Photo (cc) by Sarah_Ackerman
How much would you pay for a bottle of water? $5? $6? How about $8.33? That’s the average price from upscale hotels in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to a recent study by Trip Advisor.
They tallied the average cost of room service from a selection of four-star hotels in 15 major U.S. cities by totaling the cost to dry clean one shirt and buy a bottle of water, bag of peanuts, mini bottle of vodka, club sandwich, and can of soda.
The five cheapest:
- Denver, Colo. – $40.46
- Dallas, Texas – $42.49
- Seattle, Wash. – $44.19
- Minneapolis, Minn. – $48.09
- Boston, Mass. – $50.43
The five most expensive:
- Honolulu, Hawaii – $64.90
- Las Vegas, Nev. – $64.42
- Atlanta, Ga. – $58.14
- Washington, D.C. – $58.10
- New York, N.Y. – $56.66
More ways to save beyond room service…
Since you’re probably not going to change your vacation destination for cheaper in-room services, make up the difference by stretching your travel dollars elsewhere. We listed a bunch of ideas in 20 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Vacation, but here are a few I use.
- Ask a local: Tourist traps are expensive; avoid them by asking a few locals for suggestions on where to find a good steak or cheap souvenir shop. Ask nicely, and more often than not someone will direct you to a place that’s not a rip-off.
- Bag your lunch with local groceries: Brown-bagging may seem like a way to diminish the romance of local food, but not so much if you buy your groceries at a small, locally-owned store. Pick up some fresh bread, meats, and pastries, then enjoy your cheap meal outside.
- Use your smartphone: Take advantage of deal-finding apps like Groupon, Yelp Check-in, LocalEats, and KidsEatFor.
- Know when to fly: It’s cheaper to fly on weekdays. It’s also wise to avoid flying somewhere during a huge event. For example, in my hometown of New Orleans, you’d imagine airfare and hotel prices will be soaring around Mardis Gras. But you may not realize April’s Jazz Fest will also pump up prices. Check your destination local paper’s website to see what events might drive up travel prices.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until you hit the ground to start saving. Check out these stories for more tips:
- There are ways to get a better deal at almost any hotel: Check out 8 Tips to Save at Any Hotel – Even the Nation’s Trendiest
- Some credit cards offer flexible-reward points that will save on airfare and hotels. See 3 Credit Cards to Help You Travel in Style for some tips.
- Traveling for a business-related purpose? Check out 8 Tips to Turn Your Vacation into a Tax Deduction.
- The Internet hasn’t killed travel agencies yet. In 5 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent, you may find hiring a travel agent could get you the best deal.
Have you been hit with a big room service fee? How bad was the damage? Sound off on our Facebook page and tell us about it!