Are you planning a trip and wondering how much it will cost you to stay at a hotel?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The average cost for a hotel room in the US is $131 per night.
But the price can vary depending on the location, time of year, and amenities offered.
In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks on how to find affordable hotel rooms without sacrificing comfort and quality.
Compare Prices and Deals
If you’re looking for affordable hotel rooms, it’s important to compare prices and deals from different sources. Here are some tips to help you find the best deals:
Use Price Comparison Sites
Price comparison sites like Kayak, Hotels.com, and Trivago are a great place to start your search. These sites allow you to compare prices from multiple hotels and booking sites at once, so you can quickly find the best deal.
Check Hotel Websites Directly
While price comparison sites are convenient, it’s also a good idea to check hotel websites directly. Sometimes hotels offer special deals and discounts that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, booking directly with the hotel may give you more flexibility if you need to make changes to your reservation.
Sign Up for Loyalty Programs
Many hotel chains offer loyalty programs that give you access to exclusive deals and discounts. For example, Hilton Honors members can save up to 20% on room rates, while Marriott Rewards members can earn points for free nights and other perks. Signing up for these programs is usually free, so it’s worth doing even if you don’t stay at hotels very often.
Look for Last-Minute Deals
If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you may be able to find last-minute deals on hotel rooms. Sites like Hotwire and Priceline offer “opaque” bookings, where you can book a hotel room at a discounted rate without knowing the name of the hotel until after you’ve booked. This can be a great way to save money if you’re willing to take a bit of a gamble.
Consider Package Deals
Some travel sites offer package deals that bundle hotel rooms with flights or rental cars. These packages can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re planning a longer trip. For example, Expedia offers up to 30% off when you book a flight and hotel package together.
|Use Price Comparison Sites
|Up to 35% off
|Up to 50% off
|Up to 40% off
|Check Hotel Websites Directly
|Up to 20% off
|Up to 20% off
|Sign Up for Loyalty Programs
|Free nights and perks
|Free nights and perks
|Look for Last-Minute Deals
|Up to 60% off
|Up to 50% off
|Consider Package Deals
|Up to 30% off
One of the best ways to find affordable hotel rooms is to travel off-season. This means avoiding peak travel times when hotel prices are at their highest and opting for less popular times to visit your destination.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
If you’re able to be flexible with your travel dates, it’s best to avoid peak travel times such as holidays and school breaks. During these times, hotels are often at full capacity and can charge premium prices for rooms.
For example, if you’re planning a trip to a beach destination, consider traveling in the fall when the weather is still warm but the crowds have thinned out. You’ll likely find lower hotel rates and less competition for beach space.
Consider Shoulder Seasons
Another option is to consider traveling during shoulder seasons. These are the times between peak and off-peak travel times when hotel prices may be more affordable.
For instance, if you’re planning a trip to a ski resort, consider traveling in the early or late season when there is still snow on the ground but the crowds have thinned out. You’ll likely find lower hotel rates and less crowded slopes.
Travel on Weekdays
In addition to traveling off-season, booking your hotel stay on weekdays instead of weekends can also save you money. Hotels often charge more for weekend stays when they are in high demand.
For example, if you’re planning a trip to a city, consider booking your stay Sunday through Thursday instead of Friday and Saturday. You’ll likely find lower hotel rates and more availability.
By following these tips and tricks for traveling off-season, you can find affordable hotel rooms and save money on your next trip.
Choose the Right Location
One of the main factors that affect the price of a hotel room is its location. Choosing the right location can help you find affordable hotel rooms that meet your budget. Here are some tips to consider:
Stay Outside the City Center
If you’re traveling to a popular tourist destination, staying outside the city center can save you a lot of money. Hotels located in the heart of the city are usually more expensive compared to those in the outskirts. Moreover, staying in the city center can be noisy and crowded, which can affect your sleep quality and overall experience.
For example, if you’re traveling to New York City, staying in Manhattan can be expensive. However, staying in the boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens can be more affordable and give you a chance to experience the local culture.
Look for Alternative Neighborhoods
If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, consider staying in alternative neighborhoods. These areas may not be as popular as the city center but can offer unique attractions and cheaper hotel options.
For example, if you’re traveling to Paris, instead of staying in the touristy areas like Champs Elysees, look for hotels in neighborhoods like Montmartre or Belleville. These areas have a more local vibe and can offer cheaper hotel options.
Consider Public Transportation
If you’re willing to use public transportation, staying outside the city center can be a good option. You can find affordable hotels near public transportation hubs like train stations or bus stops, which can make it easy to explore the city without breaking the bank.
For example, if you’re traveling to London, staying near a tube station can help you save money on hotels. You can easily access the city’s major attractions using the tube, and you can avoid the high prices of hotels in the city center.
Book in Advance
Booking your hotel room in advance is one of the best ways to find affordable rates. This allows you to take advantage of early bird discounts and special promotions, which are often available to guests who book their rooms ahead of time. Here are some tips to help you make the most of booking in advance:
Plan Ahead for High-Demand Times
If you’re traveling during peak seasons or for special events, it’s important to plan ahead and book your hotel room well in advance. This will help you avoid last-minute price hikes and ensure that you have a place to stay during your trip. Some high-demand times include holidays, major sporting events, and popular festivals.
According to research conducted by Hopper, the best time to book a hotel room is about 30 days in advance for domestic travel and 60 days in advance for international travel. By booking your room in this timeframe, you can save up to 15% on your hotel bill.
Take Advantage of Early Booking Discounts
Many hotels offer early booking discounts to guests who book their rooms far in advance. These discounts can range from 10% to 30% off the regular room rate, depending on the hotel and the length of your stay.
Some hotels may also offer additional perks, such as free breakfast or complimentary parking, when you book your room early. To take advantage of these discounts and perks, be sure to book your room as soon as your travel plans are confirmed.
|Early Booking Discount
|$160/night (20% off)
|$120/night (20% off)
Booking your hotel room in advance can help you save money and ensure that you have a comfortable place to stay during your trip. Just be sure to plan ahead for high-demand times and take advantage of early booking discounts to get the best deals.
Consider Alternative Accommodations
When it comes to finding affordable hotel rooms, it’s important to think outside the box. While traditional hotels may seem like the obvious choice, there are plenty of alternative accommodations that can save you money without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
If you’re traveling on a budget, hostels can be a great option. They offer affordable dorm-style accommodations that are perfect for solo travelers or groups on a tight budget. While some hostels may have a reputation for being dingy or unsafe, many are actually quite clean and well-maintained. Plus, they often offer amenities like free breakfast and communal kitchens where you can cook your own meals.
Rent an Apartment
If you’re looking for more space and privacy than a hostel can offer, consider renting an apartment instead of booking a hotel room. Sites like Airbnb and Vrbo make it easy to find affordable, fully furnished apartments in just about any destination. Plus, many apartments come with amenities like kitchens and laundry facilities, which can save you even more money on dining out and laundry services.
Use Home-Sharing Services
If you’re comfortable sharing a space with a stranger, home-sharing services like Couchsurfing and BeWelcome can be a great way to find free accommodations while you travel. These services allow you to stay with locals for free, in exchange for sharing your own home with other travelers when they visit your area. While the idea of sleeping on a stranger’s couch may seem daunting, many people swear by this method of travel and have had great experiences meeting new people and getting a local’s perspective on their destination.
Finding affordable hotel rooms requires some research and planning, but it’s worth the effort.
By comparing prices, traveling off-season, choosing the right location, booking in advance, and considering alternative accommodations, you can save money without sacrificing comfort and quality.
So, next time you’re planning a trip, use these tips and tricks to find the perfect hotel room at a price you can afford.