Five Tips For Finding the Best Hotel Rates |

Getting the most “bang” for your travel buck is more important than ever, but while 2009 may have been the year of the bargain-basement getaway, hotel rates for 2010 probably won’t be quite so inexpensive. That’s because, according to a recent Traveler Confidence Report from Travelocity, travelers’ plans and attitudes about travel are on the upswing – and many hotels are simply no longer slashing rates to record lows. That said, great hotel rates are still out there – you just need to know where – and how – to look for them. To get your travel plans underway, follow these simple tips:• Go straight to the source. Many hotel companies offer their best hotel rates – with a guarantee – to those who book at the company’s website. For instance, Marriott offers the “Look No Further® Best Rate Guarantee” – which basically states that if, within 24 hours of booking your room you find a lower rate for the same dates, hotel and room type, the company will match that rate – and give you an extra 25 percent off. (Rules and restrictions apply.)
• Be flexible. Every traveler knows about high-season vs. low-season and weekday vs. weekend hotel rates, so be mindful of those as you plan your trip. You just might be able to save big on some of the hottest hotels in town if you’re open to changing your travel dates.
• Financial Districts. If you’re traveling on a weekend, check out the hotel rates in your destination’s financial district. Not only do hotel rates in these neighborhoods often drop over the weekend, but many major cities’ financial districts are relatively close to the hottest spots in town.
• Stay in boom towns. Over the past few years a lot of cities have added a lot of hotel rooms – which means that if you’re traveling to, say, Las Vegas, Phoenix or even New York, you might find a better deal there than you would if you were traveling to a smaller city with fewer hotel rooms.
• If you’re planning a romantic getaway or are traveling with someone special, many hotels offer web-only travel packages with unique amenities, like vouchers you can use for spa treatments, fine dining or golf. And if you were planning to use those particular amenities anyway – packages like this can really help you save.