The cost of staying at a hotel can often be confusing, with you often having to pay more than the published rates because of some fee or another. You may think you’re getting great value upon booking only to realise that you’ll also have to shell out some money to pay for Wi-Fi, hot water and a resort fee—even when you didn’t even take a wee dip in the pool!
What are these hidden hotel fees and how can you save more on your hotel accommodation? We’ve come up with some great ways to cut costs, including tips on getting the best deals.
Book using discount vouchers.
One way to save on room rates is to use discount codes when booking. Hotels and third-party booking companies usually offer two-night packages on hotel accommodation, letting you pay less than the hotel’s published rate. Some hotels may even offer airport transfers as part of the package, so make sure you check those out and call the hotel beforehand to make sure which services and amenities are included. A great place to get voucher codes at Hotels.com is here: http://www.totaldiscounts.co.uk/shop/hotels-com/
Apply association discounts.
Discounts for membership in associations do not typically show up on booking engines, so you will need to book directly with the hotel and inquire about membership discounts. Aside from associations, credit card companies may also have partnerships or pricing agreements with certain hotels, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Use travel rewards points.
Aside from special pricing, credit card companies may also offer points in exchange for discounts in hotels. Some companies even give away a couple of night’s stay just for signing up. Earn enough points and you can redeem an all-in two-week-long vacation in a top destination! Indeed, using credit card points for free hotel accommodation is one of, if not the best deal the travel industry has ever come up with, so you’d better take advantage of it whenever you can.
Ask about parking fees.
Some hotel chains offer free parking, while others don’t even if you park your car yourself. If you’re bringing your car, make sure to call ahead and ask about parking fees. Fees are usually counted on a per-day basis, so if you’ll be staying for more than three days, it would be more ideal to go for a hotel that offers free parking.
Venture outside the hotel for meals.
Menu prices in hotel restaurants (and room service) may make you cringe, so to save money and immerse yourself in local culture at the same time, explore what the town has to offer. You may find a quaint café or a restaurant favoured by the locals that you’ll like, not only budget-wise but taste-wise as well. The same goes for water and coffee—while hotels may offer bottles of water or instant coffee and tea as complimentary items, the things you may find in the fridge come at a price. Pro tip: bring your own treats, or head on over to a nearby café for your daily dose of caffeine.
Resort fees, Wi-Fi, laundry service, late checkout—these are just some of the “hidden fees” you should be aware of when staying at a hotel. Never assume you’ll only need to pay what’s on your reservation. Call to inquire about these fees so you won’t get bill-shock when it’s time to leave.