Many hotels offer discounts of 10 or 15 percent for guests reserving two or more weeks in advance. Here are some deals that do way better than that.
Before checking out any of the offers, take note that there's often a sticky tradeoff for your room rate being marked down: Typically, rooms must be paid for upfront and in full at the time of booking, and no changes or cancellations are allowed. With one notable exception (La Quinta), that's how all of the promotions below work. But if your travel dates are certain and there's virtually no possibility of you needing to cancel or change plans, booking in advance is an easy way to shave 20 percent or more—sometimes a lot more—off of your lodging bill.
Country Inns & Suites discounts rates by 25 percent at all properties when guests book with as little as 14 days advance purchase.
Sample deal: A standard room at the Country Inns & Suites in Orlando, Fla., normally runs $99, but it drops to $74.25 with the special.
Hilton's Any Weekend, Anywhere Sale knocks up to 50 percent off hotel rates in Europe and Africa, 20 percent off in the Americas, and 25 percent in Asia and Down Under. As the name of the deal indicates, this is a weekend special, and in most cases guests must stay over a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night to get the discount. Deals are possible just about every weekend throughout 2011, but reservations must be made at least seven days in advance—and by January 31, 2011, at the latest.
Sample deal: The Hilton Garden Inn in Florence, Italy, is $79 nightly for weekend stays in February (breakfast included) with this promotion; normally, an unrestricted room at this hotel is $141, and breakfast costs extra.
Microtel has an ongoing promotion in which guests reserving 14 days in advance are eligible for 20 percent discounts.
Sample deal: When rates are normally $80 at the Microtel in Dover, N.H., guests who reserve (and pay) in advance are charged $64 a night.
La Quinta Inns & Suites don't reveal exactly how much of a discount guests get by reserving at least 14 days in advance, but that's OK: The brand is one of the very few to offer book-ahead deals that don't require pre-payment and allow changes and cancellations.
Sample deal: The La Quinta in Anaheim, Calif., (near Disneyland) often costs $89 for last-minute bookings, and $79 if you reserve two weeks ahead of time—and unlike most advance-reservation specials, there's no penalty for canceling or changing.
MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL