Tips, tricks and tools to save on your next stay

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Travelers often spend a large portion of their travel budget on sleeping. But there are ways to cut those costs – sometimes by planning ahead and other times by doing the exact opposite.

To plan ahead

  • Booking.com can help you find deals, whether you book well in advance or at the last minute. They group together different hotels and rentals available for the dates you select, with budgets ranging from $ 0 to $ 55 with a host of other options to help you choose your perfect place to start and end your vacation on a daily basis. The site also specifies Off-peak offers, some of which even start at under $ 40.
  • Expedia offers offers in advance as well as in the moment. They take information about your budget, destination and route to provide hotel connections. Expedia Members can also get an additional 10% discount on hotels and activities.

For the last minute getaway

  • Recently acquired by Airbnb, Hotel tonight is a great tool to get a reservation day up to 50% off. While HotelTonight is known for its same day bookings, it also offers discounts on advance bookings.

Don’t forget the discount card

  • AARP offers discounts at dozens of hotels for all budgets, from 10% off Super 8 to 5% at the Waldorf Astoria. as well as perks like late check-out.
  • AAA members can find discounts on hotels using their membership number and AAA number hotel search tool.
  • If you are a member of Costco and live in the United States, you are eligible for the company’s travel deals that include hotel reservations. The company is a partner of hotel chains such as Hyatt and Fairmont. Its website also promotes “Hot Buy” package options. At the time of publication, the destinations offered included Hawaii, Orlando, Cancun, and Jamaica. They also have cruise packages.

How to visit Las Vegas on the cheap: Free activities, budget buffets and where to find deals

Always keep an eye on

  • Use social media to keep track of your favorite properties – and the ones you’re dying to try. That way, you are more likely to find out about any kind of offer or promotion that might come up. And it’s not just the big chains that have deals – sometimes smaller boutique hotels hand out secret passwords for discounts as well.
  • Investigate your benefits of alumni. For example, the University of California Santa Barbara offer alumni up to half as much at hotels like Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Hilton and Omni, among others. And Columbia university graduates can get 26% off hotel rates around the world by using Hotel engine.
  • Join any available Loyalty programs at your favorite hotels to receive discounts and other benefits. In 2019, US News & World Report named Marriott Bonvoy the best rewards program for the third year in a row.
  • To verify military discounts. Many chains offer them; however, they vary widely as to who is eligible to receive them. Some extend their discounts to dependents, veterans and retirees while others limit the privilege to active duty, reserve or National Guard troops. And if anyone in your party books the reservation using a military discount, don’t forget to bring ID.

When booking, keep in mind that companies may add additional fees and other hidden costs to your tab. Some hotels charge a daily fee for parking, while living expenses are also on the rise in places like Las Vegas.

Follow Morgan Hines on Twitter: @MorganEmHines.

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