Mark Orwall, Travel & Leisure magazine’s international editor, recently compiled a great list of tips for saving money on hotel rooms. I’ve talked about some of these tricks before, but they’re worth summarizing and repeating.
First of all, join a hotel’s frequent guest program if they have one. That costs nothing, and even first timers get some perks. Maybe a free newspaper or breakfast or wi-fi. Kimpton Hotel’s In-Touch members even get a credit toward purchases from their room’s mini-bar.
And remember third-party websites such as Expedia and Hotels.com have their own loyalty program, and I understand Orbitz is about to launch one. Reserve rooms through those portals, and collect points redeemable for free rooms down the road.
Hotel chains such as the Fairmont and Ritz-Carlton have upgraded club floors. They can cost up to $100 more a day, but if you’re traveling as a family, getting a free breakfast, drinks and heavy snacks throughout the day, wine and nibbles in the evening, free wi-fi, and maybe a bigger room with better amenities may make that daily fee well worth it.
And time your vacations. Don’t go to Vegas when there’s a big convention in town—hotel rates can double. Visit cities on weekends when business travelers are gone, resorts on weeknights when fewer leisure travelers are looking for rooms.