As my regular readers already know, I recently came off a 2 week stay at a motel in between the end of our stay at our old place the beginning of our stay at our new home. So I thought I’d share some tips on saving money on hotel rooms.
It seems that every part of traveling is expensive and few things vary in price for basically the same item as motel rooms. Doing a quick check on Expedia, I found that room prices in nearby vary from under $50 on the low-end to nearly $300 per night for the Four Seasons!
Doing the math on the Four Seasons, that works out to basically renting a studio apartment for a mere nine grand per month.
Are are the three most important things to consider in real estate? Location, location, location. The same holds true for hotels. If you are going to a convention, the savings from a cheaper motel across town may be eaten up by having to pay for daily transportation.
Staying in town as we were, we had our own car to drive around, but we spent the extra $10 per week to stay at the motel that was 5 miles from my wife’s job instead of 15. Doing this, we saved more than that amount in gas.
If you are stuck in a motel room for a week or more, look into places that offer a weekly rate. Motel 6 weekly rates are 60% of a week’s worth of their daily rate!
Also, for extended stays, spring for the room with the mini-fridge and microwave. You will save a ton by buying some simple groceries to prepare in your room instead of having to eat out 3 times per day.
Lastly, laundry becomes an issue. I’ve found that guest-only laundry facilities at motels are cheaper than laundromats. The longer you stay, or the more clothing you consume, the more this becomes an issue.
Apply for rewards cards
I’m not talking about credit card rewards. Many hotel chains these days offer membership rewards. Usually, the rewards are things like stay 3 nights, get one free. But some chains give you the discount up-front. Best Value Inn provides members with a 15% savings. And if you aren’t a member of their “value club” at booking, simply sign up online and get your membership number in an email to use right away.
Speaking of discounts, take stock of your memberships. AAA has worked discounts with most hotel chains. If you are traveling with someone over the age of 60, you can often get a senior discount. And it never hurts to do a quick search for discount codes.
Skip Hotel amenities
Many hotels throw in all sorts of amenities to attract guests. Unless there is some MUST-HAVE feature, ignore the list of amenities. A pool doesn’t do you much good if you aren’t bringing your swimsuit. And if the continental breakfast isn’t out yet before you leave, or gone before you wake up, that’s just wasted money.
I didn’t bring my coffee maker with me because I could get complimentary coffee in the lobby. You know how many times I got my free cup in 12 mornings? Twice. It didn’t help that it was during this time that I tried my hand at being a newspaper carrier and needed my coffee at night instead of the morning.
Avoid the food served by the hotel (aside from complimentary breakfast and/or coffee). Room service prices can be marked up as much as 500% compared to a restaurant. And those little bottles of alcohol can be as pricy as their bigger brothers!
Try to plan your meals out ahead of time. Just as room service is an expensive way to eat, restaurants nearby are usually more expensive to take advantage of clueless tourists. Or skip the entire hassle and bring these 11 Must Have Tools for Cooking on the Road and eat for a fraction of the cost of dining out.
If you are traveling with a pet, make sure the pet can stay in your room with you and inquire about any additional costs. There not being any extra charge for our Trident was the deciding factor for us to go with Motel 6 instead of America’s Best Value Inn.
Giveaway from Rather-Be-Shopping
Today I’m taking part in another giveaway. These suckers are starting to pile up. For that I apologize. I’ll back off of these for a while. But for now, enjoy this $500 raffle:
a Rafflecopter giveaway