There is no doubt that hotel costs are among the biggest part of any vacation budget, and the failure to find affordable lodging has harpooned many an otherwise well planned vacation. One of the keys to enjoying a great vacation without breaking the bank is striking the best possible deal on the roof over your head.
Fortunately, the internet has made the process of finding a great hotel deal much easier. There are some great hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast deals out there, and the internet has made them easier to find than ever.
Booking ahead is essential, as is shopping around. You simply cannot expect to simply show up at a hotel and get a good rate. Most hotel chains reserve their best room rates, and they limit their numbers. Once those low cost rooms are booked, they are simply no longer available.
It is also important to book ahead because it can be difficult to gauge the demand for lording in a particular area, even if you are familiar with your destination. Special events of which you are unaware could cause a spike in hotel demand, and hotel prices, and leave you either paying an arm and a leg for a place to sleep, or, worse yet, find yourself without a place to stay at all.
It is also important to take advantage of all discounts to which you may be entitled, and not be shy about asking for discounts. Many hotel chains and independent hotels offer discounts to those in the military, senior citizens, and members of travel clubs like AAA. If you think you are entitled to a discount, be sure to ask, and be sure to verify that the discount has been applied when you arrive.
In addition, many hotel chains offer programs that are similar to airline frequent flier programs. These programs reward loyal guests with free nights and other rewards. It is important to sign up for these programs whenever you can. Most of these programs are free, so signing up will cost you nothing, and you could end up with a free hotel stay.
When looking for those great hotel deals, a number of web sites compare hotels by price, star level, and even proximity to certain tourist attractions. It is always best to search several of these sites, since not all hotel chains participate in every comparison site.
There is no doubt that finding a great hotel rate will take some time and some hard work, but it is very important to keeping your travel budget under control. The cost of lodging often represents at least half, and often much more, of the total cost of a vacation. It is easy to see, then, how getting the best possible deal on your hotel can keep your cost level low and your vacation fun level high.