Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to find cheap hotel rates

Memorial Day weekend has officially kicked off the start of summer. The weather has been warm and sunny. Summer vacations are just around the corner. My family is always up for traveling. This year is no exception. 

Econo Lodge
The problem is that our budget is more limited than it has been in years past. Finding the cheapest hotel prices is essential to anyone who likes to travel.

My blog readers often ask how I manage to find deals and cheap hotel rates. It takes work but there's no big secret to finding the best deals.

AAA
One of my strategies for finding cheap hotel rates is to use my automobile club membership. Many locations offer AAA discounts nationwide. I always ask about a discount when reserving the room or comparing prices online.

Wholesale Club
Several months ago I phoned Choice Hotels to ask about rates for a stay the following night. Imagine my surprise when the reservations agent asked if I had a wholesale club membership? If the card would have been with me I could have gotten a better cheap hotel rate.

Rewards Programs
Choice Hotels is the reward program I use most often. Points are accumulated by frequent stays and traveling. These can be cashed in for free nights or gift cards. Sometimes a discount applies to the room. If not, the AAA or AARP membership can earn a discount.

Coupon Books
There are found at rest areas and welcome centers. Some of the lowest cheap hotel rates that I have ever gotten have come from using these coupons.

Negotiate
If several hotels are close together and traffic seems to be slow ask for a discount. Many places would rather take an extra discount on the room than to lose business. You may be surprised to the kind of cheap hotel rates that you can get by asking.