Busy meeting planners spend many nights on the road. While some have an open budget when it comes to lodging, others are conscientious about trying to save their companies money when it comes to the cost of hotel rooms.
While prices certainly vary according to city and season, online statistics portal Statista reports that the average daily hotel room rate in 2015 was $121.37. Planners with an eye on the bottom line can try some of these clever tricks from Terence Loose in order to secure a better deal.
15 Ways to Cut the Cost of Hotel Rooms
1. Purchase Others’ Unwanted Reservations. It is not unusual for travelers to book a trip and then have to cancel. If the reservation is non-refundable, the traveler is often willing to sell or transfer it to someone else in order to get something back. Discounts of up to 74 percent off can be found on sites like RoomerTravel.com.
2. Investigate Coupon Codes for Third-Party Booking Sites. This can slice up to 40 percent off at select hotels. Two sites to explore are couponsherpa.com (which works with hotels.com) and hotelwiz.com.
3. Request a Price Match. While most hotels don’t openly advertise it, they will often match a lower price from a competitor for those gutsy enough to ask for it.
4. Check Warehouse Club Deals. Members of Costco or Sam’s Club can sometimes score significant discounts on hotels and vacation packages.
5. Check With Your Credit Card Holder. Many offer exclusive deals on hotels, especially if you use the credit card to book and then pay for the room.
6. Investigate Association Memberships. If they show their card, members in good standing of AAA, AARP or the military can often get instant discounts on hotel rooms ranging from 10-15 percent off.
7. Travel Midweek. This is a no-brainer for business travelers, who are usually on the road midweek anyway. They can also take advantage of less crowds in the gym, pool and restaurants.
8. Hunt for Inclusive Packages. Daily parking, resort and internet fees can quickly add up, causing an attractive hotel rate to skyrocket. Actively seek out hotels that offer perks such as free breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking.
9. Explore Apps. Some companies aggregate unsold rooms at luxury hotels and discount them up to 70 percent off. Try the HotelTonight app, which is available for Apple and Android systems.
10. Pick a Business Hotel. They often offer better deals than resorts, especially if your stay runs into the weekend, which is an off-peak time for such properties.
11. Add Services a la Carte. Air carriers have figured out a way to cut costs by adding extra services on an a la carte basis. Some hotels are picking up on this trend. If you are willing to stay in a basic room with just a twin bed or shared bathroom, you can often get a great rate, especially in Europe or Japan. Count on extra fees for daily housekeeping, towels or a television.
12. Check in Late. The end of the day, when most guests are checked in, is the best time to get a deal or an upgrade, as hotels would rather have their rooms occupied, even at a discounted rate, than have vacancies.
13. Sign Up for a Hotel Loyalty Program. Hotels appreciate business from repeat customers and often offer loyalty rewards that can be redeemed for free nights or other perks.
14.Form Partnerships. Many hotels and airlines have point partnerships with other companies. For example, Starwood Preferred Guests can earn points when they use Uber. Partner and save.
15. Apply for the Hotel’s Credit Card. This can help you secure upgrades or cash in on some rewards. Points multiply when you use the hotel’s card to pay for your room.