According to’s latest hotel price index, Australians spent more on hotel rooms in 73% of their 100 favorite destinations worldwide in 2015 than they did in 2014. The largest increase was in Orlando, Florida and Shanghai, where we paid 26 per cent more per night for a hotel room in 2015 than in 2014. In New Zealand, Australia’s number one destination, a hotel room cost us 6.2% more in 2015 than it did the previous year.

How can you increase your hotel spending? While you may be using a search engine like Hotels Combined to find a great deal, there are many other ways to make your hotel stay even more affordable.

Book a stay at new hotels. New hotels often offer discounts to help their first customers get in the door. How do you find new hotels or those about to open? It’s easy: Google “new Hotels in …” or search for a brand like Marriott or Four Seasons.

Bundle it with an airline ticket. You’ll be able to save a lot by booking a hotel and flights through a travel agency like Flight Centre. A three-night stay in a four-star Melbourne hotel with return flights to Sydney is just $300 per person on a twin-share basis. On a twin-share basis, seven nights at a Gold Coast four-star hotel starts at $600 for seven nights.

You can book early or wait until the last minute to get the best rates at hotels. For hotels, the magic number is typically 30 days. However, if you are in a highly-visited area with limited accommodation, it might be necessary to book 12 months ahead. The supply contracts will expire, and room rates are less affordable the closer you get to check-in. A hotel may find itself with empty rooms near the end of crunch time so that the rate will drop once more. Those with calm nerves and the willingness to wait can still score bargains. Trivago and last minute are good options for late-breaking deals.

Book directly with the hotel. Use the search engine to locate the best price and then call the hotel to see if they match it. Although the hotel might not offer a lower rate due to their contract with the search engine, they may offer extras such as an upgrade or free internet access. Instead of asking for the lowest price, make sure you ask for the best rate.

Dislocation or location. Hotel prices near the city centre reflect this with higher prices. If you are further away from the action, you will pay less for a hotel with similar quality. Even though a hotel in the center of Europe can be expensive, there are often cheaper options nearby. A decent room in Mestre in Venice is available for less than $200 per night, even during peak season. You can find a room in the Marais or Latin Quarter of Paris, but it is much more expensive and is only four stops away from the Arc de Triomphe.

Compare the weekend rates.

Make sure you check what is included in your room rate. You won’t get the most out of your hotel’s buffet breakfast unless it’s included. TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Breakfast Survey was conducted in 2015. It compared the cost of hotel breakfast to that of breakfast at a local restaurant or cafe in 37 locations around the globe. The results were very convincing.

Participate in hotel reward programs. These are a great way to get in the winners’ circle at no extra cost. Most reward programs at hotels are free to join, and many perks start as soon as you sign in. Hotels offer sweeteners to encourage travellers to sign up for their reward programs. These include room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, late check-in and early checkout, personal attention, and more points per dollar spent. You can earn enough points to get free nights.

Hotel club membership. Accor plus costs $349. You get a free night in an Accor hotel. Silver membership status in Le Club Accor Hotels. A discount on every room and food and beverage. Pullman, Sofitel and M Gallery are all part of the Accor brand.

Make sure you have the right credit card. If you use a World MasterCard to pay for your stay at Starwood hotels in the Asia Pacific, you will be eligible for Gold status with Starwood preferred guest after one night. You get many perks, such as room upgrades and 4 pm checkout. Plus, you earn more loyalty points for every dollar you spend. Starwood includes Sheraton and Le Meridien and Four Points, Westin, Four Points and Westins.

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