5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know

By Janet Alvarez on 19 August 2016 1 comment

Frequent travelers know a thing or two about scoring the best deals on hotel rooms, but you don't have to be a road warrior to snag a great room on the cheap. We've found some of the best tools to help you get terrific prices on hotel rooms. (See also: 10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels)

1. Roomer

Roomer brings the sharing economy to hotel rooms. It's a bit like Airbnb, but strictly for hotels. Customers can buy unused hotel rooms from other people who don't want theirs, often at deep discounts. Roomer's easy interface makes it simple to buy or sell unused hotel rooms quickly and efficiently.

2. Hotel Tonight

Traveling last-minute? Don't despair. Some of the best deals on hotel rooms can actually be had when you book on the same day. That's because hotels are eager to offload excess inventory before it's too late — and that's where Hotel Tonight comes in. They show you all the very last-minute deals available in the city of your choice. I've snagged rooms that typically go for over $500 for $100 or less using this app.

3. Hotel Loyalty Cards

I just scored two weeks of free hotels in Europe for zilch. The secret was my hotel rewards credit cards. Credit cards offered by major hotel chains often come with big bonus point hauls for new customers, plus you earn points with every purchase. Finally, these credit cards can come with perks like hotel status upgrades, which will get you free Wi-Fi, room upgrades, and more. (See also: Tips for Using Hotel Rewards Points to Get the Most Value)

4. Coupon Sherpa

Couponing isn't just for groceries or other household items. Coupon aggregator sites, such as Coupon Sherpa, can also help you locate coupons for use on booking sites like Hotels.com. So, don't forget to quickly search for coupon codes before booking a room. (See also: 40 Most Useful Trvel Websites That Can Sve You a Fortune)

5. Your Phone's Calendar or Clock

As they say, timing is everything, and that couldn't be more true when booking hotels. Often, rooms at resort or vacation destinations are cheapest mid-week, when most tourists can't travel, so consider booking your trip on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays to score the best hotel deals. But hotel rooms at business destinations are the opposite: They're cheapest on the weekends, when business travelers are home with families.

Another timing trick? Check in late in the day to maximize the success of haggling for room upgrades, free WiFi, or other perks.

Any other frugal hotel booking tips we should know about? Share with us!

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Guest's picture
Jonathan Dyer

I'm embarrassed to admit that, even though I like to think I'm pretty up to speed on various apps, this is my first time hearing of Roomer. It sounds great though. Have you had the chance to actually use it by chance?

Personally I've had pretty good success with Hotwire but only because I compare good deals with listings on other sites to deduce the location being offered (since Hotwire only disclosing that after you book). That's usually my move for good hotel deal and I'm happy to report it's only let me down once.