I started my career in the hospitality business, and over that time I learned quite a bit about how people spend when they stay at hotels. According to CNBC, “Hotels saw revenues from food and beverages and other services rise 4.2 percent in 2013, almost double the rate of increase from 2012, according to hospitality research firm PKF Consulting. Among other discretionary purchases, guest spending rose 15.3 percent at bars and lounges, 4.7 for spa services, and 3.1 percent for golfing on-property.”
Having spent time in the finance and accounting side of the business toward the end of this career, I really began to see just how much people could spend when on vacation or on business when it came to enjoying the amenities a hotel may provide.
Finding freebies for the whole family
Free food might not seem like a big deal when it comes to the overall cost of a hotel stay, but it can add up, especially if you’re traveling with a family or group. A complimentary breakfast, evening snacks or drinks, and even free cookies and bottled water can make for savings when traveling. Being able to cut even a fast food breakfast out of the travel budget for a family of four could add up to savings of between $10 and $20 a day or more.
Look for free amenities
Whether it’s a pool, workout facilities, a business office, free parking or similar amenity, freebies can really have the savings adding up. When the kids can spend the day swimming at the pool or playing at the recreation center, it can save on having to pay for outside sources of entertainment. And free parking could save as much as $10 to $35 a day or more (depending upon location).
Going online or calling ahead before booking your reservation to find out what free amenities are provided by a hotel could cut hundreds of dollars in costs from your trip.
Bring some food along
Even if the hotel at which you’ve booked offers certain free meals, food items or beverages, it might be a good idea to pack some food of your own. When the munchies hit, having something to cure the crave such as cookies, chips, pretzels, candy or whatever could save you from hitting those ridiculously priced treats in the mini-bar, heading down to the overpriced restaurant or ordering high-priced room service.
Many hotels have mini-fridges and microwaves, now making it easier to bring food along (microwave popcorn might be an easily packed and transported travel option) or buy food cheaply at a nearby store to have for later. Again, finding out ahead of time what food prep options come with your hotel room can be pertinent to cutting your hotel stay costs significantly.
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The author is not a licensed financial or travel industry professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.