Vacations are pretty expensive, and the largest chunk of your budget usually goes toward accommodations—but it’s possible to save a little money. Relaxing in your next rental will be a lot easier if you have a bit more money in your pocket. These tips could make that happen.
Using a website like Expedia may be tempting, but you can save a lot more money if you book directly. Many hotels and rental homes encourage you to book directly because of complications caused by going through booking sites, so they offer deep discounts for renting directly through the site. For vacation homes, HomeAway, BAirBn, and Roomorama offer rates directly from owners.
Booking in advance can guarantee you’ll receive a room, but it can also save you a lot of money. Reserving a few months in advance ensures your accommodations and many companies offer a discount if you choose to pay in advance as well. Check with your hotel or owner to see if you can get a lower amount if you pay the full price ahead of time.
Find Last-Minute Deals
Booking early isn’t always possible, but if you have flexible dates, you may consider a last-minute deal. Hotels and rentals like to fill accommodations, and if rooms look as though they won’t fill, the companies offer deep discounts to avoid losing money. This may be less true for owner-operated bed and breakfast locations, but you can always ask in a polite way. Call a day or less before you need a room for last-minute deals.
Rooms and rentals are less likely to become filled during the week, meaning if you can go on your vacation throughout the week rather than the weekend, you can save money. Many businesses list discounts based on flexible dates, and booking websites have a “flexible” option to find the lowest rates within a few days of your desired visit. Reserving a room with an owner directly could be more difficult, but you can always call and ask if their rates are flexible.
Use Group Bundles
Booking more than one room can give you the opportunity to tap into group discounts. This discount is most popular at hotels, but room rentals sometimes offer these discounts to fill rooms quickly with multiple paying guests. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you can get this discount if you’re renting an entire house since you’re usually paying for the whole residence no matter what. However, bringing multiple guests can help you pay less by splitting the cost.
One of the best things a potential renter can do is negotiate with an owner. Money is important to everyone. If a location is perfect, contact the host and tell them that you love their property, but money is tight. By negotiating, you may receive a discount, but you may also receive a cheaper location that’s off the beaten path. Locals often know best.