Secret Ways to Save Money
There are also some sly ways to save money that involve a bit of charisma and confidence.
Let's say you and your family are on a road trip and have not made reservations at a hotel. You stop in a hotel and it is off-season. You can clearly see that it is dead. Try to negotiate the price of each room (or at least one room) with the hotel manager. Fodor's says, "Most people are so intimidated by know-it-all hotel desk clerks that they don't try bargaining for a better deal. But negotiating for a better deal is often worth the trouble, because most hotel general managers would prefer having a customer paying a lower-than-usual rate to no customer at all."
Explain politely that you would like a deal on the rooms, since you are giving them business in the middle of off-season and see what the manager can do. Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not. Do not expect a deal at midnight from the college kid who is manning the front desk. Also, if it is the only hotel within fifty miles and the manager knows this, you will not get a deal.
If you cannot negotiate a cheaper room price, try for some free amenities to be thrown in. For example, ask if you can use the exercise room for free or the Internet for free. If on a couples trip, ask if you can get a discount on their in-house spa or at the restaurant. Try to politely haggle for any extra amenity that will add value to your trip and save you money.
Now that you know how to save money when staying at a hotel, do not be afraid to go on vacation more often. Hotel stays can be fun and cheap as long as you do not use the extra services and you have the confidence to wheel and deal.