Today’s article is the second installment in our sizzling summer series on budget-friendly getaways. We’re sharing more tips and tricks for you to save money while getting your vacation mode on. Part one talked about how camping can be one low-cost way to make unforgettable memories with your friends and family. However, if camping isn’t your idea of the perfect getaway, this article about getting away with a close-to-home hotel stay is for you. Maybe there are some extra fluffy pillows and a cozy bathrobe in your summertime getaway future!
Shop and Compare Room Rates
A weekend away at a local hotel can be the perfect opportunity to recharge and reset. But where to start when searching for cost-effective hotel rooms in your area? Here are some suggestions:
- Kayak, Hotwire, and Hotels.com are all websites where you can compare prices on various hotel stay options in your area. In some cases, they even offer rewards that extend the savings.
- Here’s another tip for the savvy hotel shopper: Negotiate your room rate (which, according to Consumer Reports, has a 78% success rate!). Or, pick a discounted travel day if you’re flexible on getaway dates. For additional cost-saving ideas, check out Consumer Report’s hotel room buying guide.
Congrats, you found a great price on the perfect place to stay! But, booking the hotel is only part of your getaway planning. Step two involves budget-friendly ways to travel comfortably and in style:
Want to pack smart and look smart at the same time?
- Consider the weather and your itinerary before zipping up that suitcase. Costs will quickly run up if you need to purchase clothing items to accommodate excursions you have during your hotel stay. Roll up that raincoat, remember a travel umbrella, and don’t forget that “oh so cool” summer hat, bathing suit and hike-appropriate apparel – you’ll look the part and save money by planning ahead for fun.
- Need some additional tips on how to pack while on a budget? The blog Any Tots offers a great list of 20 hotel stay packing essentials.
And, keeping the troops (and yourself) happy, hydrated and snack-supplied will also increase your getaway enjoyment by a factor of …. Well a lot. Pack refillable water bottles and pre-portioned snacks. That bag of chips and a soda from the minibar might be handy, but the costs add up quickly. Secure your savings on your getaway by considering cost-effective ways to satisfy those easy meals and munchies.
- Save on in-room entertainment costs too. Bring kids’ toys, family games (family connection time, yay!), or even just a good book to really recharge without reaching for the remote OR your wallet.
What To Do
You’ll also need to decide what to do with your fabulous free time to make the most of your getaway. If you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas:
- Pick a hotel located in an area you’ve always wanted to explore so you can play local tourist.
- Take a tour of the hotel and explore all of its unique offerings, even if it’s just a charming reading nook you’ll be taking advantage of later.
- Sleep in! Fluff up all those pillows and get some great rest in that comfy bed.
- Plan a spa day, and no, we’re not talking expensive hotel spas. Instead, get a facemask from your local drug store, rock the hotel room robe, turn on your favorite Zen music and enjoy some serious R & R.
Looking for some additional hotel-specific activities? Travel + Leisure has some great tips to make any hotel stay way more fun.
There you have it! Tips and tricks to make your money go further for your next local hotel stay. With these tips and tricks, a getaway is definitely in your (and your finance’s) future. So bring on the fuzzy slippers, the “Do Not Disturb” sign, and the fun of a change of scenery. It’s all good. (Just remember to steer clear of that pricey minibar!)
Need more cost-saving trip tips? Keep your eyes peeled for part three of our budget-friendly getaway series, where we’ll discuss the most spend-savvy getaway of all – a staycation!