Travelers are in for some sticker shock in New England during peak travel seasons. From June through August, and again in October, there’s simply no such thing as a cheap motel room here. Even no-frills mom-and-pop motels can (and do) happily charge $100 a night or more for a bed that might rate just a notch above camping in a tent. Bland business hotels at highway exits or airports, miles from sights or good restaurants, charge far more. Even Airbnb coaches its hosts to raise rates when demand for rooms is high. 

So if you’re visiting in summer, fall, or ski season (it’s likely you are), lodging will occupy a bigger chunk of your budget than you expected. Luckily, however, meals, gas, and day-to-day expenses are generally more affordable here than in a major city elsewhere in the country. You can find excellent entrees at upscale, creative restaurants for around $25, comparing favorably with similar dishes at big-city restaurants that would top $35.

Book in advance, and online, and you’ll usually pay less. In the winter, especially, it’s sometimes possible to get the price of a luxury hotel down to a mid-range level. And don’t forget to check AirbnbHomeAwayVRBO, and other vacation rental entities. These websites, offering either rooms in or entire private homes or apartments, are a popular alternative in New England. Prices can sometimes be as much as $50 to $75 less than you’d pay for a hotel room.

Turning to the Internet or Apps for a Hotel Discount

Before going online, it’s important that you know what “flavor” of discount you’re seeking. Currently, there are three types of online reductions:

1. Blind deals sites where you agree to an overnight rate without knowing which hotel you’ll get. You’ll find these on such sites as and, and they can be money-savers, particularly if you’re booking within a week of travel (that’s when the hotels resort to deep discounts to get beds filled). As these companies use primarily major chains, you can rest assured that you won’t be put up in a dump, particularly if you choose a property with a 3-star rating or above.

2. Discounts on chain hotel websites. In 2016, all of the major chains announced they’d be reserving special discounts for travelers who booked directly through the hotels’ websites (usually in the portion of the site reserved for loyalty members and with advance payment required). These are always the lowest rates, though discounts can range from as little as $1 to as much as $50. Our advice: search for a hotel that’s in your price range and ideal location and then, if it is a chain property, book directly through the online loyalty portal.

3. Use the right hotel search engine. They’re not all equal, as we at learned in 2017 after putting the top 20 sites to the test in 20 cities around the globe. We discovered listed the lowest rates for hotels in the city center, and in the under $200 range, 16 out of 20 times—the best record, by far, of all the sites we tested. And includes all taxes and fees in its results (not all do, which can make for a frustrating shopping experience). For top-end properties, both and came up with the best rates, tying at 14 wins each.

4. Last-minute discounts. Booking last minute can be a great savings strategy, as prices sometimes drop as hoteliers scramble to fill rooms. But you won’t necessarily find the best savings through companies that specialize in last-minute bookings or apps like HotelTonight. Instead, use the sites recommended above.

It’s a lot of surfing, but in the hothouse world of accommodation pricing, this sort of diligence can pay off.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.