Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Smart ways summer travelers can cut hotel costs

(ARA) – How does your family plan to save money on summer vacation this year? Driving rather than flying? Maybe carrying all the items you need instead of renting once arriving at your destination? These are all great ways to save! But how do you cut back on one of the biggest, yet totally necessary costs of travel – accommodations?

After airfare (which many travelers are eschewing in favor of less costly motoring), accommodations can be the largest cost associated with summer travel. Short of staying with nearby family (too much togetherness for some of us) or popping a pup tent at the local campground (roughing it isn’t for everyone), how can you cut accommodation costs?

Here are a few helpful hints for both families and business people traveling this summer:

* Stick with a suite deal – If you’re traveling with more than three people in your party, there’s a lot to be said for staying in a suite, from both a cost and comfort standpoint. Suites offer room for larger parties and one suite in a quality hotel can be more cost-effective than booking multiple rooms in a budget property.

Factor in the free extras that come with a suite at a quality brand like Embassy Suites, and the savings can add up further. You’ll save money on food and beverage at Embassy Suites because they offer a free cooked-to-order breakfast every morning and your favorite beverages at an evening Manager’s Reception.

* Timing is everything – If you’re traveling on business, you may not have much flexibility on timing. Still, it’s wise to avoid traveling to a destination during a well-attended festival or event – unless, of course, your business is connected to the event. For leisure travelers, a wiser course might be to choose your destination based on attractions and proximity to home, and then book travel during times when demand is likely to be lower.

Every destination has a “shoulder season” – a time when fewer people are looking to book rooms. Check with the hotel you’re interested in, or the area convention and visitors bureau, to find out when lower demand times occur. You can sometimes save substantially by traveling at those times.

* You’ve earned your rewards – Sign up for travel rewards programs. Look for programs that allow you to move points between accounts. For example, some airlines and hotel chains have programs that award you extra points for traveling with their partners or allow you to apply their points toward travel with their partners. Your points accumulate value faster with these types of programs.

* Shop smart – Comparison shopping is easier than ever thanks to the Internet. Numerous Web sites allow you to quickly find great deals, check out nearby attractions and even create a full travel itinerary. Once you’ve found a great online deal, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone, call the hotel and ask someone there if they can do better than the advertised online rate. If they can’t lower the rate, they may be able to throw in some extra incentives like discount coupons to nearby attractions or even a complimentary meal in the hotel’s restaurant.

To learn more about how to save on accommodations and get a “suite deal,” visit www.EmbassySuites.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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