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  1. Default Hotel/Motel Tips

    I am looking for some tips on getting the lowest hotel/motel prices for a night.
    I have already looked into a choice hotel membership for a stay 2 nights get one free deal.

    Is my best bet while traveling large chains or small local places. Should I try and stay outside of major cities, will it be cheaper?

    I know that later check ins usually carry a discount but how late, should I target for 7pm or 10pm or even later? Are there any other major chains that offer discounted memberships?

    I will be on the road for a few months and in between some camping and friends houses I plan on spending atleast 30 nights in hotels/inns/motels.

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-12-2007 at 06:42 AM. Reason: link to previous thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Depends on more than one factor

    The best rate isn't necessarily where you think it'll be. Sometimes chains can be cheaper than Mom & Pop, sometimes not. Some chains like Motel 6 offer basic rooms for reasonnable prices (usually between 30-45$) but you don't get any breakfast with that. Other chains like 1st Inn, Budget Host Inn, Super 8 tend to be cheaper.

    Visitors Centres on the side of interstate have free hotel discount coupon booklets you could grab to see if there's anything up your alley. Sometimes there are excellent deals in there but sometimes it just happens that you're in town during a local or national holiday or special event and all motels jack up their prices. Some States have higher taxes than others like Texas. Also, motels located in bigger cities will often add a 2-5% tax to their prices.

    Having a AAA membership will give you a 10% rebate in certain hotels or if you are a Government employee, a senior, a military try to get an extra rebate. You can try to bargain at some hotels but don't be too pushy. Hostelling might be an option or look for the local YMCA in metropolitan areas.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Booking ahead

    I find I generally get the best deal when I book ahead - even if that reservation is made the same day. With the internet giving a chance to shop around, plus with sites like hotwire and priceline, I find I get better prices than I do with just calling or showing up at a place.

    I certainly haven't seen much of a discount for late check-in. However, if you are showing up very late - 10 pm at the earliest - you will be in a better position to haggle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Don't forget internet reservations

    Some chains give a good discount for making your reservations via the internet. Even though I have a AAA membership, there are times when the discount for reserving on the internet is cheaper than the AAA discount.

    You can use internet in many hotels, campgrounds, or search out libraries if you don't have your own way to access the web.

    I don't like to be tied into reservations, so I'll tend you what I'll sometimes do. But you need a very trustworthy family/friend who you can leave your credit card number with to make this work.

    If I'm on the road and realize that I might want to stop soon in a certain area ahead, I'll pull over and do a quick look in my AAA guidebook to see what's there. If there's a a place that offers the AAA discount, I'll call them to see if they have a room available. I will also ask them if internet reservations are cheaper. Sometimes they'll tell me, sometimes not. If internet reservations are their cheapest rates, I'll ask if they can waive doing that and consider my phone call an internet reservation. Sometimes they do. I guess it depends on how many vacancies they have and how anxious they are to fill a room. If they can't or won't, I'll call home and have my person who has promised to do this, make the internet reservation for me and then they call me back with the confirmation number.

    I also know from experience that Motel 6 is almost always cheapest via internet reservations so, in that case, I usually skip calling the hotel. My experience also shows that they will virtually never let me get the internet rate via phone. So then I'll just call my person at home and they'll call me back with the confirmation number.

  5. Default

    Well the internet wont be a problem, as long as I am within cell phone range I will have 2 latops, my iPhone and high speed internet. Being a computer programmer has some benefits, if not many. I was looking over hotwire and priceline today. Priceline is kind enough to provide the hotel name before booking so I figure I can call and see if my Veteran, NRA or AAA memberships can get me any lower or I could just book online from the hotel parking lot. Hotwire although seemed to list slightly lower prices but im not as comfortable not knowing exactly where my hotel will be prior to booking.

    From the sounds of it the best way to find a good rate is just a lot of hunting, which I am fine with, although by time I get ready to call it a night I might just want to sleep anywhere I can. Hopefully my wallet will keep me motivated to try and find a good deal.

  6. #6


    My plan is to always stop at the welcome centers as you enter a new state and pick up the discount accomodation booklets. I'll pick out a couple of likely looking hotels and then check out online how much they will cost to book there. You can invariably find open wifi access pretty easily. If the cost of the discounted price is higher than the internet price I will book online. If not then I'll proceed to the hotel and check in there. Sometimes all the 'cheap seats' have gone but there is almost always room to haggle the price down... just keep in mind the online price and don't pay anything more than that.

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