How to get a hotel room cheaper than the best price online

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Here’s my spending philosophy: if you can get something a little cheaper, it’s worth it.

Of course, I like tools that do the hard work for me. Tap or click the online shopping assistant to find current discounts..

There are digital tricks that can also make travel easier, safer and more affordable. Tap or click to read the five smart tech tips you need to read before you hit the road this summer..

When you’re saving on hotel rooms, sites that claim to offer the best deals aren’t always the best. Sometimes you can do better on your own. My son just used the tips below to get a hotel room for $80 less than the lowest price on the internet.

Do not book through a travel website

If you’re looking for a hotel, travel discount sites like Kayak, Expedia, or are good starting points, but don’t book there. Once you find the lowest available rate at the hotel you want to visit, call the hotel’s reservations department.

Many hotels will match or beat the best internet rate when you book with them. They would rather skip the travel website commission and book directly. The hotel may even add a free room upgrade, such as a nicer room or free breakfast.

If you’re unlucky with the first responder, respectfully ask to speak to a sales manager.

Speaking of saving, I collected 8 Proven Ways to Lower Your Monthly Internet, Cable and Streaming Bills. Please.

This is the best time to book a hotel room

If possible, wait until the day you need a hotel room to book it. The later in the day the better. After 4:00 pm, hotels know that the chances of selling the room are pretty slim, so you’re more likely to get an even lower price. On average, the cost of a hotel room on the same day is 10% cheaper than when booking in advance.

But this comes with a caveat. Do not rely on this strategy if you are traveling to a busy tourist city or a city where a big event is taking place. You may be lucky, but most people make reservations in advance. At the very least, sites like Hotel tonight can help with last minute bookings.

The hotel inspector makes the last check of the bed with white sheets in the hotel.

The hotel inspector makes the last check of the bed with white sheets in the hotel.

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Don’t forget about additional discounts

When booking online, you will likely see a field to enter your membership details to save more. Be sure to ask for these discounts when you call the hotel to book.

Veterans, AAA members, seniors, government employees, and students are often eligible for discounted hotel stays—sometimes in addition to the discount you’re already receiving.

And it’s not just a few dollars. AARP members can receive up to 15% off at Marriott hotels; Best Western offers its subscribers a 10% discount. Wyndham hotels have special rates for guests over 60 years of age. AAA can save you up to 10% on Hyatt hotels and MGM Resorts.

Here’s another tip: if you know which hotel chain you’d like to stay at, go to their website, subscribe to their mailing list, or download their app. You will be the first to know about any special discounts and promotions.

RELATED: These family plans will save you money even if you’re not a family member

When you need to book online use incognito mode

Calling last minute to book a cheap room is great when it works but sometimes you need to book in advance online. It is best to open a browser window in incognito mode.

Some travel companies track what you searched for and raise prices the next time you visit the site. You don’t have to worry about price gouging when using incognito mode.

This applies not only to the tourism industry. Many online retailers know when you’re chasing an item and can raise the price if you leave and come back later to buy it. Don’t leave it to chance.

In the image, a man is using his Iphone and laptop computer at his desk.

In the image, a man is using his Iphone and laptop computer at his desk.

Incognito mode may not hide everything you do online, but it does have some practical benefits. Touch or click five more of my favorites.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just look up my last name “Commando”.

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Find out about all the latest technology at The The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. Her daily tips, free newsletters and more can be found on her website at