I have two passions in life.
Writing and traveling.
Unfortunately, Passion A has yet to produce the funds required to do Passion B in the manner to which I would like to become accustom.
Translation: I am too broke to travel the way I’d like to, but too stubborn to just stay my butt home.
As a result, I have had to learn how to travel on the cheap. I firmly believe that money should not keep you from your passions. Where there is a will, there is a way, and all that.
7 Ways To Save Money On A Hotel
1. Share a room. The easiest way to save money on a hotel is to split the bill. Of course, this doesn’t work if you’re sharing a room with your spouse – so I highly recommend you convince them that traveling is stupid. For your budget’s sake.
2. The more, the merrier. The more people you shove in a room, the smaller your chunk of a bill is. Don’t be afraid to cozy up to a girlfriend in a double bed. Just be sure everyone brings pajamas. See also: “you’re not too good to spend a night on the floor” and “that pull out couch represents one more person who can pay a share”.
3. Name your own price on Priceline. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by using the “name your own price” tool on Priceline. Here’s an article on how to name your own price on Priceline without getting ripped off or sleeping in the slums.
4. Eat the continental breakfast. Technically, this won’t save you money on your hotel bill, but it will take away from your overall travel expense. And if you bring back a muffin for a midday snack, you receive the Official Cheap Traveler Ninja Gold Star.
5. Book a hotel away from the tourist attractions, but on a bus line. If you’re staying in a city with great public transportation (like New York City), you can take advantage of drastically lower hotel rates by staying farther out from the “hot spots”. Just make sure you’re saving more on your hotel than what you’ll pay for a subway pass or bus ticket. Obviously.
6. Get a credit card with hotel reward points. Visa and American Express (and others, I’m sure) offer membership rewards programs that allow you to use your points towards free hotel stays. Now, I’m not suggesting you rack up credit card debt. But if you have the financial discipline to do so, get a credit card that you use to pay bills, buy groceries, get gas, and pay it off in full each month – and save up for free travel bonuses.
7. Join hotel rewards programs. Hotel rewards programs will also offer perks like free upgrades, reduced rates and, in some cases, free stays. You’ll build up these points faster if you find a family of hotels that you like and stick with booking within that chain.
Do you find creative ways to stretch your travel budget? What’s your top secret tip for saving money on a hotel?
Photo by psd on Flickr.