Ways to Save Money on Hotels During the Holidays

4 minutes, 49 seconds Read

The holiday season is a time for celebration, but it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on hotel accommodations. With a little savvy planning and some insider tips, you can enjoy a festive and budget-friendly stay. Here are some smart strategies to help you save money on hotels during the holidays.

  1. Book in Advance: One of the most effective ways to save money on hotel stays during the holidays is to plan ahead. Booking in advance often comes with discounted rates and a wider selection of available rooms. Lock in your reservation as early as possible to secure the best deals.
  2. Utilize Price Comparison Websites: Take advantage of price comparison websites like Kayak, Trivago, or Google Hotel Search. These platforms allow you to compare prices from various booking sites, ensuring you find the most affordable options for your preferred dates and location.
  3. Consider Alternative Accommodations: Expand your horizons beyond traditional hotels. Look into vacation rentals on platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo. In some cases, you may find more affordable and spacious alternatives that suit your needs, especially if you’re traveling with a group or family.
  4. Subscribe to Alerts and Newsletters: Stay informed about exclusive deals and promotions by subscribing to hotel newsletters and alerts. Many hotels release special offers to their subscribers, providing you with the opportunity to snag discounts during the holiday season.
  5. Be Flexible with Your Dates: Flexibility is key when it comes to saving money on hotel bookings. If your travel dates are flexible, consider adjusting them to take advantage of off-peak pricing. Often, staying a day earlier or later can result in significant savings.
  6. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs: Join hotel loyalty programs to enjoy perks such as discounted rates, room upgrades, or complimentary amenities. Accumulate points throughout the year and redeem them during the holiday season to maximize your savings.
  7. Bundle and Save: Explore package deals that combine your hotel stay with flights or car rentals. Many travel agencies offer package discounts, providing an excellent opportunity to save money on multiple aspects of your holiday trip.
  8. Look for Flash Sales and Last-Minute Deals: Keep an eye out for flash sales and last-minute deals offered by hotels and travel agencies. These promotions can result in significant discounts, especially for those who are spontaneous and flexible with their travel plans.
  9. Negotiate Directly with the Hotel: Don’t hesitate to contact the hotel directly to inquire about special rates or promotions. In some cases, hotels may be willing to offer a better deal, especially if you are a repeat guest or booking an extended stay.
  10. Take Advantage of Membership Discounts: If you are a member of organizations like AAA, AARP, or other professional groups, check for member discounts. Many hotels offer special rates for members, providing an additional avenue for saving money.

With these smart strategies, you can enjoy the holiday season without overspending on accommodation. From booking in advance and utilizing comparison sites to exploring alternative options and taking advantage of loyalty programs, there are plenty of ways to ensure a festive and budget-friendly stay during the holidays. Plan wisely, and you’ll be able to make the most of the season without sacrificing your wallet.

Avoid Peak Times

The most expensive times to travel over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays are during Christmas week and New Year’s Eve week. Traveling on the actual holiday day also tends to drive up prices significantly.

Aim to travel either the week before Christmas week or after New Year’s to get better rates. The weeks before and after the peak holiday weeks still see higher demand than other times of year, but hotels are generally not at maximum rates like during the holiday weeks themselves.

Avoid traveling on December 24-26 and December 31-January 1 if possible. These dates are when hotels can charge premium pricing, knowing demand will be very high. Just shifting your travel by a few days to before or after Christmas and New Year’s Eve can result in significant savings.

Even when traveling in the off-peak weeks around the holidays, it’s best to avoid the days right before or after the peak dates. Prices are still inflated on December 23rd and 27th around Christmas, and December 30th and January 2nd around New Year’s Eve. Leaving at least a few days buffer will provide the most savings.

The bottom line is to avoid the absolute peak of the holiday season if you want to find the best deals. With some flexible dates and strategic timing just before or after Christmas and New Year’s, you can still enjoy festive holiday travel without paying the steep premiums.

Compare Sites

The internet has made it easy to quickly compare rates across multiple sites when booking a hotel. Be sure to check rates on the major online travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, Booking.com, and Kayak. Oftentimes one site will have a better deal than the others for the same hotel.

Comparison shopping sites like Kayak let you put in your travel dates and destination and will then scan sites to show you a list of hotels and prices all in one place. This saves you time from having to check each hotel site individually. However, even after checking a site like Kayak, it can be worth doing a quick comparison by searching for the same hotel across a couple major sites. Sometimes additional deals may pop up that weren’t reflected in the search engine results.

Leveraging comparison shopping is one of the easiest ways to find the lowest price. Be patient and take the extra time to compare across multiple sites. The savings could be substantial, especially when staying for multiple nights. Sites will often match or beat a competitor’s rate if you call their customer service after finding a lower price elsewhere.

Similar Posts