Now that you’ve spent that $10K to find the perfect beach vacation, you may be wondering, “How do I get free hotel rooms and how do I save money?”
Here are some tips to help you plan your vacation.
If you’re staying at a private beach resort, consider booking a private room.
Private rooms are not required to book a hotel room and do not require a reservation.
Private room options include the beachfront cabanas, villas, bungalows, and the beach house.
If traveling by air, consider flying in and out of the same hotel.
Airfare from one city to another can be as cheap as $10 to $20 per person.
If you book in advance, book as many nights as you need and pay in advance.
If your hotel stays open, it will save you a few dollars each night.
If there are no available rooms, you can book a room through Airbnb, a website that lets you book rooms on the fly.
If hotel rooms are available, ask for a room deposit.
Most hotels charge a $20 deposit on the deposit, but some offer a $30 deposit for overnight stays.
If there are two hotels, try to book multiple nights at one hotel.
For example, you might book three nights at a hotel in the same city as your vacation and then book two nights at another hotel in another city.
If the first hotel stays on the beach, you’ll save money by staying at the second hotel instead of staying at your own.
If two hotels are located on different beaches, consider taking advantage of hotel discounts.
The cheapest hotel rate for a weekend stay in an Airbnb room is $35 per night.
Booking a vacation package, a package of four or more nights, can be a good way to save money.
A package of three nights can be worth $200.
Booking multiple nights can save you even more money if the cost of each night is the same or less.
A package of two nights in a two-bedroom apartment with a bathroom can save up to $1,000 per night, or $100 per night if you book on a budget.
Book a package for two nights and pay a deposit to reserve the first night.
You’ll be paying the difference in your deposit, and you’ll be staying in a better room.
If a package costs more than one night, you won’t have to pay more for a hotel stay than you would if you booked on a single night.
If your budget includes hotel stays for more than three nights, you should consider booking multiple nights in one hotel or a combination of hotel and vacation package.
A one-night hotel stay can save $1 to $3,000, or as much as $4,000 to $6,000.
If possible, book three- or four-night stays instead of two-night or three-night hotels.
If it’s the weekend, you need to save a bit.
If it’s not the weekend and you don’t have the cash to book one night at a three-bedroom condo or villa, consider saving a few hundred dollars at the beach or a private pool.
If renting, consider renting a room with a private bathtub or hot tub, a balcony, and an extra-large TV.
A private pool can save a few thousand dollars per night on average.
For more tips on saving money on vacation, check out the Entertainment Weekly Travel Guide.