Get upgraded for free. Price isn't the only measure of a great deal! To improve your chances of getting an upgrade, wait until about 6pm to check in. By then, the front desk should know which of the nicer rooms are still vacant and you'll have a better chance of scoring one of them—minus the extra cost.
Make a business decision. If your heart's set on a weekend stay, head to the business district for real value. Many hotels in corporate, financial and conference hot spots are busiest midweek and offer better prices on the weekends. (They tend to be close to public transportation, too, so you can save on cabs, cars and gas.)
Stay flexible. Some of the biggest savings you can get (besides automatic price-change refunds from Tingo) come from traveling during your destination's off-season and shoulder-season. But even if you can't plan around seasonality, you can still save by starting your stay on a Sunday rather than a Friday and choosing midweek dates whenever you can.
Take advantage of freebies. After the cost of flights and hotel, meals make up the biggest portion of most people's travel budget, so look for a hotel that offers daily free breakfast to rack up real in-trip savings. Many hotels also have membership programs that are free to join and can net you perks like free wireless internet and access to snack-stocked lounges.
Book in advance. Hotels hate empty rooms, so they'll often drop the rates as stay dates approach. But you definitely don't want to try waiting and then miss out on getting a room entirely! So book your room on Tingo: if your hotel drops the price of your room after you book, Tingo with automatically refund the difference to your credit card. And if the price doesn't drop, you know you've locked in the low rate. Talk about resting easy!
About the Author: To learn more about George Hobica, visit him on Google+.