How to Save Money When Traveling
Whether you’re on vacation or planning your next getaway, you know that hotels have a lot to offer, from comfort and convenience to the amenities that can be found in many hotel brands today. The rise of home sharing accommodations, like Airbnb, is causing some to reconsider their hotel stays, but hotels can still provide the experience and value that people crave when they’re away from home.
With hotel prices at record highs, it’s important to be flexible with your travel plans. That flexibility can take many forms, including choosing a less-popular or off-season destination. It can also mean weighing a trip to Paris with one in Normandy or even Scandinavia. Those regional trips may cost less than a visit to Paris and will likely yield a more rewarding experience, experts say.
General inflation is also a factor, which can affect prices across the travel industry. Higher worker wages, increased property costs and higher interest payments by businesses all add up to higher costs for travelers. This can be evident in the recent spike in airfares and hotel room rates, which have risen 9% and 20% respectively since last year, according to NerdWallet analysis.
For business travelers, hotels remain a top choice for convenience and value. Depending on the brand, they can feature free Wi-Fi, breakfast and fitness centers for those who want to keep up with their workouts. Many also have meeting rooms and other business-friendly perks, which make them the preferred lodging option for workcationers and those who want to keep their productivity high while they’re on the road.
A number of hotel chains have taken notice and are attempting to appeal to the workcation crowd by offering discounted hotel rooms for certain times of the year. For example, Hilton offers a Home at Hilton program that features reduced rates at select hotels in the Panhandle of Florida for stays through February. The company’s move to cater to workcationers is in response to the surge in demand for these types of deals.
Another way to save money is to book through an app or website like Hotel Tonight or Priceline. These companies often buy up hotel room inventory at the last minute, when they’re not busy. This is a good way for them to dump extra rooms without hurting their reputation, but it can come with drawbacks, such as limited availability and uncertainty about the quality of the room.
Overall, hotels remain the most popular lodging option for most people when they’re traveling. That’s largely due to the benefits of loyalty programs, which can lead to free or heavily discounted hotel stays down the road. Loyalty programs can also snowball perks for members with elite status or those who have a specific hotel-branded credit card.