A hotel room with double beds and neutral bedding
Save On Hotels During Your European Vacation With Rick Steves' Tips
It's no secret that accommodations can take a significant chunk out of your travel budget, but travel guru Rick Steves can help you save money on your European vacation.
One of Steves' top tips is to take advantage of comparison shopping. Instead of booking the first hotel you find, contact several accommodations and ask for their best price.
Larger hotels use "dynamic pricing," a sneaky computer-generated system that tracks and predicts when it will be busy, sometimes doubling rates for high-demand days.
Steves says to avoid third-party websites and other booking intermediaries because these earn commissions from the hotel, costing you higher prices and fewer deals.
You can score a better deal by booking on the hotel's website or via email or phone. You're also better off opting for smaller hotels or B&Bs.
Peak travel season in Europe is typically in July and August, but Steves suggests trying your hand at haggling to negotiate better hotel rates in the off-season.
If a place is out of your budget, respectfully share your limits and concerns. Sometimes, the hotel will work with your price, especially if they have vacancies.
You could have some leverage by offering to pay the hotel in cash so they can avoid paying credit card-related fees. For a more extended stay, ask for a weekly or monthly rate.