than one source. Always go to hotel websites and then compare those rates with Booking.com, Orbitz, Kayak, and others. This way you will be able to compare many hotels and choose your stay based on specifics, such as pet-friendliness or indoor pool and get the best price doing that.
Once you have narrowed down your choice and decided on the particular hotel, give them a call or shoot them an email. You can ask if there are any specials at the moment, does the hotel offer any promotions that might not be mentioned online, and even talk about the prices you have found on travel websites. Hotels love to forego travel agencies and book directly, so you might be offered a deal that beats online price. It never hurts to ask.
Many beds & breakfasts don't have funds and desire to be on the top of search rankings, some of them don't even have websites, but will offer you an unforgettable experience, so look for them at your travel destination. Such hotels are often not only unique, but cheaper too. Ask family, friends, and locals to help you find those hidden germs.
Those websites are chock-full of offers that are not typical hotels. You can rent a huge private house or a vacation villa on the ocean for a lot less than a hotel would cost. You will often get cheaper rates and unique accommodations, especially if you travel with a big group, but your amenities and rules will be up to the owner, so read them carefully before booking.
Do that if you can for two reasons - all hotels will be cheaper and you won't have to deal with huge crowds of tourists. Even flights are cheaper during travel off-seasons. Middle of fall and spring are definitely off-seasons as most people are back to school and work.
There are times when you won't be able to find a package that will fit your needs, but if you do, you are bound to save some money. You can find those bundles on travel sites and tour sites. You can combine your air fare, hotel stay, and a rental car for some extraordinary savings. You can also find deals that include accommodations, food, and attractions for a lot less than paid for separately.
Don't forget to compare prices of all bundle components separately to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. The same goes for entertainment packages offered by resorts.
If you can stay in the middle of the week anywhere, you will save significant amount, unless, of course, you happen to visit during a world-famous convention and try to stay in downtown area.
You should sign up for as many hotel loyalty programs as you can, because why not? They are free, offer you points just for staying, and spoil you with additional perks and discounts, such as afternoon receptions and free upgrades.
You don't have to do anything outrageous to become a member of a club. AAA and AARP are clubs that can give you some serious savings while traveling. Seniors, students, and military personnel should also inquire about discounts.
This applies to everything in life - it doesn't hurt to ask. You can forgo booking sites and 1-800 hotel numbers. Call the front desk instead and you might be in luck because they might be able to offer the lowest non-refundable price. If you are not comfortable with non-refundable deal, get the lowest refundable rate and shop around for comparison. If you find something cheaper somewhere, ask the hotel to match it or upgrade your room. The worst that can happen is you will hear a no.
Hilton hotels are great; they are beautiful and trendy as long as the price is right. They are totally not cool when they are too expensive. Let's make sure we know ways to save and love those hotels from now on.
The chain functions right and makes sure the experience is always consistent. If something does go wrong once in a while, customer service is always responsive and ready to make things right.
We also love that Hilton brand hotels are not outrageously expensive, especially Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn. Who wants to stay at some shabby hotel in the name of saving a few dollars, when they can stay at those two mentioned above places and still be very frugal?
Almost all Hilton hotels offer some included perks, such as free Wi-Fi, free breakfast at Hampton Inn, and free daily receptions with complimentary food and drinks at Embassy Suites. What's not to love when it comes to these freebies?
1. Hilton Honors
This is Hilton loyalty program and yes, you should definitely become a member to collect points every time you stay at one of the hotels. All members also get free premium internet access with fast speeds. The sign up is free, so there is really no reason not to even if you travel no more than couple of times per year.
2. Online rates
The best way to book your stay at Hilton is through their website. To save even more, become an AAA member and then book it through Hilton website. The same applies to senior and military or student discounts.
3. Hilton Honors points
Every time you find a good price on Hilton and stay with them, you accumulate points. Those points will eventually grant you a free stay. This free stay depends on many variables, such as time of the year, time of the week and month, the length of your stay, and a few others. Free stay is granted for between 5,000 and 100,000 points. 30,000 seem to be an average amount, unless you are going to San Francisco or NYC, which comes close to 60,000 points on average.
4. Double stacking the benefits
It turns out, you can't do it. If you are booking your stay with points and dollars, you won't be able to also use your AAA discount, which is significant. This means that you might have to calculate if using points will be cheaper than just using AAA or any other discount and make your decision from there.
5. Splitting you reservation
If you want to use your AAA discount and still use points, consider splitting your reservation. You can pay for a few nights with dollars and the rest of the stay with points, getting all the discounts possible. This strategy is offered by Hilton itself and there is nothing wrong with it.
6. The length of stay
The longer you stay, the more you can buy with points. This is why you should use points on stays that are longer than a week and save them for future when you stay for just a few days because AAA discount works much better in such cases.
7. Customer service
If you have any questions about booking your reservation or if points discount doesn't add up, don't hesitate and call Hilton customer service representative. Ask for a manager if you have to, but make sure you explore all strategies and combinations of points and cash to get the best deals possible, always.
Marriott is a hotel chain that spans over many countries. There is a Marriott pretty much anywhere you go and it's most likely a nice one, where you would like to stay over and over again. And why wouldn't you stay there, especially when you can save money every single time?
We are here to help you save not only on the stay at Marriott, but also on spa services, food, resort fees, and even taxes. Here is how:
1. Affiliate cash back
The best site to use is TopCashBack, where you can get 8-10% cash back, deposited to your bank or PayPal account. To get this deal you also have to book directly through Marriott website forgoing all third party deal websites. The amount of savings depends on the number of nights, but it usually beats those rates you can get from travel sites like Orbitz and Travelocity:
2. Gifts cards and credits
Discounted gifts cards market is already huge and still growing. The sites that sell gift cards for just about anything make their money on commissions from every sale. People who sell their unwanted gift cards to those websites are looking for quick cash, so the relationship is beneficial for both sides. The third side, us, is also benefitting from such deals – we get gift cards that've been heavily discounted and save money right of the top, anywhere between 2% to 15% or even more.
Gift Card Granny
This website aggregates all kinds of gift cards from everywhere and should be the first place to check. They are getting gift cards from Raise, CardCash, and many others. In addition to that, they started selling their own cards with loyalty points and discount system. This last step is turning people away a little, because naturally, they are interested in selling their own cards now and are pushing them over the third party sellers. This diminishes the value and makes customers more suspicious. Their data also is not the most accurate in the business, which is why we are leaning towards GiftCardWiki.
Gift Card Wiki
This site has really strong analytics established, so you can definitely be aware of what's going on in terms of discounts and easily compare deals. The site is not very user friendly and looks like work in progress, but it's good for money saving, which is probably your ultimate goal.
The site is also an aggregation market and doesn't sell cards directly, but you can definitely find the best deal and go from there. Easy searching is the key in discounted gift card business and something consumers always want more.
This marketplace is old and well-established, they know the business and they know what they are doing. It's an excellent place for coupons and discounted gift cards, bar none. The only problem – gift cards for Marriott and discounted certificates are not always available, so you have to check often and plan in advance if you want to find something here. You might, of course, just get lucky and stumble upon a nice discount the very first time you try.
If you want to cover all your basis, you should visit more than just one gift card website. Always check out Gift Card Granny and Gift Card Wiki, because none of them compare all the gift card sellers.
Our advice is to get digital gift cards and have them immediately for your use, versus waiting for some paper ones that come in the mail. Digital gift cards are available in about 1 hour, maximum 24 hours. This way you won't have to delay your reservation.
You will have to put your credit card on file for both of these websites, but you can always pay with a gift card manually.
Many people are weary of legitimacy of those cards, and that's understandable. If you have any issues or questions, contact the seller of the gift card right away. This means that Gift Card Granny or Gift Card Wiki are not the primary sources to be contacted, talk to them only if you can't resolve your issue with the selling website directly. Most sellers have gift card guarantees for 30 days or even up to a year. You can expect full refund if the card doesn't work.