Update from my previous post: Roomsaver has been bought out (or merged) with/by Hotelcoupons.com. Both links take you to the same website, albeit different pages within.
Another idea I found to help out with lodging and food on a trip:
If you are a member of any organization that awards points for something, and then allows you to "buy" gift cards with your points, check them out. I regularly participate in three online activities that award points -- surveys, and a preventative health-and-fitness site. You collect points, and then can "buy" cards for $10-50 good at chain hotels and restaurants. One offers a prepaid Visa which costs a little more points, but is therefore good anywhere that Visa is accepted.
This is a nice way to help you pay for some food or lodging along the way. I'm saving for a couple of restaurant cards with one organization, and a hotel card with the other.
How long have you had to do these to get anything worthwhile? I have been doing surveys with several companies for well over a decade and am yet to get enough points to get anything.
That's definitely true on the Survey sites -- it's taken me a few years. However, the health and fitness site, I've got a number of points awarded in the past 4 months and more to come. I get points for walking, taking some of the online courses, even for getting things done one should be doing anyway (like yearly medical exams, dental cleanings, certain tests that should be done at certain ages), and for donating blood to the Red Cross (got 50 pts for that, and it was something I should be doing anyway). Looking at a motel card from them, if possible.
My mom and dad get points on their credit/debit cards, and those have been adding up quickly. Mom says she's gotten one restaurant card, but usually takes the cash offered.
Hotel coupon sites, updates
We have discovered in the past two years, that hotels.com, expedia.com, and similar sites probably have reduced the amounts of hotel coupons in the booklets found at state information centers, rest areas, and truck stops. Also, hotels offering "Internet rates" on their own sites have also affected the numbers of coupons. Because of this, some of the online coupon sites have either changed, or gone out completely.
Here are the ones I find that still exist, though some are ever-evolving within themselves (such as the first one):
HotelCoupons.com - this one has coupons, but also the option to book your hotel at a reduced "internet rate".
Free Hotel Coupons - a limited selection in a few areas.
Travel Coupons - limited selection in a few areas.
Midwest Travel Buddy - limited to 10 states: MN, WI, NE, IA, IL, KS, MO, AR, the TX Panhandle, plus two cities in ND)
E-hotel Coupons - coast to coast
One thing worth mentioning: In all 5 of the cases, these coupons are pretty much focused on the cities and exits along major freeways. None of them appear to have much of anything along the US highways, and definitely nothing in the tourist areas around national parks and monuments. You need to get in quite early to take advantage of these - before the dinner hour. Often times they are not accepted on weekends, or fill up even earlier than the dinner hour.
RTA has a lodging finder right here on this site, with prices comparable to what you find in the coupon books and "internet rates". It will also allow you to find things like "pet friendly" if that is something you need. The RTA lodging finder is not limited to the interstates/major freeways.
TripAdvisor, a site and app that I like to use to check reviews, real-people ratings, and similar, has also started to offer a reservation service. Like hotels.com and expedia.com, though, you are expected to pay upfront for your overnight, and there is usually a strict cancellation charge.
By the old US higfhways.
There are often great bargains in accommodation to be had along the old US highways, without coupons. In the past I have found most affordable motels, just by looking for them. They're not your Hiltons or Marriots... but if they are clean and it is only for an overnight, they have all you might want.
Originally Posted by DonnaR57
One time in NV at one of these privately owned motels, I shuddered when told the price. Just way out of my budget. The lady then went on to tell me where I could find cheaper accommodation, and offered to call them to see if they had a room.
Guess it all depends on how you approach these things.
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