lodging http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/17627/all en-US 25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-hotel-check-in-484378693-small.jpg" alt="couple hotel check in" title="couple hotel check in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nobody better than a professional traveler to know how to get great hotel rates, free upgrades, and tweak their rooms to make their stay as comfortable as possible. In this article, a panel of professional travelers share their 25 best hotel hacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>Credit Cards, Membership Programs, and Status Hacks</h2> <p>Before even searching for a hotel, some professional travelers start their hotel hacking with credit cards, membership programs, and status hacks to ensure the red carpet is rolled out well before they arrive.</p> <h3>1. AAA Membership</h3> <p>Chris Guillebeau travels the world (all of it &mdash; having recently completed his mission to visit every country), and is a New York Times bestselling author, founder of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a>, and writes for a small army of remarkable people at <a href="http://www.chrisguillebeau.com/">ChrisGuillebeau.com</a>. When he's not staying at a hotel for free with frequent flyer miles, Chris says a simple membership with AAA can go a long way.</p> <p>&quot;A small investment in AAA membership (which anyone can join, from anywhere in the world) can save an average of 5%-10% on many hotel stays. Even if it doesn't save money, rates booked through AAA are usually cancellable until the day of arrival, which helps a lot with flexibility.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Use Hotel Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses</h3> <p>Matt Kepnes aka <a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com/">Nomadic Matt</a> is author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399159673/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399159673&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=55LXWNOPLJ2PJKLH">How to Travel the World on $50 USD Per Day</a>, and has been traveling the world since 2006. Matt advocates applying for hotel credit cards with hefty sign-up bonuses that will afford you up to a week's worth of free accommodation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a>).</p> <h3>3. Transfer Miles From Universal Credit Cards</h3> <p>Although Matt likes the occasional sign-up bonus, his steadfast hotel hack surrounds the use of universal miles, using travel rewards credit cards that allow you to transfer points to any number of airline and hotel programs. &quot;You can transfer those points to hotel loyalty programs and redeem them for free rooms.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>4. Get Automatic Status With Your Credit Card</h3> <p>Al-Nawaz Rajan generally pays 2-star prices for 4-star hotels, and shares his travel hacking tips on <a href="http://www.creditwalk.ca/">Credit Walk</a>. He's a fan of using platinum cards that get you upgraded status at hotels just for being a card member. Some of those cards come with a hefty fee, but the upgraded status is worth its weight: &quot;Some of the benefits of higher status include late checkout, free breakfast, Internet, upgrades to suites/better rooms, additional point earning, and welcome gifts.&quot;</p> <h3>5. Get Your Status Matched</h3> <p>Once you have status with one hotel or brand, you can get that status matched with other hotels. Elizabeth Houck has flown over a million miles in search of budget premium experiences, and has lots of great advice to share at <a href="http://www.elizabethhouck.com/">ElizabethHouck.com</a>. She says getting your status matched is as simple as calling the loyalty line and requesting a Status Match or Challenge.</p> <p>&quot;Brand Y will want a copy of your most recent status statement from Brand X faxed or emailed (sometimes mailed) to them. Follow Brand Y's requirements and instructions and usually within a couple of weeks you will have status.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Earn Status With Cheaper Hotels</h3> <p>If you're still working on getting status to begin with, Elizabeth suggests focusing all your efforts and hotel points on one brand. This doesn't have to cost a fortune either: &quot;Most hotel loyalty programs are based on nights, not dollars spent. If you need X number of nights for status in a particular program, consider short one-night stays in a 'lesser' property to achieve status for less bucks. Think Park Hyatt vs. Hyatt House or Hyatt Place.&quot;</p> <h2>Hotel Hacks for Booking</h2> <p>The trick to hacking your way into booking hotel bliss is to know where to find the deals, and how to book them. Here are some creative ideas.</p> <h3>7. Email the General Manager</h3> <p>Elizabeth Houck is now consistently upgraded to the king suite at one particular hotel, because she emailed the general manager after having a mediocre experience at their hotel. &quot;I wrote the GM about the experience and he was happy to extend a fantastic rate for me to give the hotel another chance. Needless to say, the upgrade to the king suite on my next visit was well worth the few minutes it took to write the email.&quot;</p> <p>Once she had a relationship with the GM, Elizabeth wasn't afraid to ask for more. &quot;In a follow up phone call before my next arrival, I asked for exactly what I wanted &mdash; a good rate, no resort fee, and a king room. I then emailed him confirming my stay.&quot;</p> <h3>8. Use Bidding Sites</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete Heck of <a href="http://www.hecktictravels.com/">HeckticTravels.com</a> sold everything in 2009 to travel the world, and have been named 2014 National Geographic Travelers of the Year. They enjoy the deep discounts offered by using hotel bidding sites.</p> <p>&quot;We are recent converts to <a href="http://www.priceline.com/">Priceline.com</a> and <a href="http://www.hotwire.com/">Hotwire.com</a> &mdash; two sites that have allowed us to save big money on hotel rooms. While we never know the exact hotel we will be staying at before we book it &mdash; we only choose by location and &quot;star&quot; rating &mdash; their prices are deeply discounted we have never been disappointed.&quot; (For more information on how to bid on hotels, see <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a>).</p> <h3>9. Call the Hotel</h3> <p>If it's your first stay at a given hotel, and you don't have a reason to contact the general manager, you can still negotiate a good deal. Mike Richard has been a professional traveler since 2006, and is the founder of <a href="http://www.vagabondish.com/">Vagabondish.com</a>. His advice is decidedly low-tech but effective: Simply call the hotel and ask them for a deal.</p> <p>&quot;This works especially well with mom-and-pop hotels or smaller chains. Find the best possible deal online, then call the hotel and see if they'll do better. I find better deals more than 75% of the time.&quot;</p> <p>Mike adds that the hotel has incentive to give you a deal, since by calling them directly to book, they won't have to pay commissions to a third party booking site.</p> <h3>10. Go Last-Minute With Groupon</h3> <p>If you have some flexibility (and nerves of steel), wait until the last minute and use sites like <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11675857">Groupon</a> to nab a deal. This tip comes from Kristin Addis, a former investment banker who quit her job to travel full-time, and now blogs about her nomadic adventures at <a href="http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/">Be My Travel Muse</a>.</p> <p>&quot;You can get a room somewhere like Las Vegas the day of or the day before for much, much less, but of course you must be very flexible!&quot;</p> <h3>11. Use Country/Currency Arbitrage</h3> <p>A few professional travelers polled use country/currency arbitrage to nab a hotel deal. Kristin says &quot;sometimes looking at booking engines specifically geared towards Australia, for example, can result in savings if booking in Australian Dollars. If I'm using a travel credit card that doesn't charge fees for foreign transactions and has fair rates for currency conversion, it can be a great way to save some money on a room.&quot;</p> <p>Erin Bender of <a href="http://www.travelwithbender.com/">Travel With Bender</a> concurs. &quot;Search in different country-specific versions of the same website and also try an incognito browser window. For instance <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11307852">Expedia.com</a> can be cheaper than expedia.com.au even when you take the currency exchange rate difference into consideration.&quot; Erin has traveled the world since 2012 with her husband and two young children.</p> <h3>12. Go Long</h3> <p>Erin also suggests if you are staying somewhere for more than a week, contact the hotel directly to negotiate a lower rate. It's less work for the hotel to keep one customer than to turn over the room constantly; &quot;we have saved up to 75% on nightly rates by negotiating a better monthly rate with the owner.&quot;</p> <h3>13. Use Price Guarantees</h3> <p>When she's not actually traveling, Deia Bong spends her time figuring out how to travel more, and then writes all about it on <a href="http://www.nomadwallet.com/">Nomad Wallet</a> (and on Wise Bread). She benefits from price guarantees offered by major hotel chains.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton will match the lowest price you can find and give you freebies or further discounts on top of it.&quot; As an added bonus, by contacting the hotel for their price guarantee and booking directly with them (as opposed to using the third party site where you may have found the lowest rate), you'll earn loyalty points for your stay. &quot;Each hotel chain has a different system for handling price-matching requests, so check their website before making a claim. If your claim is approved, the extra discounts are added automatically.&quot;</p> <h3>14. Use Booking Sites With Low-Price Guarantees and Loyalty Benefits</h3> <p>&quot;If you don't like the idea of sticking with one hotel chain's loyalty program, use booking sites with lowest-price guarantees instead. I personally like the loyalty program at <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11200399">Hotels.com</a>, which gives you one free night for every 10 nights you book through the website &mdash; this goes for the 100,000 eligible hotels on the website,&quot; offers Deia.</p> <h3>15. Advise of a Special Occasion in Advance</h3> <p>Although you can always mention a special occasion at check-in and hope for an upgrade if it's available, Nicole Connolly does it in advance.</p> <p>&quot;If you are visiting a hotel for a special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary, let the property know when you make your booking as many hotels will give you a complimentary upgrade to help you celebrate. You might be lucky enough to find yourself in a Deluxe Spa Suite with champagne and chocolates awaiting your arrival.&quot;</p> <p>Nicole and her husband Michael have been full-time travelers since 2012. They are travel writers, bloggers, and travel consultants, and they share travel tips and destination guides at <a href="http://www.suitcasestories.com/">Suitcase Stories</a>.</p> <h2>Hotel Hacks at Check-In</h2> <p>Even if you've booked your hotel without points, status, or a special occasion to celebrate, you can hack your way into a decent room with these tips.</p> <h3>16. Slip 'Em a $20</h3> <p>Elizabeth Houck once read that the easiest way to get an upgrade in Las Vegas is with a $20 tip at check-in.</p> <p>&quot;I tried it and jackpot! I've literally done this dozens of times and only once was I not upgraded. At check-in, you always provide ID and a credit card. I simply pull out a $20 bill, fold it, and place it under my cupped hand at the counter; reception always notices. If I get a special view, or upgrade, or some other perk, they get the money; if nothing is available I've not committed myself. One time I asked for an upgrade and only had a $5 on me, but it was enough to get a king corner room.&quot;</p> <h3>17. Offer a Review</h3> <p>Sabrina Iovino of <a href="http://www.justonewayticket.com/">JustOneWayTicket.com</a> has been traveling almost non-stop since 2008 and spends a lot of time in hotels and resorts around the world. If she doesn't book a good hotel deal in advance, she tries to get a deal on the spot.</p> <p>&quot;It helps to mention something like 'are you also on <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/">Tripadvisor</a>? I'd love to write a review...' &mdash; sometimes it leads to an upgrade, better rooms, or a free breakfast.&quot;</p> <h3>18. Ask to See a Few Different Rooms</h3> <p>Nick and Dariece are the nomadic couple behind <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/">Goats On The Road</a>, which inspires others to turn their travels into a lifestyle. During their many years of sleeping in foreign beds, they've learned a few tricks to make their stay comfortable.</p> <p>&quot;We recommend asking to see a few different rooms when you arrive. Why? Because more often than not, the owner or manager will try to get rid of the least desirable rooms first. You may find yourself sleeping in a dark damp room with a view of the neighbouring building, when there's a lovely bright room with an amazing view of the city right next to you! Rooms in hotels can vary greatly. Ask to see a few &mdash; it can't hurt.&quot;</p> <h2>In-Room Hotel Hacks</h2> <p>Once you've checked in and are pleased with your digs, here are a few hacks to make your stay even more comfortable.</p> <h3>19. Ask for Dishes</h3> <p>Rhoni Speed of <a href="http://www.livingourlife.com/">Living Our Life</a> and her son have been traveling on a budget for over 16 months, enjoying culture, language, food, and helping others. Instead of spending a small fortune eating all meals out, she keeps some meals simple.</p> <p>&quot;I will always ask for some dishes in our room even if we do not have a fridge, in order to have breakfast or snacks on our own to save money and time and for just relaxing.&quot;</p> <h3>20. Towel Heaters Are Clothes Dryers</h3> <p>Hotel laundry services are ridiculously expensive, and a little hand laundry is a necessity when you travel full-time as Rhoni and her son do. &quot;If they have towel heat racks in the bathroom I will do some hand-washing of clothing and use the racks for dryers.&quot;</p> <h3>21. Stream Shows to the Hotel's Big-Screen TV</h3> <p><a href="http://www.matt-gibson.org/">Matt Gibson</a> is a Canadian travel writer and photographer who has lived in Taiwan, Guatemala, Mexico, the USA, and traveled extensively on four continents in the past decade. He always carries a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DR0PDNE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR0PDNE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MO57NG36EB2IFZFW">Google Chromecast</a> with him.</p> <p>&quot;If your hotel has Wi-Fi and your TV has an HDMI input (which most do), then you can use the Chromecast to stream video online to the hotel TV from your computer, tablet, or phone, so you can keep up on your favorite series' on Netflix no matter where you are.&quot;</p> <h3>22. Use the &quot;Do Not Disturb&quot; Sign for Security</h3> <p>Matthew Karsten of <a href="http://www.expertvagabond.com/">ExpertVagabond.com</a> has been exploring the world as a professional travel blogger and photographer for four years. &quot;If you're staying in a cheap or sketchy hotel somewhere and don't want to leave your expensive stuff alone with housekeeping, just keep the &quot;Do Not Disturb&quot; sign outside your door for the length of the trip. They won't know if you are in there or not, and who really needs the room cleaned every single day?&quot;</p> <h3>23. Don't Use the &quot;Clean Room&quot; Sign</h3> <p>As an addendum to Matthew's tip, don't use the &quot;Clean Room&quot; sign. It not only tells housekeeping that you would like your room cleaned, but it also tells everybody &mdash; including potential people up to no good &mdash; that you're not in the room.</p> <h3>24. Override Thermostat Motion Sensors</h3> <p>Being on the road three to four days each week as a flight attendant, Glenn Ward appreciates a comfortable (and cold!) hotel room. He uses <a href="http://www.lifehacker.com/override-your-hotel-room-thermostat-and-set-it-as-hot-o-1462595059">this trick from Lifehacker</a> to override the thermostat. &quot;Now when I go to bed at night I don't have to worry about not moving enough to engage the sensors and keep the room cold,&quot; says Glenn.</p> <h3>25. Keep the Power On With a Spare Card</h3> <p>Many hotels use key card systems that are rigged so the power is only on in your room when you stick your room key/card into the slot by the door. This means when you're out, there's no air conditioning and no power to charge your electronics. Override this by sticking an old credit card or membership card (in some cases a simple business card will work) into the slot.</p> <p><em>What's your best hotel hack? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%20Hotel%20Hacks%20From%20Professional%20Travelers_0.jpg&amp;description=25%20Hotel%20Hacks%20From%20Professional%20Travelers" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Hotel%20Hacks%20From%20Professional%20Travelers_0.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel hotel hacks hotels lodging travel hacks Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:00:08 +0000 Nora Dunn 1240314 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-on-phone-175979380-small.jpg" alt="man on phone" title="man on phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here's something you may not know: Hotel rates are not set in stone. It's often possible to get the best deals simply by picking up the phone and negotiating your way into low rates, upgrades, and freebies. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel?ref=seealso">20 Secrets of Last Minute Travel</a>)</p> <p>Very rarely will these opportunities be advertised, so the only way you can find out if a hotel negotiates is by picking up the phone and asking the hotel staff. Just follow the steps below, and remember to be nice, be polite, and charming as hell.</p> <h2>Timing Your Visit</h2> <p>If your trip coincides with the busy season, it's unlikely that the hotel will negotiate their rates. When they can get other guests to pay full price, they're probably not going to give you any discounts.</p> <p>If you travel during the off-peak season, however, you're in luck. Hotels are more willing to negotiate when business is slow. The front-desk staff should have some leeway to allow discounts for guests who ask.</p> <p>You'll have a better chance of succeeding if you call as soon as you know your dates. You can try calling at the last minute or even negotiating in person when you arrive at the hotel, but you may end up not getting a room at all.</p> <p>Regardless of whether you speak with the hotel staff by phone or in person, do it when they're not busy. Avoid check-in and meal times; call in the late afternoon instead. You don't want to speak with someone who is overwhelmed by arriving guests at the reception desk. You want his full attention, so it may be a good idea to ask if it's a good time to talk at the beginning of the call.</p> <h2>Making the Call</h2> <p>Before you call, arm yourself with the hotel's published rate, as well as the rates of its competitors. You can get this information from the hotels' official websites and hotel booking sites. To minimize your searching time, go with comparison sites like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.hotelscombined.com">Hotelscombined.com</a> and <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.trivago.com">Trivago.com</a>.</p> <p>If the hotel is part of a chain, there may be a national or even international hotline. The operator at the 800 number will probably not have any power to give you a discount. Call the hotel directly instead and ask to speak with the manager, if possible.</p> <h3>Ask for the Best Rate</h3> <p>Start the negotiation by saying something like, &quot;I found your rate online for $200 per night. Is that your best rate?&quot; You may or may not get a better deal right away.</p> <p>Follow up by asking, &quot;Is that the best you can do?&quot; or, &quot;Can you do better than that?&quot;</p> <p>If you still don't get the rate you want, continue by saying, &quot;I can't spend more than $150.&quot; Then, see what response you get. It's a good rule of thumb to try getting 25% off your starting rate because hotels generally pay that amount to third-party agents like online booking sites and travel agents for finding guests.</p> <h3>Mention the Competition</h3> <p>You can also try dropping the names of the hotel's competitors. For example, you can say, &quot;Hotel Down the Avenue has a free gym for guests to use and they only charge $175 per night. Would you be able to give me $150 per night?&quot;</p> <h3>Tweak the Dates</h3> <p>If you have some flexibility, ask the hotel manager, &quot;Does that happen to be a busy time for the hotel? Would you be able to lower the rates if I change my dates?&quot; Hotel rates fluctuate a lot, so simply adjusting your travel dates could affect the rates dramatically.</p> <p>Another trick you can use is to start out with a two-night stay and later say, &quot;I can extend my stay to three nights if you could give me a better deal.&quot;</p> <h3>Special Discounts</h3> <p>Ask if there are any special discounts. The hotel may call it a special rate or saver rate.</p> <p>Hotels often have discounts for AAA members, AARP members, senior citizens, government workers, military members, veterans, travel industry employees, hotel shareholders, business travelers, and loyalty program members. Boutique hotels may even offer introductory rates for first-time guests.</p> <h3>Discount Rooms</h3> <p>Much like the clearance racks at clothing stores, hotels also often have discount rooms that they don't offer to regular customers. There's usually a defect that makes the manager decide to keep the room empty. For example, there may be a stain in the carpet or a lamp may be missing.</p> <p>Depending on the hotel, you may be able to get this room at a discount. Just ask, &quot;Do you have any out-of-order rooms? I'd be willing to stay there if the price is right.&quot;</p> <h3>Upgrades and Special Requests</h3> <p>If you have a special request, leave it for later in the phone call. Otherwise, you may be given a more expensive room. You want to know their base rate so you can decide for yourself if whatever addon you want is worth the extra charge.</p> <p>Once you get a rate you like, ask, &quot;Oh, by the way, will this be an ocean-view room?&quot; If the hotel manager says it's not and that you'll have to pay more for an ocean-view room, you can judge for yourself whether to pay the higher price.</p> <p>This is also a good time to ask, &quot;Could you throw in the breakfast?&quot; You can also ask for a room upgrade or free parking.</p> <p>Before you end the call, get your reservation confirmation code and the name of the person on the other end of the phone. These details will help you if there's any confusion or problem with your reservation later.</p> <p><em>Have you ever negotiated a lower room rate? What worked for you?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Negotiate%20a%20Cheaper%20Hotel%20Room.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Negotiate%20a%20Cheaper%20Hotel%20Room" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Negotiate%20a%20Cheaper%20Hotel%20Room.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations hotels lodging negotiation room rates Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Deia B 1183823 at http://www.wisebread.com The World's 11 Craziest Frugal Hotels http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-11-craziest-frugal-hotels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-worlds-11-craziest-frugal-hotels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Hotel Sidi Driss.jpg" alt="Hotel Sidi Driss" title="Hotel Sidi Driss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love a good hotel as much as the next guy. Unfortunately, many of those &quot;good&quot; hotels cost a pretty penny (or a lot of points) to stay at for just a night. But, luckily for all of us, it's a bright, big world out there, full of chic, hip hotels that won't break the bank! So, let's take a look at 11 budget hotels around the world (that are pretty cool, too)! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Karostas Cietums, Latvia</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Karostas-Cietums2.jpg" /></p> <p>Ever been to Latvia? Me neither, but there is a pretty unique hotel option there for those that can handle a little bit of discomfort. A former military prison, <a href="http://www.karostascietums.lv/new/en/intro-en.html">Karostas Cietums</a> is now open to overnight guests (by choice) during the summer months. The prison operated from 1900 until 1997, and still features hard beds and thin blankets. Some amenities include signing up for harsh punishments the prisoners used to face (really). The price? $20 a night.</p> <h2>2. Lundy Island, United Kingdom</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Lundy%20Island.jpg" /></p> <p>Want an island vacation on a budget? Well, it can be yours in the United Kingdom, on <a href="http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/Search-and-book/staying-on-lundy/">Lundy Island</a>. You won't find any beaches here, though. What you will find are medieval castles, a lighthouse, cottages, and a stately manor waiting for you to explore. The island hosts a population of about 18, and does have a pub (in case you were wondering). Rooms can be had for 24 pounds a night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=seealso">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <h2>3. BaseCamp Bonn, Germany</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Basecamp%20Bonn.jpg" /></p> <p>Want the camper experience, but none of the outdoors? Come to <a href="http://www.basecamp-bonn.de">BaseCamp Bonn</a>, where you can sleep in your choice of 15 themed trailers, two VW buses, two Airstreams or two sleepers. The entire hotel is housed in a former warehouse, making for a fun environment of &quot;indoor&quot; camping. Room rates start at 24 Euros a night.</p> <h2>4. Nicolle Tower, UK</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Nicolle%20Tower.jpg" /></p> <p>Returning to the United Kingdom, <a href="http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/nicolle-tower-9638/">Nicolle Tower</a> is located in Jersey. Built in the 1800s, the tower was taken by the Germans in 1943 and renovated, adding another floor and is about 160 feet high. It serves as a great lookout for the sea, and starts at 31 pounds a night.</p> <h2>5. Husky Lodge, Switzerland</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Husky-Lodge.jpg" /></p> <p>Do you love dogs? Specifically, huskies? Well, there's a hotel on earth for you. In Muotathal, Switzerland, you can sleep in a hotel that <a href="http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/freizeitdoerfli-husky-camp.html">hosts a bunch of Siberian Huskies</a>, who pull sleds and bikes year round in this mountainous region. Rooms start at 34 Swiss Francs.</p> <h2>6. The Bungalow on the Beach, India</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Bungalow%20on%20the%20Beach2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>A decidedly luxurious option on this list, you can have access to a <a href="http://bungalow-on-the-beach.neemranahotels.com/">former British Governor's beachfront villa</a> for roughly 35 British pounds a night. Featuring sprawling grounds and a pool, this hotel would be very hard to pass up on any itinerary!</p> <h2>7. The Gate House, India</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/gate%20house.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Remaining in India, another villa crosses our path in southeast India. Built in 1620s, <a href="http://gate-house.neemranahotels.com">this fort</a>, built by the Dutch who were exporting spices and tea at the time, has been protected ever since, and lovingly restored. The manor should be very private &mdash; there are only six rooms, which start at 40 British pounds a night.</p> <h2>8. Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Hotel%20Sidi%20Driss.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Okay, for any Star Wars fan on this earth, this is a must see. The Lars homestead (you know, Uncle Owen and Aunt Peru that got toasted at the beginning of the first movie?) is now a hotel, and it's awesome. In decidedly budget accommodations, you can live all your Star Wars fantasies until you go numb. Prices are at $10 a night, including breakfast.</p> <h2>9. Capsule Hotel, Netherlands</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/capsule%20hotel.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The Netherlands is known for being quite pricey, so your own hotel room for around $78 a night isn't too bad! In old oil rig &quot;<a href="http://www.capsulehotel.info">survival capsules</a>&quot; you can spend the night in this surfing community. The boats are still floating in the ocean, and can fit up to three people. One is even modeled after The Spy Who Loved Me's escape pod!</p> <h2>10. Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia</h2> <p>How about a yurt for the night? Right in the middle of the Gobi desert, <a href="http://www.threecamellodge.com/">this eco-lodge</a> has decidedly luxurious tents available for guests, that include a king bed, sink and toilet! And, with horseback riding and hiking expeditions in the nearby Altai mountains, what's not to like? Prices from $80 a person per night.</p> <h2>11. Het Kleine Paradijs &quot;The Little Paradise,&quot; Netherlands</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/The%20Little%20Paradise%20Writer%20Cabin.JPG" alt="" /></p> <p>Our final listing has several options available to guests. Would you like a tree house? A yurt? A &quot;knight's tent&quot; just like Camelot? Or how about the &quot;Writer's Cabin?&quot; Well, you can have your pick, at <a href="http://www.hetkleineparadijs.nl/">this retreat</a> that aims to get you to reconnect with your inner self and live a healthier life. Doesn't that sound nice? Nights from 55 euros.</p> <p><em>Do you know any other cool, cheap hotels? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-worlds-11-craziest-frugal-hotels&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20World%26%23x27%3Bs%2011%20Craziest%20Frugal%20Hotels.jpg&amp;description=The%20World%26%23x27%3Bs%2011%20Craziest%20Frugal%20Hotels" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20World%27s%2011%20Craziest%20Frugal%20Hotels.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mark-jackson">Mark Jackson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-11-craziest-frugal-hotels">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-hotel-rates-with-hotwire">Cheap Hotel Rates with Hotwire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap hotel cool hotels lodging weird hotels Mon, 04 Aug 2014 21:00:16 +0000 Mark Jackson 1158336 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-couple-86530766-small.jpg" alt="hotel couple" title="hotel couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In my travel experience, I've become quite good at finding a great hotel deal. This post is geared to those of you that would like to find the same deals like me and travel the world a little cheaper! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Refuse Maid Service</h2> <p>This option is available at Starwood Hotels worldwide, and you can ask at other hotels if they offer it as well. If you refuse maid service at Starwood on multi-day stays, you can net either a $5 daily voucher or 500 daily points added to your Starwood account.</p> <h2>2. Book International Travel on Non-US Websites</h2> <p>One tactic I've used during my trips to Europe is to look at the foreign versions of websites that I frequent. Often, they have cheaper rates or free perks that aren't offered to U.S. residents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a>)</p> <h2>3. Check Corporate Rates</h2> <p>This can be a great option if you work for a large firm. Often, corporate rates can save you hundreds of dollars on your room, especially during busy times. It's always good to check this rate against the &quot;best available&quot; rate, though, as I've seen the corporate rate higher than the best available before.</p> <h2>4. Work at a Hostel</h2> <p>If you're staying at hostels, make sure to form a good relationship with the people working there &mdash; you may get to work in exchange for room and board. I've done this before, and I can say it's a good way to see a city on a budget!</p> <h2>5. &quot;Flash&quot; Sales</h2> <p>Many times, hotel chains and hotel room wholesalers offer up &quot;flash&quot; sales with limited inventory, offering up rooms at a steep discount. Starwood has their weekly &quot;StarPicks,&quot; and IHG Hotel Group has their &quot;PointBreaks&quot; for award stays. Be sure to follow each hotel chain on Twitter and Facebook as a way to find out about these rare deals.</p> <h2>6. Don't Choose</h2> <p>My personal favorite website, Hotwire is known for selling you a hotel room in the city you want, in the area you want &mdash; but you don't get to find out ahead of time what the hotel is. The result? You save big money, sometimes 75% on the price of the hotel room. I use this in Las Vegas, where the hotels are easy to guess by their location and amenities.</p> <p>The &quot;Name Your Own Price&quot; function on Priceline is similar to Hotwire in that you won't know the hotel until you finish payment, but this site differs in that you make a bid for a hotel. If you bid too low, your card will not be charged. The key with this site is to not overbid for your hotel &mdash; but if you do an Internet search for the area you're traveling to and &quot;Priceline,&quot; you can find many online forums online that can help you with your exact city that you are traveling to. One great place to start is <a href="http://www.betterbidding.com">BetterBidding.com</a>.</p> <h2>7. Points</h2> <p>Not really a surprise, but a reminder: loyalty points! By staying at the same hotel chain for all your hotel stays, you accrue points that can then be redeemed for a night anywhere on earth that they have a property!</p> <h2>8. Credit Cards</h2> <p>Want to accrue points faster than staying per-night with hotel chains? Get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal">co-branded hotel credit card</a>. With the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-rewarding-hotel-stays-hilton-hhonors-card-from-american-express?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express</a>, for example, new cardmembers can get 50,000 bonus points after making $750 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. (Terms and conditions apply.) Considering that you can book a room for as little as few as 5,000 points, that bonus alone can save you a bundle on your next vacation.</p> <h2>9. Status</h2> <p>Another way to save some money at hotels is by using a frequent guest status. You can get this by staying at hotels a lot, or by getting a hotel credit card. For instance, having the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card</a> will automatically get you Hilton HHonors Gold status, which gets you large room upgrades and free breakfast at Hiltons worldwide. Other chains, like Marriott and IHG hotels, also offer mid-tier status with their credit card products.</p> <h2>10. Negotiate!</h2> <p>Sometimes, if you're a good talker, you can pit hotels against each other. If you see a hotel in the same town that you would like to stay at, see if they'll match the cheaper rate of their competing hotel. The answer is always &quot;no&quot; if you don't ask!</p> <p><em>How have you found deals on hotels? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Surprising%2520Ways%2520to%2520Save%2520Money%2520on%2520Hotels.jpg&amp;description=10%20Surprising%20Ways%20To%20Save%20Money%20on%20Hotels"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Surprising%20Ways%20to%20Save%20Money%20on%20Hotels.jpg" width="250" height="374" align="middle" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mark-jackson">Mark Jackson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays">5 Best Credit Cards with Sign-up Bonuses for Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit cards discounts hotels lodging Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:00:06 +0000 Mark Jackson 1158804 at http://www.wisebread.com The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30 http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2472286332_29cfd68427_z.jpg" alt="hostel" title="hostel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the term &quot;hostel&quot; seems synonymous with youth culture and student backpacking trips, I've met people of all ages and professions while staying in hostels. What many adult travelers don't realize is that hostels are great for business people, retirees, and even family vacationers who just want a clean bed to sleep in and a safe place to stash their luggage while they explore a new city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Most hostels I've stayed in throughout Europe cost anywhere from $40 to $70 per night, far less than hotels in the same cities. While I've met a huge array of people from all walks of life in hostels, I've found that people who prefer to stay in hostels are united by a minimalist travel philosophy more than anything else. I've met European aristocrats who stay in hostels because they don't see the value in paying for a hotel room that they will basically use as storage for their laptop computers and spare underpants. It's not just about stretching a Euro. It's about a type of travel experience that puts human interaction over privacy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path">5 Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <p>If I could only give one piece of advice about staying in hostels as an adult it's this: <a href="http://www.hostelz.com/hostel/55583-Funny-Palace-Hostel">Read the online reviews</a> before you make reservations. Reading online reviews is the best way to avoid experiencing what my sister and I refer to as Wong Family Travel Blunders. And by blunder I mean our parents accidentally booking us into a Panamanian brothel for a family vacation. (In my parent's defense, the brothel's beachfront view was spectacular.)</p> <h2>Hostelling International</h2> <p>Official hostels are part of a huge network of hostels that operate under the umbrella of <a href="https://www.hihostels.com/">Hostelling International</a>. HI requires a <a href="http://www.hiusa.org/membership">membership</a>, which is basically just a card that costs $28 per year and gives you discounts and benefits such as currency exchange and free email access during your stay. If you don't think you'll be staying at least six nights a year in HI hostels, then you can stay at most official hostels for an additional $5 per night, and save a little money by not buying a membership. There's really no risk in not signing up for a membership in advance, as after six nights, HI will give you a membership. If you decide to pay as you go, make sure you pick up a &quot;guest card&quot; at your first HI hostel and get it stamped each day, so you can prove you've stayed the required six night minimum for membership.</p> <p>Although HI Hostels have to maintain safety and cleanliness standards to stay in the network (which is comforting) some official hostels still have curfews, daytime lock-out, limited check-in times, and other old-fashioned rules that are annoying to contend with as an adult business traveler who is arriving on the 3 a.m. train and doesn't want to wander the city streets until dawn.</p> <h2>Independent Hostels</h2> <p>Independent hostels are becoming more commonplace. Independent hostels are not part of the Hostelling International network and don't require a membership card. The benefit of independent hostels is flexibility; they don't have to conform to the rules and bureaucracy of Hostelling International. The drawback of independent hostels is that they don't have to conform to the rules of Hostelling International in terms of cleanliness. Also, while HI Hostels have gender-segregated dormitories, some independent hostels only have mixed-gender dorms and apartments.</p> <p>For women travelers who do not feel comfortable sharing communal space with men (or just want a make-up mirror and hairdryer in the bathroom) there are hostels that <a href="http://www.hostelbookers.com/article/travel-for-women/female-friendly-hostels-europe/">cater to women</a> who are traveling solo.</p> <p>While there are <a href="http://www.the-beehive.com/">some</a> independent hostels that rival boutique hotels in terms of their charm, a lot of flea-bag hotels have started listing themselves online as hostels, since &quot;hostel&quot; apparently sounds more appealing than &quot;flop-house&quot; or &quot;roach motel.&quot; (Do your research or risk staying in brothel.)</p> <p>Although hostels supply guests with clean sheets and towels, you will have to supply your own soap and shampoo. While I don't enjoy schlepping extra toiletries with me when I travel, most hostels more than make up for this minor inconvenience by providing cheap or free Internet access and other money saving perks.</p> <h2>Book Early</h2> <p>Obviously, the best-reviewed hostels fill up early, especially during high tourism events like Oktoberfest and Carnivale. Make reservations early to ensure you'll have a place to sleep that fits your needs.</p> <p>Pro Tip: Call the hostel directly!</p> <p>Hostels, like hotels will usually hold a few beds for drop-ins, or don't update the online booking service when someone cancels a reservation. Even if the online booking service says there are no beds, it never hurts to double-check.</p> <p>Also, if you like a specific hostel, quiz the owner or manager for leads on other great hostels. I've been able to daisy-chain incredible vacation accommodations with no advance planning by asking my current hostel staff to reserve me a bed in my next destination city.</p> <h2>Co-Habitating with Kids</h2> <p>While I am usually twice the age of most of my hostel bunkmates, at age 44, I am rarely the oldest person at a hostel. In fact, Hostelling International offers a reduced membership rate for people over 55, which make hostels a great deal for senior travelers.</p> <p>Personally, I enjoy the company of Kids These Days, and likewise, exploring new places with people who are still full of vim and optimism about life. As a business traveler, sharing communal space with young adults is often a welcome respite after spending the day with grown-ups who view business travel as an inconvenience rather than an opportunity have fun.</p> <p>That said, I value my sleep, and make a point of avoiding hostels that have glowing reviews about their 24/7 <a href="http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/play/worlds-craziest-party-hostels-718516">party atmosphere</a>. As a night owl, I hate lock-out curfews. They are infantilizing and cramp my late night snack schedule. As an old person who went to college, I love lock-out curfews because they force my bunkmates who are hardcore, binge-drinkers to spend the night barfing in the street and not in our shared shower.</p> <p>On a side note, because most car rental companies will not rent a car to anyone under 25 years of age, hostels in rural or suburban areas outside of the city center and beyond the reach of public transportation, usually cater to older people by default.</p> <h2>Consider Communal Spaces</h2> <p>While the classic hostel experience is sleeping in a twin bed, in a dormitory, and storing your luggage in a locker, many hostels offer private rooms or apartments with shared or private bathrooms. Sharing a private room in a hostel is a great way for couples to enjoy a romantic getaway on the cheap. Families can get a huge break on travel costs by sharing a suite or apartment.</p> <p>Hostels with communal kitchens can make a pricey vacation affordable. When I travel I eat the free morning meal that the hostel provides (which can be anything from a cup of coffee and a cookie to a huge buffet), and at night I make a simple meal of bread, cheese and fruit in the communal kitchen. Eating in the hostel for two meals allows me to blow my food budget on extravagant and memorable lunches.</p> <p>While I can count on one hand the number of bad shared bathroom experiences I've had in my life, take some precautions: Wear flip flops in the shower to avoid getting fungal infections and wake up extra early if you have an important morning meeting &mdash; you might have to wait in line for the shower. Also, if you are sharing one toilet with a number of strangers, be strategic about using it. Don't be the lady who pees in the sink of the communal kitchen because she waited until the last minute to go.</p> <p><em>Frugal travelers, please share the name of your favorite hostel, or your best hostel tip in the comments below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Guide%20to%20Staying%20at%20Hostels%20for%20People%20Over%2030.jpg&amp;description=The%20Guide%20to%20Staying%20at%20Hostels%20for%20People%20Over%2030" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Guide%20to%20Staying%20at%20Hostels%20for%20People%20Over%2030.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-hotel-stays-with-wyndhams-best-rate-guarantee">Get Free Hotel Stays with Wyndham&#039;s Best Rate Guarantee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap travel frugal travel hostels hotels lodging Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:00:29 +0000 Max Wong 1162783 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-183995117.jpg" alt="hotel" title="hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ocean-front resorts, ski-out rooms, four and five star hotels, suites, and included breakfasts may sound like hotel perks reserved for those shelling out big bucks on vacation, but the truth is that my family often stays in those hotels and with those perks without breaking the bank. We have stayed in four and five star hotels for less than the cost of a roadside motel. In fact, sometimes we don't pay any money at all for luxury accommodations.</p> <p>I know it sounds too good to be true, but in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-miles-and-points">world of miles and points</a> almost anything is not only possible, but relatively easy to attain even if your hotel point balances are currently sitting at zero. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=seealso">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program</a>)</p> <h2>Free Nights With Hotel Co-Branded Credit Cards</h2> <p>The quickest way to get some free nights in luxury hotels in a hurry is to obtain a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">hotel co-branded credit card</a> that comes with a lucrative sign-up bonus. Most hotel chains these days have a co-branded credit card that will give you not only bonus points or free nights via the sign-up bonus, but also they will allow you to earn hotel points by using the card for your everyday spending. Of course, be careful not to overspend and start racking up interest charges, as you will come out on the losing end of that proposition. Here are a few examples of some hotel card sign-up offers that may be available to your family right now.</p> <h3>Hyatt Visa Signature</h3> <p>The Hyatt Visa Signature card awards two free nights at any Hyatt Hotel or Resort worldwide after you meet the spending requirement of $1,000 in the first three months. You can use those nights in hotels such as the family friendly oceanfront Grand Hyatt Kauai for a Hawaiian getaway, at the mountain side ski-in Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado, or for a luxury European getaway at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. All of those hotels can easily go for $400 to $800 per night if you were paying with cash, but as you can see they can be had for no out of pocket cost.</p> <p>Additionally, earn more free stays with 3 points for every $1 spent at all Hyatt properties, 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, and at car rental agencies. You get 1 point for every $1 spent anywhere else you use your card. The card also upgrades you to Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum status, which includes a 15% point bonus on eligible spend, complimentary in-room Internet access, and late check out. Finally, you get one free night at any category 1-4 property every year after your cardmember anniversary.</p> <p>The annual fee is $0 for the frist year, $75 thereafter.</p> <h3>Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card</a>&nbsp;from our partner Citi offers two weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within four months of account opening.</p> <h3>Fairmont Visa Signature</h3> <p>If you are really after luxury, the Fairmont Visa Signature awards two free nights with breakfast for two after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months. You'll also earn 1 free night each anniversary year that you make $12,000 in purchases with your card. You could use those free nights to stay at one of their hotels including the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise next to the Victoria Glacier. From there you could gaze out on the glistening emerald lake in Alberta's Banff National Park.</p> <p>Earn Fairmont Rewards easily by getting 5 points for every $1 spent on Fairmont stays, 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines, at car rental agencies, and on transit and commuting. You get 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.</p> <h2>Easy Hotel Elite Status</h2> <p>In addition to racking up virtually free nights at luxury properties, getting hotel co-branded credit cards can give you instant hotel elite status levels that can help you score room upgrades, free breakfasts, free Internet, bonus points, and more.</p> <p>Hotel elite status was historically for those who spend many nights per year in hotels, but thanks to the influx of co-branded credit cards you can get elite hotel status just by being a cardmember. Perks for these status upgrades include complimentary breakfast, lounge access, free internet, and more. These easy to get elite status levels can make your hotel stays a little more comfortable without increasing your cost.</p> <h2>Hotel Deals and Discounts</h2> <p>While I think that leveraging hotel points to stay in amazing hotels is the most rewarding path to take, it is not the only way to get your family a luxury hotel stay for significantly less money than by paying the average daily rate.</p> <p><a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.224962&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1">Hotwire</a> and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10748901">Priceline</a> can be used to get a room at a four star hotel for a fraction of the price, though you wont know the name of the exact hotel until after you have committed to the price. You can take a bit of the mystery out of the process by trying to decode the hotel you are bidding on thanks to websites like <a href="http://www.betterbidding.com/">BetterBidding</a>.</p> <p>Hotel discount sites such as <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11602961">Travel Pony</a> or <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10789183">HotelsCombined</a> also can be good ways to search for the lowest price for any given hotel. I have personally booked a stay at a luxury Fairmont property for about half the going rate using Travel Pony and stacking some new customer and other coupon codes I found by searching online.</p> <h2>Best Rate Guarantees</h2> <p>Finally, a good way to save money on very nice hotel stays is to make good use of the Best Rate Guarantees that most hotel chains offer. Every chain is a bit different, but in general if you can find a lower rate for a specific room type than is being offered directly on the hotels website then you can not only have the chain match the lower rate, but get a discount on top of that. Those discounts can range from a 25% discount off the lowest price found when booking with Marriott or Club Carlson, to even an entire night free in the case of IHG Rewards or Choice Hotels!</p> <p>Whether you get some free nights thanks to signing up for a co-branded hotel credit card or score a huge discount on your hotel stay by using a site like Priceline or Hotels Combined, there are lots of ways to get a room in a luxury hotel without anywhere close to the luxury prices!</p> <p><em>How have you cut your lodging costs? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%205-Star%20Hotel%20for%20Less%20Than%20the%20Cost%20of%20a%20Motel.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%205-Star%20Hotel%20for%20Less%20Than%20the%20Cost%20of%20a%20Motel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%205-Star%20Hotel%20for%20Less%20Than%20the%20Cost%20of%20a%20Motel.jpg" alt="How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-hull">Summer Hull</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays">5 Best Credit Cards with Sign-up Bonuses for Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel cheap hotels hotel discounts hotels lodging Thu, 08 May 2014 08:00:19 +0000 Summer Hull 1138431 at http://www.wisebread.com Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High) http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-1165398-small.jpg" alt="road trip" title="road trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation season is fast approaching &mdash; and it&rsquo;s time for you to solidify your plans. If you&rsquo;re looking for an adventure outside of a resort or your Aunt Em&rsquo;s farm, consider a road trip. Not only will you get to spend lots of quality time with your trip mates (for better or worse), but you&rsquo;ll have incredible stories and memories that you just can&rsquo;t get on a generic vacation. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-and-frugal-ideas-for-family-road-trips" target="_blank"> 5 Fun and Frugal Ideas for Family Road Trips</a>)</p> <p>Given the price of travel these days, specifically gasoline, how can you throw caution to wind and hit the road without draining your 401(k)? Consider these tips.</p> <h2>Gas</h2> <p>After food and lodging, gasoline will be your biggest travel expense. With some clever planning, you can trim the cost of filling your tank.</p> <p><strong>Pack Light</strong></p> <p>The more passengers in your vehicle during the road trip, the more ways you can split the cost of gas. But be careful. Each passenger will weigh down the vehicle, causing it to burn more fuel along the way. For every extra 100 pounds, <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drivehabits.shtml" target="_blank">you can expect to reduce your MPG by up to 2%</a>. In that case, you&rsquo;ll have to be smarter and lighter in your packing &mdash; unless your suitcase can suddenly pay at the pump, too.</p> <p><strong>Go Where Gas Is Cheap</strong></p> <p>Plan your route so that you&rsquo;re traveling through places (or at least not stopping to fuel up) where gas is not at a premium. For instance, if you&rsquo;re driving from Baltimore to Boston, get gas in lower-price places like New Jersey instead of filling up in New York. To save on gas most efficiently, avoid top-tier gas destinations altogether and plan your trip to places that are consistently affordable or <a href="http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/?redirectto=http://fuelgaugereport.opisnet.com/index.asp" target="_blank">less than the national average</a>.</p> <p><strong>Drive the Right Car</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re traveling with passengers who all own a vehicle of their own, discuss beforehand whose vehicle has the best fuel economy. If you own a Ford F-150 pickup truck and your friend owns a Prius, it shouldn&rsquo;t take an engineering degree from MIT to help you decide which vehicle is best. (Although it might make sense to leave the Prius behind if the pickup has a camper shell and you plan to defray some of the cost of lodging by camping out.)</p> <p><strong>Drive Responsibly</strong></p> <p>When you&rsquo;re on the road, drive responsibly. Barreling down the highway like a speed demon will only burn gas quicker. Plus, you won&rsquo;t be able to enjoy the scenery along the way &mdash; which is part of the fun.</p> <p><strong>Drive at Night</strong></p> <p>If you can hack it, try to make the bulk of the trip overnight, driving in shifts if you have to. You&rsquo;ll burn less gas in the cooler night hours than in the warmer daytime.</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>You have to eat, but you don't have to eat at diners and fast food joints for every meal.</p> <p><strong>Pack a Cooler</strong></p> <p>Smart, spend-savvy road trippers always pack a cooler filled to the brim with food. It may not be the healthiest food, of course, but this is vacation, so you can live a little. Packing these road snacks will help you avoid fast food joints and costly restaurants at which you may be forced to dine, especially when you&rsquo;re hungry in the middle of nowhere.</p> <p><strong>Set a Diner Budget</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;ll inevitably want to eat out sometimes along the road trip &mdash; and there&rsquo;s nothing wrong with that as long as it&rsquo;s not every meal &mdash; but for the times that you do indulge, have a budget set so you can manage your money well the whole way.</p> <p><strong>Find Happy Hours</strong></p> <p>Another great way to save when eating out along your trip is to find local happy hours that offer free snacks (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-ways-to-score-free-travel-food" target="_blank">they&rsquo;re out there</a>) or by using discount apps like Scoutmob, LivingSocial, or Groupon for instant savings.</p> <p><strong>Accept Free Meals</strong></p> <p>Accept free meals when they&rsquo;re offered. Like if you stop at a friend&rsquo;s or family member&rsquo;s house and they insist on cooking your breakfast and sending you off with sandwiches.</p> <p><strong>Visit Grocery Stores</strong></p> <p>Hit up grocery stores along the way to restock your cooler. The price of a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, two bags of baby carrots, and two bags of potato chips will feed a group of four for a day for about $15. In comparison, a meal at a fast-food restaurant will cost more than $20 for four people &mdash; and that&rsquo;s just one meal.</p> <p><strong>Drink Water</strong></p> <p>Fill up your water bottles with free tap water along the way to stay healthy and hydrated.</p> <h2>Lodging</h2> <p>If you're an experienced road tripper, you probably already have a tent and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-over-1000-on-your-next-backpacking-trip" target="_blank">basic camping gear</a>. If you're really experienced, you may have an RV. If you're neither, you still have options beyond pricey motels.</p> <p><strong>Nap at Rest Stops</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;re allowed to nap in your car at rest stops. I&rsquo;m not saying it&rsquo;s very comfortable, and I&rsquo;m not saying it&rsquo;s very safe. I&rsquo;m just saying.</p> <p><strong>Camp</strong></p> <p>Renting a space at a campground is relatively inexpensive, but finding a secluded place to camp is free. If you plan to engage in the latter, make sure it&rsquo;s not private property, which is usually designated by signs.</p> <p><strong>Impose on Friends and Family</strong></p> <p>Plan your trip to areas where you have friends and family who have space to accommodate you. Not only will it be free (hopefully), but you&rsquo;ll also get to spend time with people you may not see very often.</p> <p><strong>Micro Sublet</strong></p> <p>For <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources" target="_blank">other affordable lodging options</a>, look into Couchsurfing (which is free) or microsubletting sites like Airbnb. The latter isn&rsquo;t free, but you&rsquo;ll almost always get more for your money and have a better time than at a hotel.</p> <p><strong>Use Your Rewards</strong></p> <p>Cash in any rewards points that you may have racked up and turn them into a hotel stay. After a week or two on the road, you&rsquo;ll want at least one night of luxury. What else are you saving it for?</p> <h2>Activities</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t expect that you&rsquo;re driving all over the country to spend all your time looking at things from inside the car. Sometimes you&rsquo;ll want to get out and explore.</p> <p><strong>Visit Public Sites</strong></p> <p>Plan trips to public and free sites, which are available no matter where you go &mdash; big cities and small towns alike.</p> <p><strong>Buy Daily Deals</strong></p> <p>Purchase daily deals in advance of reaching your destination to reduce the cost of higher-end activities. Remember that some activities that tend to be popular will need to schedule you in, so it&rsquo;s best to do this at least a week or two in advance so you&rsquo;re not shut out at the last minute with no chance of a refund.</p> <p><strong>Check Visitor's Centers</strong></p> <p>Stop in at visitor's centers to gather information on free events and activities and scoop up valuable coupons you can&rsquo;t find elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>Wing It</strong></p> <p>Plan your own activities. You&rsquo;re on a road trip with friends. Surely you guys can come up with plenty of fun things to do together that don&rsquo;t cost a dime. All you&rsquo;ve got to do is put your heads together.</p> <p><em>Have any more tips on how to have a frugal road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftaking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FTaking%20Frugal%20Road%20Trips%20(Even%20When%20Gas%20Prices%20Are%20High).jpg&amp;description=Taking%20Frugal%20Road%20Trips%20(Even%20When%20Gas%20Prices%20Are%20High)" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Taking%20Frugal%20Road%20Trips%20%28Even%20When%20Gas%20Prices%20Are%20High%29.jpg" alt="Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/roll-dont-fold-and-10-other-tricks-for-packing-fast">Roll, Don&#039;t Fold (and 10 Other Tricks for Packing Fast)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-amazing-and-undiscovered-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap, Amazing, and Undiscovered Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Travel budget vacations cheap travel frugal road trip lodging road trip travel travel food Thu, 02 May 2013 10:24:44 +0000 Mikey Rox 973516 at http://www.wisebread.com