Everyone wants to pay less for their hotel. It becomes worse when you talk to other guests and find out that you are paying much more than they. Here are some tips to not let that lower rate escape your grasp.

1. Discounts

A number of hotels offer set discounts. These include business travelers, military members, government employees, AAA members, AARP members, loyalty club members, long stays and seasonal specials. You don’t want to miss using these specials because they will save you money and sometimes get you a better room choice. So ask the hotel directly what specials they have. A good way to approach this is, “I was hoping to pay a bit less for my room. Are there any discounts or specials available at this time or in the near future?” Most hotels don’t want to lose a willing customer.

2. Call the Hotel Directly

There is nothing wrong with looking at various online hotel prices. Sometimes they have the best prices available. But room rates are flexible and can be negotiated directly with a hotel manager or desk clerk. The plan here is to say, “I have found this rate on blank, so I am wondering if you could offer me a better rate?” The point here is to negotiate. A reservation that is made by the hotel usually costs the hotel less than the ones made by the online agent, who may take a cut of up to 30% on each reservation. Hotels like Monte Carlo Inns always go a step beyond for customers that book directly with them.

3. Out-of-Service Rooms

You might save money by taking an out-of-service room. Some rooms are put out of service because they have a water drip, the carpet has a stain or some of the lights don’t work. You might save quite a lot by helping the hotel out by not having this room empty. This is a loss to the hotel that can’t be recouped.

4. Obtaining an Upgrade

One cannot complain about everything, but if something is wrong when you register, such as the room is not ready say something like, “I am disappointed because I now have to change my plans. Is there any extra I could have to make this up to me, like free parking or a free breakfast?” Many hotels will offer a comp, and you can negotiate this too. Other options include asking for a handicapped room or a corner location. This works the opposite way also. If you note your room overlooks the freeway, you can say, “I really like your hotel, but I feel I might be paying too much at this point for a room that overlooks the freeway.” Again, rates are negotiable. For example, if the hotel does not have the king bed you requested, ask them for a larger room or a free room service. It also helps to do this when the line at the registration desk is down to one – you.

5. Become a Regular

Even though you may not want to, if you visit the same place over and over, find a regular hotel and stay there. Once the staff knows you, and if you are nice, they will go out of their way to help you out. Join the loyalty clubs at these hotels. You might as well take advantage of their specials. Often regulars will get free comps, such as parking or discount tickets for transportation or events in the area. Learn the names of the staff and the managers. This makes them feel appreciated, and they will do their best work for you. Don’t forget to tip the appropriate staff members. This goes a long way to becoming a VIP guest.