Business travelers often have to find ways to extend their travel budget, or reduce some of their travel costs. It’s possible to reduce the costs of a night in a hotel, with just a little research. These are a few ways we’ve found, thanks to a recent Business Insider article and our own travel experiences.
- Hotels located in business districts are usually not busy on the weekends and resorts are usually looking for guests mid-week, so check out these to see if you might benefit from the chain’s need to fill rooms during its off-peak time.
- Corner rooms or rooms at the end of the hall often have more square footage without an extra cost. It never hurts to ask. This won’t save you money, but will still feel like an upgrade
- If you’re hoping for an upgrade, try checking in at the end of the day and asking what’s available. Be careful to procure a reservation before arrival, though. This strategy might boomerang if you arrive late and there are only premium rooms left.
- If you have some flexibility in your arrival and departure times, as well as where you stay en route to your final destination, consider checking out Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index, or registering for alerts through Kayak. You’ll get real time information on prices paid, including taxes and fees, and when prices are dropping. It’s like having your own travel agent.
- Sign up for a hotel’s loyalty program. You’ll be able to book online, get the member rate and rack up points toward free stays later. Member rates are often some of the lowest rates available, but are only available to members — you’ll never see them on aggregation sites like Hotels.com.
- Check out coupon sites like Coupons.com or DealsPlus.com which feature entire sections of discounts for travelers.
- Skip the convention hotel. If you’re traveling to a convention, often the hotel will save a block of rooms at a “special rate.” But many times, you can find a hotel a block or two away at a lower price. Then just hang out at the convention hotel until the end of the day, and walk back to yours when it’s over.
- Membership programs like AAA, AARP, and even professional organizations offer special lodging discounts for their members. Be sure to inquire when making your reservation.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up — politely, of course — if you have a less-than-expected experience. It may result in a room upgrade, a voucher for a meal at the hotel’s restaurant, or a credit on your account.
- Book a hotel that includes breakfast, whether it’s a continental breakfast or a buffet. If you’ve got a day of meetings, you never know when or where you can find a decent breakfast, and may not have time to find it once you head out the door to your first meeting.
- Refer your friends. For example, Marriott offers 50,000 points to members of its loyalty program for referrals, and 10,000 points to your friends if they book a room thanks to your referral.
What ways have you found to save money on hotel costs during business travel? Do you have any go to strategies or “never do” areas to avoid? Tell us about it in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.
Photo credit: David Jensen (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)