Travel

How to Get the Best Deal on a Hotel

These four strategies can help you score a low price.

If you’re planning a vacation, make sure you don’t spend more than you have to on a hotel. There are several ways to score a deal on a room. Bob Diener, co-founder of Getaroom.com and former president of Hotels.com, says that these four strategies will help you get the best rate.

Advance booking. It used to be the case that you could score a deal on a hotel room by waiting until the last minute to book a stay. But Diener says that now you have to reserve a room at least 14 to 21 days in advance of a stay to get the best rate. Several hotel chains are offering special rates for advance booking, especially in California and Florida, and Hilton has been the most aggressive with its deals, Diener says.

Longer stays. The average length of a hotel stay is 2.1 nights, Diener says, adding that most hotels tend to be empty on Sunday nights. So many hotels offer a better rate if you stay three nights or more -- typically 10% to 20% off your entire stay. In some cases, staying three nights can actually be cheaper than staying two thanks to discounts. Diener recommends booking a third night in those instances even if you plan on staying just two nights.

Flash sales. Some travel sites such as Expedia offer deep discounts of 50% or more on select hotels, but the rooms must be booked during a brief window of opportunity (24 hours for Expedia; up to several days on other sites). This can be a great way to get a deal on accommodations if your plans are flexible. You can also use EveryLodge.com to search for deals on seven private flash sale sites, which offer discounts on upscale accommodations to members only (membership typically is free).

Unpublished rates. Getaroom.com may offer discounts of 10% to 20% on top of its lowest published rates online by not publishing the low rates. To get these rates, you have to call 1-800-468-3578. Diener says that more than 25,000 hotels participate in Getaroom.com’s unpublished-rates program.

Follow me on Twitter

Most Popular

When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?
Coronavirus and Your Money

When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?

President Biden and others in Congress are pushing for a third-round of stimulus checks, but it might be a while before we get them.
January 20, 2021
Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your second stimulus check.
January 18, 2021
20 Best Stocks to Buy for the Joe Biden Presidency
stocks to buy

20 Best Stocks to Buy for the Joe Biden Presidency

Joe Biden has been sworn in as America's 46th president. These are 20 of the best stocks to own under the new administration.
January 20, 2021

Recommended

A Golf Course Community’s Big Variable for Retirees
Smart Buying

A Golf Course Community’s Big Variable for Retirees

Golf club memberships can often be a separate, and hefty, annual fee at golf communities. Here's some guidance before you tee up your retirement move …
December 14, 2020
Don’t Buy This: Top 20 List of Things That Aren't Worth the Money
spending

Don’t Buy This: Top 20 List of Things That Aren't Worth the Money

Buyer’s remorse is real, and if you purchase any of these 20 items, chances are you’ll get to experience it firsthand.
December 9, 2020
Retirees, Get Ready for Virtual Video Visits for the Holidays
Smart Buying

Retirees, Get Ready for Virtual Video Visits for the Holidays

Tap into virtual video software, age-friendly gadgets, video apps and accessories to make seasonal gatherings safe.
December 4, 2020
2020 Tech Gift Guide: The 10 Best Values + The 10 Best, Period
Smart Buying

2020 Tech Gift Guide: The 10 Best Values + The 10 Best, Period

From laptops to loudspeakers to, yes, shoes. Check out the latest gee-whiz gadgets to make an impression during gift-giving season.
November 29, 2020