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8 Ways to Get Cheap Hotel Rooms

My heart sinks every time I see costly hotel rates threatening to torpedo my vacation budget. As a passionate budget traveler, I’m devoted to mastering the art of scoring discounted rooms and maximizing my trip funds. Over the years, I’ve become an expert hotel deal hunter – relying on insider strategies, hacks, and membership perks to save big on accommodation costs around the world.

So if paying rack rate gives you hives, this guide is for you! I’m spilling all my hard-won secrets for slashing hotel costs in half. Follow my pro tips to get unpublished rates, stretch your points, take advantage of off-peak seasons, and more. Read on to learn how you can sleep easy knowing you landed the best hotel value without compromising on comfort or location.

Insider Tips to Unlock Deep Hotel Discounts on Your Next Trip

Book on Discount Travel Sites

Sites like Priceline, Hotwire, and Expedia are treasure troves for unlocking hotel discounts, especially if you use them strategically. Look for “express deals” where you pick exact star levels and locations to get unpublished rates up to 60% off. Use the “name your price” bidding feature to try and snag 4-star quality hotels for 2-star prices. Just stay flexible on the exact property until after booking.

I once scored a suite at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront for 50% off standard rates using Priceline’s bidding system! While opaque booking can feel risky, the massive savings are worth it.

Take Advantage of Hotel Loyalty Programs

Sign up to be a member of every major hotel chain that you think you may frequent in your travels. Programs like Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt are all free to join. As you rack up nights stayed, you’ll earn perks like room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, late checkout, discounted member rates, and accelerated points earning.

Always provide your loyalty number when booking directly with the hotel. Over time, you can redeem your accumulated points for free hotel nights. The more brand loyal you are, the more rewards come your way.

Use Hotel Credit Card Rewards

Turbo charge your hotel points earnings by getting a credit card that offers bonus points on hotel spending. Depending on the card, you can earn 6x or more points per $1 spent on hotel stays. Cards like the Hilton Honors American Express and the World of Hyatt Credit Card are great if you tend to stay at one chain frequently.

I used points from my Capital One Venture X card to book five free nights at the Park Hyatt New York. The welcome bonus and rewards more than offset the card’s annual fee. When playing the points game right, premium cards pay for themselves.

Travel During Off-Season

One of the easiest ways to lower hotel costs is by traveling during a destination’s off-peak season when room rates are cheaper. For example, Paris in July and August is ideal to avoid spring crowds. New York City hotels offer deals in January and February after the holiday rush.

Don’t be afraid to visit popular beach destinations like Hawaii and Florida during their fall shoulder season once kids go back to school. The weather is still nice and you’ll avoid peak summer pricing.

Take Advantage of Last-Minute Deals

If you have a flexible schedule and can afford to wait until the last minute, you can take advantage of last-minute deals. Hotels sometimes offer significantly discounted rates for rooms that have not been booked close to the check-in date. Keep an eye on websites and apps that specialize in last-minute hotel deals.

Stay Longer for Better Rates

Some hotels offer discounted rates for longer stays. If your travel plans allow for an extended stay, inquire about special rates for extended periods. This can result in significant savings, especially for those planning to stay in one location for an extended vacation or business trip.

Book during Weekdays

Weekend rates at hotels are often higher due to increased demand from leisure travelers. If your schedule allows, consider booking your hotel stay during weekdays when prices are typically lower. Business hotels, in particular, may offer better rates during weekdays when they have fewer corporate guests.

Consider Package Deals

Package deals that combine hotel accommodation with other travel components like flights or car rentals can offer excellent value for money. Travel agencies and online platforms often provide discounted rates when you book multiple components together.


At the end of the day, the ability to find hotel deals boils down to flexibility. Are you willing to exchange ideal timing for ideal pricing? With so many variables – seasons, locations, booking tactics – there are endless opportunities to lower your hotel costs and maximize savings. Use this insider guide to unlock hidden rates, earn free nights faster, and master the hotel deals game!