(NAPSI)—Millions of Americans will hit the road this summer in search of fun and sun. In fact, many will take to the road more than once. A recent survey conducted by hospitality management company Destination Hotels & Resorts found that 76 percent of travelers plan to take frequent, short trips this summer, compared to only 22 percent who plan to take a week-or-longer vacation.
But even short weekend trips during the busy summer travel season can be costly. AARP Member Advantages suggests that travelers consider Monday through Friday trips for the greatest value. Here’s why:
• Lower hotel rates. Hotel prices are based on the number of rooms available. During the week, hotels tend to be less booked, which can lead to lower rates and increase the likelihood of a room-size upgrade or a better view.
• Late checkout. Many hotel chains offer travelers later check-out times during the week, and for some, late checkout is available year-round. For example, AARP members enjoy 2 p.m. checkout at Hilton hotels nationwide every day of the week.
• Fewer crowds. Between vacationers, weddings, conferences and holidays, weekends are hotels’ busiest times, especially in the summer. If rest and relaxation are on the itinerary, weekdays are the best time to book a getaway.
• Shorter lines for shopping, dining and theme parks. Restaurants, museums, amusement parks and malls are packed during summer weekends. Visiting these places during the week can cut down on wait times and crowds.
“Weekday trips are easy to plan and are a great way to get away from the daily routine,” said Angela Jones, senior vice president of business development and lifestyle products at AARP Services, Inc. “Through AARP’s relationships with top hotel and rental car companies, our 37 million members can take advantage of great discounts throughout the summer travel season.”
Here are a few tips on how to maximize savings when traveling this summer:
• Ask for upgrades at check-in. Most hotels won’t offer an upgrade until they know how many rooms are booked for the night. On arrival, be sure to ask if there are any free upgrades available. Ask the concierge, too, if there are any special discounts on local attractions or restaurants.
• Book online. Online rates are often cheaper than rates offered directly by the hotel. Booking online also enables travelers to compare dates easily to fit their budgets and schedules.
• Research discounts before booking. Check with hotel loyalty clubs, such as Hilton HHonors, and membership-based organizations such as AARP for upgrades and discounts on hotels, rental cars, restaurants, shopping and local attractions.
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