Different Rates. If you want a good price, don’t just call a hotel and reserve a room. Hotels charge different rates to different customers. The phone rate is usually the highest rate. For chain hotels, the lowest rates are usually found on the internet.
Shop Around. The internet has hundreds of hotel sites that compare prices and offer reviews. AirNinja offers a hotel search where you can search many of the most popular sites at once.
Lowball Your Own Price. At DollarTimes, we are a huge fan of Priceline’s Name Your Own Price feature. It is usually the best way to get deals. Here’s a tip to getting a great rate: always lowball your first bid. You will get the option to increase it later, so why not start low?
Ask for Discounts. Are you a senior? An AAA member? A veteran? Ask the hotel if they can give you a discount. It never hurts to ask. Also ask about weekly rates.
Haggle. Try to negotiate. Many independently-owned hotels will bargain with you over the phone, especially at the last minute. Remember that an empty room doesn’t earn the hotel anything, so don’t be embarrassed to start low.
Hostels. Youth hostels can be an inexpensive option, usually around $20/night per person. In my opinion, HostelBookers.com is the best site for booking hostels and reading reviews.
Make New Friends. Stay for free. CouchSurfing.com is a social networking site that connects travelers and people willing to host them for free. A rating system helps to prevent bad experiences.