6 On Your Side Answers: How to save money on hotels this summer

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With the summer holiday season just a few weeks away is there a way to save money if you want to stay at a hotel?

AAA expects this summer to be a booming travel season. Lower gas prices, compared to last summer, and a pick up in the economy are factors that are likely to encourage more people to travel June through August.

Finding bargains either through a travel agency like AAA, or do-it-yourself travel websites will be plentiful if you book this month, weeks in advance. Then, you should frequenly monitor the hotel or motel’s website, watching for changing rates before checking in.

If the rate drops before you check in, and you claim it, many hotels will honor the lower price.

If you are into social media, before booking a hotel, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Many times, deals may be announced on social sites that you can take advantage of prior to booking. Also, comment on their social sites about your interest to stay at the property and you may receive an individual discount offer or free upgrade as an incentive to get you to book.

Do you like rewards?A vast majority of hotels, especially hotel chains, have free rewards programs. You can accumulate points by booking hotel rooms or shopping with a hotel’s partner companies. Once you accrue points, you can earn some freebies.

If you’re a member of the hotel’s reward program, request an upgrade when you check in. Sometimes hotels have a hard time filling vacancies in high end rooms, so they may offer it to you at either a discounted rate or no additional charge. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Finally, look for hotels with extra perks to save you money. Many offer a free breakfast. Eliminating paying for a meal can save a family or four or bigger a lot of money. Also, ask if there is a shuttle to and from local attractions. That way you don’t have to spend money on gas or parking.

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