How to find luxury hotel deals

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A stay in a luxury hotel is within your reach if you know how to shop
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Luxury hotel deals are easy to find if you know where to look

You look forward to your vacation all year long. And when it finally comes around, you deserve to be pampered. But the budget is tight. Now what?

Relax! With some planning and the right research, you can afford millionaire style on a family budget. If you know where to look, it's not hard to find a luxury hotel deal that will let you vacation in style and still have money left over. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Travel off season

Where do you most want to go?  The Greek Islands?  Miami?  Paris?  Almost every tourist destination has a season. Find out when that is, then plan your vacation when it's not. Off-season travel can save you hundreds of dollars on your hotel bill alone. Best of all, air fare and even restaurants are usually less expensive, too.

For example, a 4-star hotel on Miami Beach can easily cost $300 or more per night between Thanksgiving week and late March. But that same room on the water drops to as little as $50 a night from early summer through mid October!  These luxury hotel deals can usually be found on the hotel's website. Avoid using a travel agent to book your stay -- for off-season travel, individuals typically get better deals than professionals.

Call the hotel directly

We've all seen the ads for great rates through online travel sites, and sometimes they really do have affordable specials. But a quick call to the hotel desk can yield you a far better rate, especially if the hotel has a lot of empty rooms for the days you're trying to book. If you're looking at a chain hotel, avoid the 800 numbers.  Those agents usually can't give you anything except the published rate. The hotel manager or even the front desk manager may have more flexibility when occupancy is low.

Travel in your state

Many hotels offer luxury hotel deals exclusively for in-state residents. Just by showing proof of residency, you can save anywhere from 50-80% off the published rate. Check your newspaper's travel section, or look in the local entertainment and nightlife newspapers for these deals. Or call the location and ask if they have any in-state rates.

Check your frequent flyer programs

Some airline frequent flyer programs also offer significant savings on accommodations, even when you're not flying. See if your airline has any luxury hotel deals associated with their program, and you could save as much as 20% on your stay.

Call a travel agent for last minute deals

Find a travel agent who specializes in charter trips.  There are often one or two vacancies available on trips leaving in the next few days, and they may be willing to let you book the hotel room for far less than the usually price. The reason?  In most cases, the booking agent would have to absorb the entire cost for the vacant room, so even a percentage of the cost is better than nothing. This can work for air travel and cruises, too.

A few telephone calls and a little research can mean the difference between staying at a regular motel and enjoying your get-away in a fine resort. Luxury hotel deals are everywhere, if you learn where to look! 

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