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3 Ways to Get a Great Deal on a Hotel

Here are three ways we’ve gotten great deals on hotels:

Option #1: Go Through a Travel Site

If you’re willing to be adventuresome, you can purchase your hotel “blind” through Hotwire or Expedia and get a great deal. You’ll save at least $15 or $20 — often more! — if you’re willing to purchase the hotel room without knowing what hotel you are staying at. You can search by lowest price and star rating to see what prices are for the area you’ll be traveling to. We are typically able to find a three-star hotel for around $50-$60 per night this way.

Unless you don’t mind staying in rather questionable hotels, I wouldn’t suggest getting anything less than a three-star hotel as we’ve learned the hard way that two-star hotels can be hit and miss and one-star hotels should be avoided altogether. (Ask me to tell you the story of the roaches and the guy trying to break into our room in San Antonio at the one-star hotel we stayed at there if you need further proof. Yikes!)

While you can get some great deals this way, you are taking a risk. Sometimes it pays off well, other times, you end up with a less-than-stellar experience. But the savings have been worth it to us in most cases.

If you’re going to purchase your hotel room online, always go through Ebates to get cashback and check for any applicable coupon codes. Do keep in mind that you usually cannot get a refund on hotels reserved online through Hotwire or Expedia so you’ll want to make sure your travel plans are set in stone before purchasing.

If you want to get to pick your hotel before you purchase or be able to get a refund if your travel plans change, I’d recommend going through Orbitz. They have great deals, they show you the price including fees, and they do not charge you if you cancel your reservation. Usually, their prices are a little higher, but it might be worth it to pay a little to know what hotel you’re reserving ahead of time, and to not be charged if you cancel your reservation.

Option #2: Call and Haggle

Jesse loves to do this. He’ll pick out a few hotels he’s interested in having us stay at and then he’ll call them and ask them for the best rate they can give us. We usually can’t get as great of rates as we can reserving the hotel online, but we almost always are able to get at least a 15-20% discount off the price they initially quote us.

Be sure to ask for any applicable discount that might apply to you (AAA membership, AARP, Military, etc.) and call knowing exactly what you’re willing to pay. If they aren’t willing to do it, call the next hotel on your list.

As always, though, be polite and courteous. There’s no need to get irritated at them if they aren’t willing to go down on the price. Many hotels have specific pricing policies and can’t go lower than a certain price point.

Option #3: Walk In and Ask For a Bargain

This is what we did on our road trip last week. It was our first experience and it actually worked out really well. The advantages were that we were able to scope out the hotels and area ahead of time, instead of just relying upon pictures or information on the internet.

While we didn’t get quite as low of a price as we could have by purchasing through Hotwire, since we had to change our travel plans at the last minute due to the tornado in Joplin, it worked out well that we hadn’t reserved hotel rooms online anyway, as we would likely have been out the money.

We both decided on a price we were willing to pay per night and then picked out a few hotels in the area to go into and ask for a deal. Because we were traveling in the middle of the week, most of the hotels were quite empty and seemed more than willing to work with us to give us a discounted price. If we were going somewhere during a busy season, this approach likely wouldn’t have been as successful.

Coming tomorrow: How to Have a Successful Road Trip With Young Children

What are your best tips for getting a great deal on a hotel? Tell us in the comments!

Yesterday’s Dillon’s Shopping Trip

I went to Dillon’s yesterday and picked up some great bargains:

3 packages of Sister Schubert’s rolls — $1.79 each when you buy 10 participating items, used $0.50/1 coupons (doubled) from the 4/17 SmartSource insert — $0.79 after coupons

4 jars of Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade — $1.25 each, used 4 $0.75/1 coupons (“doubled” to $1 off — there is a limit of one coupon per registration, but you can register multiple family members) — $0.25 per jar after coupons

5 boxes of Green Giant vegetables — $0.99 each when you buy 10 participating items

5 packages of Milano cookies — $1.99 each, used 5 $0.50/1 coupons — $0.99 each

2 Butterfinger bars — $0.50 each — used $1/2 coupon — free after coupon

StoveTop Stuffing — free with a coupon they sent me

Cottonelle — used free coupon

Suave Professionals — used free coupon

Two boxes of Tony’s pizza — used two free coupons they sent me

Total after coupons: $15.42

Giveaways Galore!

Of the 1,553 entrants, the winners of the Kids Bowl Free giveaway are:

Jennifer (jenjennings4@)
Paula (paulandrea1c@)
Rhonda (full9house@)
Kemily (kemilyp@)
Lisa (lswiencki@)
Sara (ssmonde@)
Ellen (ellennoblitt@)
Jennifer (nej34eva@)
Tracey (tjh_4him@)
Rachael (cheapestmom@)

Of the 2,243 entrants, the winners of the “More Memories” Package from Tony’s Pizza and Snapfish are:

Trisha (trishaballentine@)
Ashley (busysaving@)
Kristin (kmswalker@)

Each of you should have received an email with further instructions on claiming your prize.


Are you giving something away on your blog this week? If so, post your link below and let all the readers here know so they can get in on the action! Your giveaway must be family-friendly and no-strings-attached. In addition, to make it easy to navigate, your link must go directly to your giveaway post. Links going to the homepage of your blog or any other part of your blog besides the direct link to your giveaway post will be deleted. Links left solely for the purpose of promoting an affiliate link will also be deleted. Skippy Natural Peanut Butter for $1.57 shipped

Through tonight, Amazon has a special on Skippy Creamy Natural Peanut Butter. Choose the package of six with Subscribe & Save and use coupon code SKIPPY45 and checkout and you’ll pay just $1.57 per jar.

My target price for peanut butter is $1 per jar, so this might not be a good deal for some of you. But if you live where deals on peanut butter are scarce, I wanted to mention it.

Be sure to cancel the subscription after your order ships so you don’t continue to receive shipments.


Thanks, Motherhood on a Dime!

(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)