$aving at a Hotel

It can be a challenge in finding the right hotel for your family, let alone finding ways to save money at a hotel.  We have found a few ways to save when booking a standard hotel room and I thought I would share them for this Frugal Friday:

1. When booking the hotel, know what the taxes and room fees are that the hotel charges so you know the final cost of each day.  This can make a difference in your budget for the trip.

2. Find out if breakfast is included.  We always stay at a hotel that has breakfast included as it’s the one meal we like to have right away so we can get our day started.  When comparing the price of hotels, this can make a difference if the prices are similar but one hotel has a complimentary breakfast (and check if continental or buffet, depending on your needs).  Savings per day ~$15 minimum.

3. Bring breakfast for the little ones.  We have always carried our Gerber Oatmeal in a Ziploc bag for Jolie so that we have it on hand, along with a bowl and spoon.  This way she has the same breakfast as when we are home (consistancy helps her move along better).  Savings per day ~$3 plus time especially if our hotel does not have breakfast (there is usually at minimum a coffee station and we use the milk from there).

4. When you arrive in your room, check if there are free waters in the room.  Usually these will say “complimentary” and tell you if it’s each day or just upon arrival.  These are the “nice to have’s” because we drink a lot of water while traveling and try to get it free when possible.  Savings per day ~$5.

5. Look into staying for “free” options. We recently did a time share presentation where we got to stay for “free” at night by attending.  I use the word free lightly as we still had to pay parking, room fees and taxes which was more than I would expect. It adds up!  I’ll write more on this later but if you are someone that can definitely say NO to the offer then it’s always an option. In that instance, savings per day ~$100. (Please note, I am not recommending purchasing time shares!)

6. Avoid eating at the hotel restaurants.  This is a hard one because many hotels we’ve stayed at have excellent restaurants with high reviews.  However, typically you can experience the local cuisine of an area just as well by leaving the hotel.  We have found it much cheaper and sometimes still cheaper when we’ve had to take a taxi out of the hotel. Savings per day ~$20+++

7. Check to see if there is a refridgerator in the room and if you can request one for free, then do it. We like to get waters and fruit from the nearest grocery store so that we’re not snacking on all junk while traveling.  Savings per day ~$20 by doing this (think $3.99 for a case of water versus $1+ each).

8. Bring your own lunch if you can.  Yes, the kids love PB&J!  We packed a small cooler on our trip to Florida with peanut butter and jelly and now we do this for every driving vacation.  Jolie never got tired of it, and even if Phil and I did we were so happy to save so much money it didn’t matter.  Savings per day ~$17+

9. Find the nearest pizza place.  Better yet, order takeout if you have a car. Phil has even driven around after finding a $20 pizza place that he thought was overpriced to then getting a $10 pizza with breadsticks instead for us. Savings per day ~$25+.

10. Find out if there are any activities at the hotel for the kids.  Many “kid friendly” destinations tend to have hotels that have a lot of fun and free activities for families.  Make sure to check the minimum age on these activities as we’ve learned with a toddler that she is sometimes too young.  We’ve still benefited and even gotten free ice cream along with some of the free activities.   Savings per day = priceless if you ask me!

Total savings = over $200 per day.  As I like to say, it is the little things that count.

Related Posts:
Saving While Traveling


7 Responses to “$aving at a Hotel”

  1. Emily Says:

    Some hotels, like the Magnolia Hotel in Houston, even offer free drinks and cookies in the evenings! Something for the parents AND the kids ;)


  2. Mary @ The World Is A Book Says:

    Great hotel tips! We usually go for the complimentary breakfast too. You know we usually don’t take advantage or even ask for the free activities at the hotel for the kids since we’re only usually there to sleep and my kids are fine as long as there’s a pool but I need to re-think that. Thanks!


    • admin Says:

      Yes, we’ve done it both ways too where all we do is sleep at the hotel! Then when we were in Jamaica we realized we should take advantage of the activities, so we did! We are the same way though – definitely need a pool and we are good to go!


  3. Denise Wright Says:

    These are great tips! Another suggestion is to ask about or look for rebates. We often book our hotel in advance through hotels-and-discounts.com and then take advantage of the rebate program (http://www.hotels-and-discounts.com/up-to-100-cash-back/) – you fill out the rebate coupon with your booking info and then get a check in the mail for up to $100 depending on the length of your trip.


    • Kiera Says:

      Denise, thank you for the suggestion and comment! I’ll have to look into that site as I never heard of it before. There are so many tools out there! I’m always up for getting money back!



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