- Book in advance. The cheapest hotel rates can go quickly, so book your room at the same time that you make your travel plans.
- Compare packages. Choosing the cheapest hotel doesn't necessarily save you the most money. Weigh the hotel rates based upon the meals, entertainment, housekeeping, room amenities, airport shuttle service, and activity packages that the hotel may provide.
- Check for special deals through your memberships, associations, or clubs. Sometimes a credit card, a travel agent, or a frequent flyer plan can qualify you for a discounted hotel rate.
- Ask your travel agent about booking your room through a consolidator. Consolidators buy large blocks of rooms and often pass large discounts on to the individual consumer.
- Consider staying in a business district. Since business travelers aren't around during the weekend, hotels in business districts have plenty of available rooms on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and usually offer discounted rates.
- Ask about a suite. If your family requires more than one bedroom, staying in a suite may be cheaper than reserving separate rooms.
- Talk to more than one person. If you plan to stay in a national hotel chain, call its 800-number before contacting the hotel directly. One might quote you a lower rate than the other.
Sources: FreeTravelTips.com; Airlines of the Web