(BPT) – Looking to spend time away without spending a ton of money? Your wanderlust doesn’t have to directly compete with your desire to save. With a few smart tips and tricks, you can cut costs and make the most out of your trip. These seven savings strategies make travel more accessible, enjoyable and affordable than ever before.
1. Pre-pay your hotel stay and save: Plan ahead to get the best rates at hotels. For example, at Extended Stay America hotels, guests who pre-pay their stay more than seven days before their arrival date can receive 5 percent off their nightly rate and guests who pre-pay more than 21 days in advance can receive 10 percent off their nightly rate.
2. Shop and purchase tickets in advance: Consider researching tickets for museums, tours, amusement parks and other travel activities to see if advanced purchase discounts are available. Bonus: You’ll have one less thing to do when you get there because you’ll have tickets in hand!
3. Create a balance between eating in and eating out: Other travel expenses beyond the hotel rate are also worth considering. The cost of dining out, particularly for a family, adds up. The convenience of having a fully equipped kitchen (with full-sized refrigerators) at your fingertips helps you save money and maintain healthy eating habits by creating home-cooked meals right in your hotel room. Additionally, look for hotels that offer onsite complimentary breakfasts.
4. Bring along furry family members: Boarding pets or hiring a pet sitter can add up quickly. If your hotel is pet-friendly, that can be a big savings, plus Fluffy or Fido will be there with you making memories that last long after your trip has ended.
5. Focus on the essentials you’ll need during your stay: Other hotel necessities to seek out include free Wi-Fi with enhanced speeds, premium cable and on-premise laundry facilities so you can enjoy the comforts of home away from home — without any added costs.
6. Be flexible on timing: Weekend rates are typically higher than other days of the week, so consider adjusting your stay when possible or staying longer to take advantage of cheaper rates. Some hotels offer length-of-stay discounts, even during peak travel periods like school breaks and holidays. At Extended Stay America, the Stay More, Save More discount means the longer guests stay, the more they save off their nightly rate, so sometimes it pays to stay that extra day!
7. Take advantage of other discounts and rewards: Hotels and attractions often have a variety of discounts available, so the simple step of asking could unleash hidden savings for seniors, military and government personnel, and even group rates. Even if you don’t qualify for a special category discount, look into hotel, restaurant and general rewards programs available to anyone. One useful example is the Extended Perks program that does away with points and instantly gives members great savings on hotel stays, rental cars, theme parks, entertainment, dining and more so guests can save more while doing more. Guests can join for free today and start saving immediately via ESA.com, as well as take their savings with them when they travel by downloading the mobile app.