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Do Travel Coupons and Promo Codes Really Save You Money?

SmarterTravel

Most of us have used coupons or promo codes when buying electronics or clothes online. But did you know you can also use coupons to save on hotel stays? Here’s where to find them–and whether or not they’re worth using.

Where to Look for Coupons

You’ve heard of Expedia, the online travel site. Well, Expedia Inc., its parent company, owns several travel brands online, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, Orbitz, and CheapTickets.  Most of these brands offer coupons every day of the year.

  • Historically, CheapTickets has had coupons with the deepest discounts–regularly 20 percent off.
  • Both Orbitz and Travelocity regularly offer coupons for 15 percent off.
  • And Hotels.com often has coupons discounting 10 percent off.

Subscribe to emails from these brands or similar sites to get alerts when new coupons are released, or head to their “Deals” page to find the latest.

Smaller travel sites may offer coupons as well. I often find substantial savings on sites like BookIt.com and TravelPony.com, once a coupon has been applied.

When They Work and When They Don’t

Once you’ve found your coupon, it’s never as easy as simply applying it at checkout.  There are often restrictions:

  • Many of the larger hotel brands–like Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton–aren’t eligible for coupons on Expedia Inc. sites. (Even after the exclusions, there are still tens of thousands of hotels in North America that are eligible.)
  • Often, a coupon will require you to spend a minimum amount or stay a minimum number of nights. I’ve found that coupons from CheapTickets are the least restrictive in these areas.
  • There is typically a defined window in which you may not travel.

And that’s it.  The short of it is that with a little effort, you can count on saving of at least 15 percent on your hotel stays for the summer and beyond!

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