If you’re a backpacker on a shoestring budget, chances are the prospect of forking out eye-watering sums on another overpriced Bangkok hostel isn’t what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re sick to death of dealing with grimy, unairconditioned, and cockroach-infested bedsits.
Sure, it’s fun for a little while, but three months into your backpacking journey you might be aching for something a little more comfortable. The truly savvy travelers know that when they fancy a night of luxury, they don’t have to pay for it. Here’s how to score a free night in a hotel room when traveling in Asia.
Pick the Right Credit Card
Did you know that a ton of credit cards actually offer free hotel stays as rewards? Master Card, Discover, and American Express all have credit card options which allow you to redeem free nights in certain hotel chains if you sign up with them. Before you embark on your trip, shop around to find the best hotel offers from major credit card providers.
Sign Up for a Loyalty Program
The major luxury hotel chains such as Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, and Kempinski are big on loyalty. To lure you in as a potential lifelong customer, they all have programs offering free hotel nights for first-timers. This tried-and-tested method was pioneered by gaming companies, with one prominent example being how Oddschecker advertises no-deposit bingo to inform new players about where they can play for free. This same ethos can now be taken advantage of to get you a free stay in a luxury hotel.
Become a Mystery Shopper
The travel industry is booming, nowhere more so than in Asia. Take advantage of this by getting in touch with major agencies and publications offering to be a mystery shopper for them. They’ll pay for your hotel stays and all you have to do is write up a review after. Easy money.
Tell Them You’re an Influencer
This one only works if you have a sufficient Instagram following to back it up. If you do happen to have a large social media following, speak with luxury hotels in your area to see if they’d be willing to accommodate you in exchange for a couple of promotional tweets. Influencers are now one of the most common mediums through which hotels advertise, so asking is likely to yield a positive response.
Frugal travel is all about the hustle. If you’re trying to see the world on a budget, you’ll want to stretch your cash as far as it will take you. Follow these steps to sleep easy and with a fatter wallet.