If you're a frequent traveler, you know the hard lessons on booking hotels and saving money at the same time. Think you're still missing something? Try these tips:
The math is simple: If you go call and book the hotel straight, there's a likelihood that you're getting the most accurate room rate. On the other hand, many travel sites offer deals that you just can't pass up. Usually these are offered on non-peak seasons. There's a virtue in knowing how to comparison shop. Many times you may get shocked for being a victim of switch and bait--you booked for a low price only to find out that you are relegated to the only room available which is one you didn't want.
Troubleshoot it by calling the hotel directly and tell them exactly what you want and what rate you're getting on a travel booking site. They will be happy to beat the price for you.
Become a club member
Becoming a hotel or resort club member is free, and comes with plenty of perks. If you're a frequent traveler, you should pick the hotels you always stay in and apply to be a member--most likely you'll get one or two nights free everytime you book a stay with them. In fact, whenever we would stay at MGM resorts, we always get offers in the mail for free rooms for at least three days in any of their property such as New York New York and Monte Carlo.
Resort fees? Do your research
Does the hotel offer free breakfast? Are pets allowed? Do they charge resort fees? Free breakfast obviously saves you money so you don't have to leave the hotel for the nearest IHOP. Many hotels charge you extra for pets if you didn't know they are off-limits, and you can only stay in specific rooms. Resort fees are fairly new: for the uninitiated, I have no idea what this covers. Ask any hotel staff and they don't know either. I'm just making an assumption that resort fees pretty much cover the internet use and the complimentary bottled water, wine and cheese crackers they send up to your room when you check in.