Do you know the #1 cost of traveling? You may think it’s purchasing a plane ticket, eating out every meal, or even the activities you try and souvenirs you take back home. But, in fact, the average traveler, tourist, or vacationer spends the largest share on hotel stays! Just think about the cost of even a basic 3-star hotel in your home city. In the U.S., the average hotel now costs $148 per night. In major cities like New York, San Francisco, etc. that could easily stretch to $300 or way more for a nice place to lay your head and store your suitcase overnight.
When you go abroad or travel around , hotel charges also rack up really quickly because you’re usually staying in one every single night. Add in services fees, taxes, movie charges, mini-bar purchases , upgrading for the “free” breakfast, and more, and you often could rent a simple apartment in that country for the same price to stay a couple nights at a hotel!
In an effort to help you save money as you travel (so you can hit the road far more often!), All World.com brought you five great ways to save on hotels in part one of this series, and here are our next five:
1. Pay cash to avoid extra charges
We often just focus on the per-night price when hotel shopping, without factoring in the fine print of fees, taxes, and other tariffs. Instead, set your filter to show the total price – not the base price – when looking at hotels online, and you can even ask to book at the property and ay in cash to avoid some of those fees, including the credit card or debit payment fee.
2. Look at the exchange rate and pay in the local currency if it saves you.
Hotel aggregator sites (and hotels) not only make money when you book a night’s stay, but skim off the top by setting their own exchange rate. So, do a quick check for the exchange rate from your home currency (like U.S. dollars) to that of the country you’ll be visiting, and book in whichever currency is most favorable, as they usually give you the option.
3. Ask if they have free airport transfer or even city shuttles.
Just getting to and from the hotel from the airport could cost you a small mint, especially if you are traveling with a family and want a clean, reliable, and safe mode of transport. So, check to see if the hotel offers free pick up and drop off from the airport, and many nice accommodations even will take you into town on their van or private car.
4. Book the simple room but then ask for an upgrade at the front desk.
Don’t be afraid to book a standard room that fits your needs, but then ask (very nicely) for a bigger room or upgrade at the front desk when you check in. By the way, I’ve found that bribery with some donuts, pastries, or sweets really goes a long way!
5. Day use at a nicer place .
So you want to enjoy the gorgeous white sand beach and ocean every day, but hotel prices are ridiculous there? Simply book a hotel a few blocks off the beach, or just a more modest place at half the price, but then arrange for day use at the nice resort ocean-side. Many of these resorts are happy to have walk-in guests for day use, and you can use just about every amenity, possibly with a small charge.