Whether you’re traveling on business or leisure, hotels are an essential link between you and the activities you’re interested in. These accommodations can be found in all price ranges, from the affordable to the luxurious. Some hotels offer multiple room units and complimentary amenities. The hotel industry has been around for centuries.
Although the relationship between travel and hotels has existed throughout history, it became more prominent after World War II. The postwar economic boom and the creation of the interstate highway system fueled the growth of commercial travel. As a result, the hotel industry became an important battleground in domestic politics.
In the United States, the hotel industry grew at a rate not seen since before the Great Depression. With increased consumer demand and an increase in supply costs, the cost of travel continues to rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an 8.6 percent price increase in the United States last year. In response, die-hard bargain seekers have begun to make flying a priority.
Getting the most out of your stay at a hotel can be as simple as asking for a different room. Many hotels allow you to change your travel plans without charge. During busy seasons, prices for a hotel can spike, so booking early can help you lock in a good deal.
The most cost-effective option is to search online for the best hotel deals. There are websites that can help you compare prices and find the most relevant insurance. Some companies also offer reward points and other benefits. There are a number of ways to pay for your stay, including cash, debit cards, credit vouchers, AmEx and flybuys.
The hotel industry has been in the news recently for its record-setting growth in the wake of the recession. A number of major hotel chains have introduced newer, more convenient, and more enticing services to their offerings. Some hotels even offer free meals to their employees.
Another savvy way to find the cheapest rates is to call your hotel directly. Many North American hotels offer free cancellations. However, some hotels have a 72-hour cancellation policy and require a nonrefundable deposit. Other hotel cancellation policies vary by location.
The best time to book a hotel is about six months before your trip. This gives you time to find the most affordable rates and still give the hotel plenty of time to prepare for your arrival. A good hotel will be able to hold your reservation and offer transportation to/from the airport. You can also find special industry rates that extend to family members and travel companions.
Another smart move is to request a room upgrade or a suite. During peak tourist seasons, hotels are likely to offer upgrades and other complimentary amenities. If you plan to visit a popular destination, try to find a hotel that’s close to the attractions you’re visiting. You may be able to arrange a combined flight and hotel package through a travel agent.