To many people, booking of hotels through third-party reservation engines like Kayak and Orbitz is the best way to save money; however, this is not always the case. Even though most people are always at the luck of scoring discounts doing this sometimes instead of visiting the hotel to book their room, using the sites typically will not save you much money and they will not save you all that often; new travel hacks show this.

Stats released in July from financial firm Piper Jaffray found that one in five cases were these third-party sites cheaper when they were cheaper it was only by about 4% – this stats is for four of the biggest hotel chains including Marriott, Hilton, InterContinental, and Wyndham. In addition to this, you might not get all of the benefits of booking straight from the hotel when you book through third-party sites; for instance, more flexible cancellation policies.

Moreover, while these small travel savings are proof that travelers can benefit and save some amount of money while booking a hotel online, there are some other ways that travelers can use to score great hotel deals without using so much time or effort.

  1. The time it right – You can book your hotel off-season to enjoy luxury properties without maxing out your credit card. While having your vacation planning, you should try to understand your destination’s high, low, and shoulder seasons can get huge savings. A great example of this is Bermuda. At Bermuda, a room can cost up to an average rate of $950 per night during the summer months and you can save more than a 50% (that pays around $450) in October, an off-peak time. You can play around with online booking calendars to figure out a when a location is at seasonal and off-seasonal periods. This will help you research when the rates dip and when most tourists visit. If it is a beach, traffic may peak during summer months and breaks during winter or spring. However, you should prepare for higher rates if it is a cold-weather or skiing destination; there will be higher rates when snow is coming down any time of the year.
  2. Look for special packages on hotel websites – To get the best hotel deals, you can extend your stay at a top property. This can be in the form of “stay three nights and get a fourth night free.” This and many more packages are always listed on hotel websites; so, always check the booking results page or special packages section of the website.
  3. Beware the fine print – Even though hotel booking websites have their merits, always beware when using them because they can lock you in with exciting non-refundable rates. Most times, there is a secret deal price, which is non-refundable. This can get you into trouble if your dates change. This way, you can’t dispute the charge to get the money back; it doesn’t matter if you booked with a credit card. In this case, except you are so sure of your travel date, avoid too-good-to-be-true rates.
  4. Use a booking engine – The booking engine should not just for booking. You can also use features like the Map function of Booking.com, which shows you different hotels located in your proposed destination. Once you’ve found the better one, look into booking directly with the hotel. This will make you see if they offer a better price.
  5. Sign up for loyalty programs – The loyalty programs are programs that are always available at leading hotel chains worldwide. They offer many bonuses, which include luxurious amenities like club floor access. These programs help you build up some money for other things (to splurge on a dream vacation.)

The above travel tips will help you score the best hotel deals for your budget travel. The tips will help you as a traveler to save money on travel and enjoy your weekend trips. Follow the tips and you will always want to use them.