You haggle over lots of things in life, so why not try to negotiate the price on your next family getaway?  If you think the price hotels post online or offer over the phone are written in stone, think again.  Money is tight for many of us these days and the travel industry is hurting, too.  That has many businesses offering steep discounts.  Yes, many are posting great deals, but if you want the real steals, you have to be willing to ask for them.  If you’re up for the art of negotiation, there’s no telling what you can save. 

Some suggestions from those in the industry include doing a little research first.  If you know there are multiple hotels in one area that are about the same price, play off each business’s rates.  Let the other hotel know they won’t get your business unless they match or go lower than their competition.  It’s even easier if you’re in an area that has had a recent construction boom and has too many rooms sitting empty each night.  Just be ready to book immediately because they deal may change later.  If the business says they can’t come down off the rate, you can always try to get them to throw in some perks for nothing.  Free parking, gym usage, laundry or breakfast can all add up and really make your stay feel like a more lavish experience.  Some businesses may have connections to outside events or facilities that you might enjoy, too, such as golf or amusement parks.  And if you have no money but can offer skills, that may be worth mentioning.  The owner of a home available for vacation rentals may really love to have a landscaper stay on the property for a couple days in exchange for some new plants or lawn care. Bartering is big these days.  However, it’s not likely you’ll get the lowest rate available without asking outright.  The real thing to remember: money is tight for most of us, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck at home.