7 Easy Ways to Save Money While Staying in a Hotel

published Oct 14, 2016
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(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Whether you’re traveling across the country or just enjoying a staycation in your own neighborhood, time spent at a hotel can get expensive, fast. Aside from throwing down cash for the room rate, there’s also parking fees, room service, and tips—the list goes on. However there are few things you can do that, added up, will save you a nice chunk of money that can be better spent on more important things (read: margaritas and massages). Here, I’m sharing of few of my favorite ways to make staying in a hotel budget-friendly.

Ditch the Valet for Self-Parking

The price to valet your car at a hotel is often ridiculously high. Self-parking, when available, is way more affordable. Yes, you’ll have to fetch your own car and walk a little bit to get to it, but it’s worth it, wallet-wise.

Carry Your Own Luggage

Tipping bellhops a few dollars here and there doesn’t seem like a lot but over the course of a few days, it can really add up. Just opting to carry your own luggage up to your room whenever possible can save you nice chunk of change.

Brew Coffee in Your Room

Instead of running to Starbucks every morning during your stay, try brewing coffee or tea in the in-room coffee machine. It’s free! You can’t beat that. Either use the coffee provided (you can usually get more from the front desk to fuel your usual java intake) or potentially bring your own from home.

Bring Your Own Snacks

It’s safe to say that no matter what hotel you stay at, mini bar drinks and snacks are ridiculously over priced and often unhealthy (I’m looking at you candy bars), which is why I love packing my own snacks when I take an overnight trip at a hotel. This way I’m not tempted to raid the mini bar when I’m in the mood for a midnight snack.

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Avoid Room Service and Create a Meal Plan

Like mini bar items, room service is also crazy overpriced and, let’s be real, sometimes the food isn’t even all that great. It’s much more cost effective (and fun!) to go out into the neighborhood and discover new local food spots. Before a trip, I like to get on Google and make a quick list of the best eateries nearby that I want to try. The hotel staff is also a great resource for finding hidden food gems.

Take Advantage of the Mini Fridge

After trying out a new local eatery, you’ll probably return to your room with some leftovers. Instead of letting them go bad or throwing them away, clear out the things that are in the mini fridge to make room for your leftovers. Your wallet and your tummy will thank you later.

Request a Microwave

Microwaves are awesome when you’re staying in a hotel. They really come in handy for warming up those aforementioned leftovers. Some hotels offer the amenity at no charge all you have to do is ask for it, while others might charge a small fee—weigh the costs to see if it’s worth it, considering you’ll potentially save money in the long run by not eating out as much.