How to Use the Internet 
to Find Low-Cost Hotel Rates

The internet is one of the greatest tools for finding economical hotel rates. This is important because lodging is one of the most expensive parts of a vacation.

Searching for the best hotel rates online is time well spent. However, there are numerous websites and so much information that the task can be daunting.


Use these strategies to locate the best rate for a hotel that meets your needs:

1. Decide your requirements before you start looking for a hotel. Do you want to be near the beach? Is a swimming pool essential? How many beds do you need? Are continental breakfasts or early check-in necessary?

   * The odds of getting exactly what you want are slim if you fail to define your needs.

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2. Compare dates. The internet makes it easy to compare the cost of a room across several dates. You might find that by adjusting your vacation timeline by a few days or weeks you can save a significant amount of money.

   * Google Hotel Finder is one of the best tools for comparing travel dates.

   * Remember to check how the new date will affect the other aspects of your trip.

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3. Visit the auction sites. Websites like and are great for bidding on hotel rooms within your target city. There are a variety of parameters to help you narrow your search.

   * If you're unsure about bidding, check out for up-to-date information about successful bids.

   * Priceline and Hotwire have different models, so check out both. Before you bid or "name your own price" familiarize yourself with the current hotel rates in your target area. Expedia, Orbitz, Yahoo Travel, or similar sites can provide you with prices for each star level.

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   * You can typically find a hotel for approximately 15-25% less on auction sites than on standard travel sites. It's a good idea to get your significant other to bid first and bid low. Then, you can make a higher bid if their bid is rejected.

4. Hit the forums. A great source of information is Bidding For Travel. This excellent website is similar to Better Bidding. You can get the latest gossip on successful and unsuccessful bids on Priceline. Simply find your target city and see what's going on. You're also able to know where you're likely to stay if you bid on Priceline.

5. Search for package deals. Most travel websites will quote a package price if you want more than just a hotel room. Purchasing your plane tickets or rental car along with your hotel room can sometimes save you money. Cruises are also frequently bundled.

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6. Check out the amenities. Many hotels include free or discounted tickets to shows and local attractions, such as amusement parks. Other hotels might have a free breakfast or dinner buffet.

* Hotels in Las Vegas and Orlando are well-known for offering all sorts of enticements to get your business.

* Avoid being lured in by extras that aren't important to you.

The internet is probably the greatest tool for finding the best hotel rates. If you can save money on your hotel room, that's extra money you'll be able to spend on other things. You might be able to eat at nicer restaurants or do some extra souvenir shopping. Spend time finding the best rate for a hotel room that fits your needs. Why pay more when you don't have to?

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