Economic recovery means people are traveling again. And that
means hotel prices are going up. The average price paid for a hotel
room rose by 4% worldwide in the first half of 2012 compared with
the same period a year earlier, according to the Hotels.com Hotel
Our Special Report on How to Save on Travel
Fees are proliferating, too. The American Hotel & Lodging
Association found that 23% of the U.S. hotels it surveyed in 2012
charged extra for Internet service; just 15% did so in 2008.
Christopher Ervin frequently books hotel rooms for business and
leisure trips. To keep costs down, he minimizes the number of
nights he stays and uses loyalty programs for discounts. But Ervin
recently skipped a conference because the room rates were beyond
his budget. Travelers like Ervin will have to remain
vigilant-experts expect domestic lodging rates and fees to rise 5%
Save money by steering clear, if possible, of cities where major
conferences or events are being held-room rates spike during those
periods. If you can wait until the last minute to book (say, within
five days before your stay), you might snag a room at a discount.
Prepaying for a room may trim the rate, but you likely won't be
able to cancel the reservation. Use Web tools to monitor rates. If
you book a room at a "Money Back" hotel through
and the price later drops, the site rebooks at the lower rate and
refunds the difference to your credit card.
This article first appeared in
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
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