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Old 09-29-2015, 11:44 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,737,293 times
Reputation: 3235

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My wife and I do a lot of traveling in our career as musical performers, and it often happens that a motel room is preferable to camping. I find it ludicrous that it usually costs close to $100 just to get a place to sleep for the night. If I can find something around $50, that's a bargain, and I won't pay above $60 unless it's an emergency. Really - all we want is a place to sleep, with a bathroom. We don't smoke, we've never damaged a room, and it's not like we're a liability.

I'd rather get rooms for less than $50. So I want to know - are there any truly GOOD rewards programs or other ways to get cheap rooms, which would reduce the average cost to below $60 at well-known chains? It becomes fatiguing always calling Joe's Motel type places and getting people who are barely understandable in their inability to speak the English language properly, having to make sometimes five or six calls to find a place that doesn't cost a fortune... every single stinking night we have to get a room.

I'd really like to find a rewards program, but I'll take any ideas you have (except "rewards credit cards" - I don't want to do that, as it would likely not save me any money above and beyond the rewards credit cards I already use for other things).
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Under $50 including tax just doesn't happen much anymore for places that meet accepted sanitation and security standards. In terms of chain hotel programs in the USA, you're probably best with Wyndham Rewards program, which has the Microtel, Baymont, Days Inn, Super 8, Hojo, Travelodge, and Knight's Inn. You can pick up a few extra points doing surveys through e-Rewards with Wyndham as your designated hotel chain.

If you tour overseas, go with Le Club Accor for their Ibis brand, which will often run you 50-60 euros a night in central & eastern European cities. Do e-Rewards through them instead and check for surveys on your mobile device daily since Le Club allows unlimited redemptions and it's not hard to pick up 40 euro vouchers by consistently doing 1-2 surveys a day.

Last edited by beachmouse; 09-29-2015 at 01:12 PM..
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
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No. You generally won't find safe, clean rooms under $50/night in the USA. The cost of doing business just won't allow that small a profit margin.

This is exactly why Airbnb and couch surfing have become so popular. Yeah, I'm not thrilled with those ideas, either.

Perhaps you need to consider raising your rates for playing a gig to better cover your travel expenses.
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:22 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
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Agree with the other posters that you're not going to find under $50/night net in most parts of the country. 5 years ago this wouldn't have been a problem, the hotel industry was in dire straights and it was easy to average under $50/night, but that is no longer the case. If you are willing to up your budget a bit more, then opaque deals are you best bet, like priceline express deals, or even bidding. I budget around $500/week (incl tax) for accom and am able to stay in 2.5-3 star places in most of the country using express deals. Obviously not uniform, I find it averages out to coastal cities, $500-700/week, inland cities $300-400/week for decent quality places nowadays.

Last edited by foadi; 09-29-2015 at 12:32 PM..
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:56 PM
 
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Rewards programs generally don't mean discounted rooms. It just means that you earn points with each stay, and once you've accumulated enough points, you can redeem it for a free stay.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,092,150 times
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AAA or AARP card gets you about a 10% discount on room rate for many chains.

A very back of the envelope estimate for the hotel reward programs is that they can work out to 'stay for 10 nights, get 1 night free'.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:24 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
AAA or AARP card gets you about a 10% discount on room rate for many chains.

A very back of the envelope estimate for the hotel reward programs is that they can work out to 'stay for 10 nights, get 1 night free'.
Yeah but opaque deals can save you 30-60%. Rewards programs can't compete with them. Have never found a single rewards program that is worthwhile, including wyndham.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,092,150 times
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To each their own and opaque might be the way to go for the original poster if they're staying in areas that are wonderfully boring from a safety standpoint.

I don't need a ton of amenities in a hotel, but am glad to pay a little more if I can read reviews and dramatically reduce the odds of a repeat of the mold-ridden Atlanta pimp hotel experience. (When there's one place that still has a lot of open rooms during a full ground stop at ATL, there's often a reason why.)
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
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Pick up a free booklet of motel coupons at a convenience store at an interstate exit just inside the state line. Look for bargains along your intended route through the state. If nothing else, you can tell which towns have the cheapest rates, they are usually competitive locally. The coupons themselves usualy just give double rooms for about the single room rate.

Or,, just go on line and book the cheapest Motel 6, book it a couple hours ahead on line for at least a 10% discount.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:45 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,737,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
No. You generally won't find safe, clean rooms under $50/night in the USA. The cost of doing business just won't allow that small a profit margin.

This is exactly why Airbnb and couch surfing have become so popular. Yeah, I'm not thrilled with those ideas, either.

Perhaps you need to consider raising your rates for playing a gig to better cover your travel expenses.
If it were that easy, I would have already done it. There is a certain budget that these places have for entertainment and if we charge too much, we don't get the show. Trust me, I would love to raise my rate to the point where we could afford a room at a Hilton hotel every night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foadi View Post
Agree with the other posters that you're not going to find under $50/night net in most parts of the country. 5 years ago this wouldn't have been a problem, the hotel industry was in dire straights and it was easy to average under $50/night, but that is no longer the case. If you are willing to up your budget a bit more, then opaque deals are you best bet, like priceline express deals, or even bidding. I budget around $500/week (incl tax) for accom and am able to stay in 2.5-3 star places in most of the country using express deals. Obviously not uniform, I find it averages out to coastal cities, $500-700/week, inland cities $300-400/week for decent quality places nowadays.
There's no way we could spend that much on a room. If you think about it, even at $50, we're paying, in round numbers, $5 per hour. $40 per hour just to SLEEP. This is why I thought about a rewards or loyalty program. If a particular chain got to know us as good clients that cause no trouble and make no mess, you'd think they'd give us a break just to get the business. After all, a hotelier once told me "next time don't book us on [major travel website], instead, call us directly". She then showed me a printout verifying that for my $45 booking (this was just a few months ago), the hotel got $25. If they'll take such a low amount for a room, one would think that they'd give a good client a room for $30 if it meant that the room would otherwise sit empty that night and make $0 for them. It's not like they have to do anything to the room after we leave except clean (and since we don't make a mess, even with a quick full bathroom cleaning, that should only take about 15 minutes) and replace linens. Assume a half hour of work for a housekeeper, plus the cost of laundering the linens. It doesn't come to $10, so they're making a hefty profit anyway. I could understand sticking to your high rates on a high-demand day, but if you have 60 rooms and only 14 are booked for tonight, and I want a room for tonight, why hit me for a huge amount, you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yandex View Post
Rewards programs generally don't mean discounted rooms. It just means that you earn points with each stay, and once you've accumulated enough points, you can redeem it for a free stay.
But it works out to a discounted rate. For example, you stay for four nights at $70/night = $280, and then you get a free night. $280 / 5 nights = $56/night.
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