How to Find Cheap Hotels

Four Methods:Knowing Your Search ToolsJoining Loyalty ProgramsPackaging Your AccommodationAsking for DiscountsCommunity Q&A

Hotels regularly sell their under booked rooms for less than their standard price. The Internet is flush with hotel discount websites, so it can be difficult to know which service is listing the lowest price. Although the Internet is still the best place to look for big deals on hotel rooms, you can use all these tools to get the biggest discount.


Method 1

Knowing Your Search Tools

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    Expect that most travel aggregate sites search for hotel deals. That does not mean, however, that all the sites will show the same information. Plan to look at three or more sites before you book.

    • The hotels listed depends upon what hotels choose to list their under booked rooms and which sites have already sold out of their vacant rooms.

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    Try This site claims to find 25 percent or more off a hotel stay. The advantage of Kayak is that it is well known by hotel chains and it allows you to compare a flights, cars and vacations in addition to hotels.
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    Visit if you want to find a risk-free reservation. Unlike most hotel chains that make you reserve with your credit card and pay a fee if you cancel, allows you to search for listings and review them based on free cancellation.

    • You may want to book a hotel on this site, keep your confirmation nearby and cancel if you find a better deal.
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    Search at or for last minute hotel deals. If you have a vacation coming up soon and you have yet to book your hotel, these sites perform well.
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    Go to Trivago to search for cheap hotels using a search engine that includes hotel discount websites, like, Expedia, Booking, Priceline and Travelocity. It may not list all the hotels that are available, but it will compare sites to find you the best price for popular hotels.[1]

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    Try Hotwire for even bigger discounts. The disadvantage of Hotwire is that you pick by location and find out where you will stay after you book. Hotwire doesn’t offer easy cancellation and you are taking a bigger risk than with other sites.

Method 2

Joining Loyalty Programs

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    Call your favorite hotel chain to see if they have a loyalty program. Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, Joie de Vivre, Kimpton, Marriott, Starwood and many more hotel chains give their loyal customers perks. Call and quiz the membership customer service line to see what they offer.

    • Ask the hotel loyalty program if they offer free Internet. Fancier hotels have stopped providing free Internet to clients. Starwood gives you free Internet upon enrollment.
    • Most loyalty programs work on a points system. Once you earn a certain amount of points, you get a free stay. They are best for frequent travelers.
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    Peruse the list of hotel loyalty programs on TravelZoo. Go to to review options before you call.
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    Sign up for your loyalty program e-newsletter. They will email you about room sales and you can book by clicking on the email and booking online. Make sure to compare these sale emails to or another aggregate site to ensure you are being offered the best deal.
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    Sign up for an AARP, AAA, or professional association membership. Many of these associations have partnerships with certain hotels. You can expect a 10 to 25 percent discount on certain hotel chains.[2]

Method 3

Packaging Your Accommodation

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    Use your airline to book your hotel. You may get a good deal on hotels, hotel transfers, car rentals and more by booking what airlines call a “vacation.”
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    Search Expedia, Kayak, Travelocity and other sites for package deals. Travel agents may be offering special deals on flights and hotels to fill their last few empty spots.
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    Click on the section entitled “last minute deals” on each website. You may be able to score a deal by booking an entire vacation (flight and hotel) just a week or two before you plan to travel. You must be extremely flexible.

Method 4

Asking for Discounts

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    Call a hotel or go into a location and haggle for cheaper accommodation. Tell the hotel what price you are looking for. Suggest that you want to check if they want to offer a deal before you try places down the road.[3]

    • Unless there is a strict no-discounts policy, most hotel managers will be flexible and give you the rate available on or another site.
    • If they won’t offer you a discount, ask if they will give you free services like a breakfast or Internet.
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    Ask for an industry discount. Say that you are a representative of your company looking to book a group of rooms at a hotel in the area. They may call you out or they may give you an industry rate of 10 to 15 percent off or more.

    • You should also ask for an educator discount, military discount or a non-profit discount if you are associated with a school, charity or branch of military service.[4]
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    Search Coupon websites if you want to stay at a certain hotel. Search according to the hotel name at Retail Me Not, or Coupon Heaven. If they don’t have a discount code, they may have coupons for free Internet or services.
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    Travel in the off-season to find cheaper rates. Europe in the fall or winter and South America or the Caribbean in the summer will have far lower rates than in the high season.
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    Book after 6 pm on the same day of travel. If you are up for adventure and a little risk, wait for hotels with unbooked rooms to offer discounts. Remember that you must ask or they will charge you the standard rate.

    • Leave your luggage in the car when you ask for discounts or haggle. You send the message that you are going to stay at the hotel if you bring your suitcase with you.[5]