So hostels aren’t your thing. You want a vacation that’s a break from dormitory life.
Well, finding an affordable hotel that fits your budget and tastes can be a snap, if you know how to work the system. Mostly, hotel bargain hunting comes down to timing and location:
Choosing to stay weeknights or weekends. At many business destinations, such as Chicago, try to stay over on a Friday or Saturday. That’s when hotels geared toward business travelers lower their rates to try to fill up rooms. If you’re heading toward a leisure destination, like Orlando, you’re better off staying over on a weeknight to secure a lower rate.
Be flexible with your choice of neighborhoods. Generally speaking, reserving a hotel room close to all the major tourist attractions will cost more. Find a nice hotel in an outlying area.
Choose to visit a destination during off-peak periods. With the tourists gone for the season, hotels tend to significantly lower their room rates.
Pay in advance for your hotel reservation. If you can swing this, you’ll see some significant savings. We’re talking a 4-star hotel in a major city for less than $90 a night. On Orbitz, we call these pre-paid hotel deals OrbitzSaver rates.
Look for special promotions. When you reserve your hotel accommodations, find out if you can take advantage of any special promotions, such as a free breakfast or dinner. Those types of offerings can add value to your hotel stay without raising the price.
Consider booking a package. If you need to fly into your destination, compare the price of a pre-packaged deal versus booking air and hotel separately. Many times these combinations will give you a better deal — plus extras, such as airport transfers or event tickets.
Last bit of advice: Check age restrictions. Some hotels require that the guest reserving the room be 25 or older, especially during Spring Break and other rowdy times.
The best hotel deal that Brad got when he was a student traveler in ’94 was a 4-star hotel in Paris for $29/night with a bathroom and shower en suite – and he found it on the Internet. Copyright 2002 Orbitz LLC