When it comes to hotel space, discount options abound. It usually just requires a little extra time to hunt them down. Besides pre-arranged package deals, consider the following:
Member discounts. Large organizations such as the American Association of Retired People (AARP) and the Automobile Association of America (AAA) can provide discounts of 20 percent or more. Contact member services for a list of participating establishments. Hotel chains also have membership programs that provide discounts for regular clients.
Frequent flyer programs. Airlines often partner with hotel chains to offer free or discounted rooms in return for accumulated miles. Likewise, a full-price night in a hotel may earn you miles. In addition, airlines regularly offer last-minute discount packages via email. Sign up with your airline of choice to receive regular mailings with discount information.
Online auctions. Many large travel websites make it possible for you to bid on empty rooms. Just indicate your destination of choice, the level of comfort and service you require, and the price you're willing to pay. If a qualifying hotel agrees, your credit card is automatically billed, and the room is yours.