Any traveler knows that lodging is not cheap. After all, the average hotel rate for a 3-star hotel in a major US city runs well over $100 per night. Luckily those prices aren’t set in stone.
When you’re traveling for business, your goal is to make money, not spend it--even if your hotel room is put on the company credit card. Discover how to get the best bang for your buck by saving on hotel rates with the tips below.
Do Your Homework
If you’ve ever traveled before, then you certainly know that to get a great deal you’ll want to compare hotels rates. But if you dig a little deeper, you can get even better rates.
Sites like BiddingforTravel.com and BetterBidding.com show you the success other travelers have had on bidding for hotels on sites like Hotwire and Priceline. This gives you a clearer look at which hotels are more flexible in their pricing, helping you discover better deals above and beyond what you’d find simply by comparing different sites.
Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
Snag bargains by traveling when the deals are at their best. You can always find cheaper deals when your destination is in the off-season, but you can also save by traveling during the week.
Use the Google Hotel Finder tool to find the best times to snag deals in your destination city. Simply input your destination and a rough travel window. After clicking the search button, you’ll see a bar graph icon next to your chosen dates. Click on this and you’ll see which days are the best for the lowest hotel rates.
Sometimes this isn’t always an option when you’re traveling for conferences or other scheduled events. However, you can still use tools like this to help plan your arrival and departure dates.
Budget for Amenities
When it looks like one hotel room is cheaper for the same amenities as another, you may have to dig a little deeper into what’s included with the room. If your cheap room comes with parking, airport shuttle, breakfast, coffee, Internet, etc. at a surcharge, you could save more by paying a bit extra for a room that offers these amenities for free.
Keep an eye on budget-friendly hotel chains like Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, and Fairfield Inn, which usually offer amenities like this included in the fair price of your room.
Believe it or not, it can be easy to knock a few bucks off your room by negotiating. The price you see advertised isn’t usually the lowest price the hotel will accept for a room. Instead, it’s set at a sweet spot that people are still willing to pay without feeling ripped off.
Hotel managers would rather sacrifice a few dollars for a vacant room than make nada by leaving it empty for the night. You can further cut your per night cost by staying longer since it ensures the hotel manager that the room won’t be left vacant. Or if you have a large group of coworkers traveling, you can try to get a group discount by talking to the manager.
If he won’t budge on room price, negotiate your inclusive amenities, like asking for free breakfast for your group.
Start with these mentioned tips to save on your hotel room, and then explore these tips to further save on your business trip.