How this little-known trick saved me $50 on a 2-night hotel booking

Jul 14, 2021

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There’s a straightforward trick that a lot of people overlook when they’re booking hotel rooms. While it only applies to bookings of two nights or longer, I’ve had it result in a cheaper rate 90% of the time. I’m referring to booking separate hotel nights. How does this work? It’s simple.

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How this works

The rate you pay for a hotel room varies depending on demand.

Sometimes that means which day of the week you’re booking. For example, pre-pandemic in most cities, rates were cheaper on weekends than weekdays because business travel occurred during the week, driving up room rates, while demand dropped off Friday through Sunday night. When I made a reservation that included both a weekend and weekday night, the hotel quoted the higher weekday price for the entire stay.

The same goes for room availability. If a hotel doesn’t have a standard room for an entire stay, you’ll only see availability for premium rooms for the entire stay.

By splitting up your reservation, you can take advantage of cheaper rates. And if you don’t mind switching rooms, you might save quite a bit by booking a standard-priced room for part of your stay and a premium-priced one for the remainder.

I’ve come across searches where a standard room was available for three out of the four nights I needed, with a remaining night being in a suite. When I searched for a four-night stay, the only room option I got was a suite, which cost significantly more.

In situations like these, I’ve either shortened my stay in order to book a reasonably-priced standard room or I’ve made two separate reservations — three nights in a standard room and one in a suite — so I could stay at the same hotel without shelling out extra cash for a suite on all four nights.

Related: Best hotel credit cards of 2021

How I saved $50 on a two-night stay

During a recent visit to New York, I needed a hotel for two nights. Hyatt’s 18 Manhattan properties ranged from $100 to $700 per night, but I really liked the location of the Hyatt Union Square. At $220 per night, it was priced relatively high compared to properties like the Hotel Bowery 50, where rooms start at around $119 a night.

Hyatt Union Square New York $220 rate
(Screenshot courtesy of Hyatt.com)

Even though both nights were on a weekday, I decided to search for rooms on separate nights. It paid off because while the first night was priced higher at $238, the second one came in at just $149. Before taxes and fees, that amounted to $53 in total savings.

Hyatt Union Square New York $149
(Screenshot courtesy of Hyatt.com)

Hyatt Union Square New York $220 rate

The best part is that it took maybe five minutes of extra effort to search and book two separate nights instead of one. It was easily worth the $53 discount.

Related: How to spend a million Marriott points for an epic post-pandemic trip

Bottom line

The next time you’re searching for a room on a two-night stay or longer, give this trick a shot. It takes just a few extra minutes of work and can save you a significant amount of money. The only inconvenience is that if the front desk agent cannot merge your reservation, you might have to check in twice and get a new key.

I have a horrible habit of misplacing my keys anyway, so going to the lobby to get a replacement is nothing new. Plus, many hotels are now offering mobile keys and check-in, so you may not have to deal with this mild hassle after all.

Featured image by Ariana Arghandewal / The Points Guy

All screenshots courtesy of Hyatt.com

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