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If you were tempted to splurge while at home, just wait till you’re on vacation! While you’re on break, the last thing on your mind is how much money is left in your wallet until there is none. Vacations are not that far out of reach, even if you are working on a tight budget. There are so many ways you can save on everything from your activities to accommodations, that budget-friendly vacations have never been easier!

Lodging is likely going to be one of the highest expenses you’ll pay for while on vacation. Hotels can drain your vacation fund fast, even more than any other vacation-related expense. This includes flights as well! Before you freak out, there are some things you can do to save money on hotels.

Here are a few ways you can save money on your hotel.

Be Flexible

This won’t always be a possibility, but if you can, be flexible about your days. Sometimes checking out on Tuesday can save you more on your overall stay!

If you are planning a trip, but aren’t tied down to a specific day, let the hotel prices tell you when the best time to travel is. Flights and hotels could vary by hundreds of dollars each week!

Consider Your Location

I’m not saying you have to stay thirty minutes outside of the city you’re visiting, but when making a hotel selection, deciding where you will stay could change the cost. This can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the place you’re visiting, so look at a map beforehand and get a feel for what’s nearby.

Being near an attraction might cost you more money, but you might save on transportation costs. Figure out which hotel is the right fit for your family, based on what you need to be near. If you have a car with you, it might not be such a bad idea to stay a little further away.

Stick With The Same Hotel Chain

Most hotels have loyalty rewards programs that allow you to earn special deals and even earn free nights while you travel.

If you travel often, find a hotel chain that fits your budget and where you can earn rewards toward a free night. This will help cut out some of the decision fatigue when choosing a hotel when you travel and earn you points at the same time.

Bundle When Possible

If you are traveling by plane, it can benefit you to choose a package instead of each expense individually. Web sites such as Expedia, Priceline, and other travel sites can help you find cheaper flights, hotel, and rental cars all in a bundled package.

Even if you use these websites, you can still add your rewards programs to your booking!

Consider What Is And Isn’t Included In Your Hotel

One of the things you’ll want to consider when creating a budget for your hotel stay is the amenities. Complimentary breakfast and a pool could make your stay a little more enjoyable, and help you save some money on entertainment and food! A hotel that offers free shuttles to destinations you want to visit could reduce the need for a rental car or public transportation too.

These perks could save you some serious cash, even if the hotel is a little more expensive. Compare hotel amenities before you book, and ask yourself if you’ll even use these amenities. If you aren’t in the hotel long enough to use the pool, it won’t matter whether there is one or not.

Use Other Discounts

If you have a membership card, you could earn some serious discounts. AAA, AARP, military, and even government employees can receive better rates at hotels!

Before you book, make sure to look up membership discounts if your hotel offers them.

Staying in a hotel can quickly drain your travel funds. Depending on the hotel you’re staying at, you could spend $100 or more a night just for a single room! Before you book, make sure you follow these tips to save as much as you can in your room.

If a hotel doesn’t sound like a worthy investment, check out a few alternatives here.

YOUR TURN: How do you save big on hotels? Let me know in the comments below!

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