How to Find the Best Hotel Deals for Travelers

Traveling and hotels

The travel industry — also known as tourism — encompasses all businesses that provide services related to moving people from one location to another, and caters to the needs of travelers after they arrive at their destination. The industry consists of many sub-industries, including hotels, which offer lodging and related amenities to people traveling for business or leisure.

In addition to price and location, there are a number of other factors that influence travelers when selecting a hotel. These include amenities, customer service and overall experience. A hotel that provides all of these will be a good fit for most travelers.

Some important differences between hotels and other types of accommodations are that hotels generally feature restaurants, exercise rooms and other facilities designed to attract guests and encourage them to spend time in the hotel. They also tend to be geared toward travelers arriving by car or taxi, as they are usually located along busy routes and have ample on-site parking. In contrast, motels are a type of lodging that usually offers a more sparse experience and tend to be located in rural areas or in towns that are not easily accessible by car. Motels are often less expensive than hotels and offer more basic amenities, such as on-site parking and individual rooms.

Other options for travelers looking for a place to stay while traveling are bed and breakfasts, Airbnb rental homes and apartments, and extended-stay brands of hotels. A bed and breakfast is similar to a hotel, but usually has fewer rooms. A B&B can be an excellent option for those traveling with children, as most offer child-friendly amenities such as cribs and highchairs. Airbnb homes and apartments are generally more affordable than hotels, but they may lack the same level of amenities and may not be as well-maintained.

While some of these alternative types of accommodation can be found on the websites of travel sites, the best way to find a good deal is to contact a hotel directly and try to negotiate a discount. Hotel booking services take a cut of the room rate, which means that hoteliers are less likely to offer deals through these intermediaries. It is also sometimes possible to wrangle a discounted room rate for a longer stay or payment in cash, as both of these can save the hotel money on credit-card fees.

For frequent travelers, it makes sense to join a hotel loyalty program, which can offer perks such as free upgrades and priority reservations. In addition, loyalty programs often have a variety of special rates and promotions that can be used in conjunction with other discounts to reduce the cost of a stay. Those looking for additional savings should be sure to consider vacation packages and bundled trips, which can offer significant discounts. These are offered by online travel agencies and even airlines, as well as daily deal sites such as Groupon Getaways and LivingSocial Escapes. These packages may combine a hotel stay with airfare and a car rental, for example.

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