It’s post Covid travel where hotels and airlines are fully booked at capacity so here comes the additional junk fees. Beware of low hotel room rates that add a substantial resort fee to your bill as you check out.  So, if your initial hotel charge is $150 but your final charge is $250 with various hotel fees including a resort fee, that hotel has taken advantage of you. Ask in advance what additional fees apply to the hotel, so you know exactly what you are paying for.

Some fees are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for management to dispute additional junk fees and let them know that you will choose another hotel on your next visit. You are seeing more of these fees, so beware. If you check in one hour before check in time, they may try to charge you for early check in. The same applies to late check out.  Be aware you can avoid these fees by just checking in at the published check in time. Check your bags in at the hotel and go do something until it’s time to check in.

If you must check in very early to do work or to meet someone, consider booking your hotel stay one day early so that you have access to your room when you need it.

Here are 7 ways to save on your next hotel stay:

  1. Go Online and Compare Prices
    Compares apples to apples by searching on Google for hotels in the area you are visiting and then going directly to their website. This is where you look for transparent pricing.  Compare amenities such as free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free parking before you make a purchase decision.

  2. Read Terms and Conditions
    Make sure you read the fine print of the terms and conditions before booking and ask directly if any additional fees apply such as resort fees, early check-in or late check out.  Early Check in and Late Check out fees are purely convenience fees that can be avoided by you but inquire anyway to hotel policies for these charges. Upon check-in, ask the receptionist if any additional fees will be applied to your final departure since they require the presentation of the credit card you originally booked the room.  Ask in advance so there are no surprises.

  3. Book Directly with Hotel
    Consider booking directly with the hotel instead of 3rd party websites because many of these websites don’t include the additional fees.  You find out about these junk fees after you arrive or upon checking out. It’s best to book directly on the hotel website and look for additional fees which by law, hotels are required to disclose. You may have to read the terms and conditions to find those hidden charges. Also, you can simply pick up the phone before booking the room and ask the hotel about additional fees.

  4. Join Hotel Loyalty Programs
    Join hotel loyalty programs for discounted room rates and free amenities. However, you should always do your research before booking. Hotel room rates are purely supply and demand so even loyalty program discounted rates may not beat the rate at a similar quality hotel in the same area. The good news about hotel loyalty programs are they include multiple chain hotels, so you have more hotel options to choose from.

  5. Avoid Room Service or Room Mini-bar
    Never use the hotel mini-bar or room service unless you don’t mind paying very marked up prices. Buy your bottled water and snacks at a nearby convenience or grocery store. This will save you from the hotel adding ridiculous miscellaneous charges to your credit card from items that can be brought very cheap.

  6. Poor Service equals No Resort Fee
    Have resort fees removed from your bill for any poor service. If you are charged a resort fee, then ask to have that charge removed if there is anything wrong with your room or stay. This means removing the charge if no towels are in your room or your room is made up late.  Any service the hotel delivered poorly or not at all gives you leverage to challenge the resort fee.

  7. Stay at 3 Star vs 4 Star Hotels
    Stay at a 3 Star instead of a 4 Star Hotel – Higher end hotels tend to charge resort fees and other junk fees. Many of the 4 to 5 stars hotels and other high end brand hotels are using this model to boost revenue. You can stay at a well-established 3 Star Hotels that’s very clean and comfortable and save considerably.
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