It’s that time of year again. Schools are out for the summer and family vacations are taking place across the country. There’s always that issue of paying over the odds for flights, accommodation and even attractions, as the prices get hiked up alongside the demand.
There are a few tricks of the trade though which can help save you money when booking a hotel or place to stay.
If you’re looking for a last minute deal this summer, or perhaps are already planning for next year’s vacation, here are our five hacks to making your stay cheaper and more luxurious…
Look Into Travel Credit Cards
Most of us will book hotels and flights via credit card, but few of us do so with a card that will reward you for doing so.
There are a number of cards out there that offer cash back and reward points for spending on travel such as flights and accommodation, while you’ll also find a number designed specifically for earning rewards at hotel chains. There are many available in the USA and Canada, in the case of the latter the Best Western MasterCard is popular in the country and offers reward points every time you spend, which can then be converted into a stay at the chain.
Many of the best credit cards in Canada, in particular, all offer rewards for travel purchases, making them ideal for this sort of purchase, while of course you’ll also have added protection with your booking by using a credit card.
Book Business Hotels
While it’s peak season for family getaways over the summer, business operations are much smaller as business people go away with their families. One trick of the trade is to look into staying at business hotels. Sure you won’t find a kids club but you will find cheaper rates as these hotels look to fill their rooms.
Business districts are never too far away from city centres and have good transport links, so while you may not end up staying in the middle of a city, you’ll have no problem getting around.
You can often save a significant amount by doing this, meaning you can do more enjoyable activities with your vacation budget!
Don’t Be Afraid To Travel
As mentioned, a business hotel could leave you a little out of the centre of town, but there are also many other hotels that could lead to this. If you’re planning on doing a significant amount of travelling across your stay to various parks, theme parks and enjoying various adventures that would require leaving the city anyway, there’s no real need to stay there.
You’ll find cheaper rates on the outskirts and in reality, swifter travel in and out of town if you’re driving, avoiding city centre rush hour in the morning and the various hold ups that come with it.
Often you’ll find it much more peaceful too, which can be relieving if you’re worried about leading children around a busy city.
Ask For The Upgrade
If you don’t ask you don’t get and many people ask for an upgrade. So why shouldn’t you?
The best way to do this is by checking in at the end of the day as the hotel will be more aware of what rooms it has spare for the night. You can then ask at reception when you check in as to whether they have any upgrades.
When doing this, it’s best to ensure there are few people behind you in the queue as it can lengthen the process of checking in and hoteliers are less likely to do so if there are a number of people waiting.
If there are no upgrades, ask if there are any corner rooms available as these will often provide you with more space and while you won’t get any more features or amenities within the room, that little more space can be wonderful, especially for families.
Book At The Right Time
The best time to book a hotel is around three to four weeks before your stay, although with family holidays it can be wise to go that little bit earlier.
Ideally, you’ll monitor multiple hotels and their prices over a number of weeks and strike when deals are at their lowest. You can generally follow trends to predict this.
On the other hand, you can also leave booking until late, where you may then be able to find a really cheap deal. In this case however you need to be flexible in where you stay and in many cases the days in which you are there. If you do have the flexibility though it can be a real money saver.