A hotel room becomes your home for the time you’re away from home, traveling. Rising costs of travel — accommodations, airfares and even entry to museums and theme parks — inevitably prompts every traveler to squeeze every penny to make the most of his or her travel experience.

Fear not, there are ways to accomplish this.

There are insider tricks and hotel hacks that help you get reasonable rates, free upgrades and of course a great deal of comfort when booking hotel rooms.

Become a member of AAA

American Automobile Association (AAA) is a is a federation of affiliated automobile clubs in the United States. Such membership includes hotel privileges such as Best Western or Hilton

  • A minimal investment in AAA membership can save an average of 5%-10% on hotel stays.
  • Anyone can join AAA for free.
  • AAA membership offers flexibility such as last day cancellations.

Signup for hotel’s co-branded credit card

Special offers are often bundled when guests use the hotel’s credit card or other form of loyalty program such as Shangri-La Hotel’s Golden Circle Awards Points.

  • Signing up for hotel credit cards offer you a week’s worth of free accommodation.
  • Using universal miles and travel reward credit cards for transferring points to hotel loyalty programs and redeeming them can get you free accommodation.
  • Using Platinum credit card can get you upgraded status at a hotel.

Become a loyal follower of a hotel chain

You can earn more privileges by sticking to hotel chains of a major brand and become an esteemed part of their loyalty program. For example, InterContinental Hotels Group operates a number of brands such as Crowne Plaza, InterContinental and Holiday Inn whose presence is spread worldwide.

Email the general manager

While this isn’t an approach you normally do if you are happy with the hotel experience, cleanliness or staff attitude, this might work on your subsequent stay in the hotel.

Email the General Manager letting him know about your not so good experience at the hotel and he will offer you amazing rates and service to give the hotel another chance.

Use Hotel Bidding Sites

You can also save hotel room rates by trying out hotel bidding sites such as BackBid or sites that scan hotel rates such as Priceline.com  or Trivago

  • Search online for hotel that offer deep discounts and good service before you book them.
  • Grabbing a Groupon deal can get you rooms at the last minute, provided you’re flexible enough.
  • Use booking sites with lowest price guarantee.

6. Ask for Good Deals
If you’re going to stay at a hotel for the first time all you have to do is search for a great deal online and call the hotel to ask if they can offer you something better.

  • If you’re staying somewhere longer than a week then negotiate a lower rate.
  • You can also use price guarantees. Some hotel chains match the lowest price you find and give you freebies and further discounts.

Use of proper currency

Booking in the currency of the place you’re travelling to can save a lot of money.

You can use a travel credit card that offers free foreign transactions and charges fair rates for currency conversion.

Advice of a special occasion in advance

Long before your intended booking — a few months ideally — you may speak to a customer service representative about a memorable time you intend to make in the hotel and ask for possible complementary deals like discounted room rates, complementary wine or free upgrade to a more opulent suite — especially during an off peak season.

This approach can earn you complimentary upgrades to help you celebrate a milestone such as wedding anniversary

Give positive reviews

Offer them a great review on a travel site such as TripAdvisor or Agoda.com. This should be done out of goodwill rather than blackmail that if you fail to get a good deal, you’ll get your revenge in the review site.

If you’re bold enough, you may slip a $20 bill at the reception to get that good deal.

Make the most out of hotel resources

There are other ways to save money without even going out of your room. For example,

a. Ask for some dishes for breakfast or snacks to save money and time.
b. Instead of paying for hotel laundry, use the towel heaters as dryers.
c. Instead of subscribing to hotel’s pay per view channels, you may bring a couple of movies downloaded in the USB and hope the television supports such video format.