PHOTO: Nearly half of guests book their room far in advance in hopes of saving money, according to a new survey. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)
It's no secret that travelers want to save on accommodations whenever possible, with many even willing to go the extra mile to score a discount, whether by joining a hotel loyalty program or waiting until the last minute to book.
According to a recent survey conducted by transportation providers GO Airport Express and GO Airport Shuttle, these days more travelers are looking to hotel loyalty programs to save, with 34 percent joining programs to save on their stay in 2016, compared to just 25 percent back in 2012.
Booking a room well in advance remains the most popular way to save, though, with 45 percent of the more than 690 respondents in agreement on the method compared to 43 percent four years ago.
Online comparison websites are also slightly more popular today, with 30 percent using the method, up from 26 percent in 2012.
However membership discounts through AAA and AARP are still just as popular as they were four years ago, with 31 percent using their accounts to score reduced rates in 2016. What's more, travelers relying on their employers for negotiated corporate rates (16 percent) remains as common today as it was in 2012.
In 2016, at least seven percent of travelers wait to book at the last minute in hopes of saving.
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"Travers are willing to give their repeat business to hotels offering the best deals," GO Airport Express president John McCarthy said in a statement. "But savvy travelers are exploring all their options to save on accommodations."
Interestingly, the savviest travelers comprise just seven percent of travelers, according to the survey, which found that fewer than one in 10 hotel guests use every method listed in the survey to save money on accommodations.
By comparison, 12 percent admit they don't use any methods to save on a hotel stay.
While it's unclear exactly how many travelers have turned to alternative accommodations like Airbnb to save, GO Airport Express notes that short-term rental services are clearly more popular in 2016 compared to 2012 given their recent emergence.