-- When it comes to travel, every dollar saved is crucial for a much-needed vacation to be within reach. There are several new ways of saving this summer, specifically on hotels, that promise to put money back in vacationers' pockets.
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Millions use Honey, the popular browser plug-in, to save while shopping online. Now Honey is getting sweet on hotel deals. Launched in July, the plug-in, available on desktop only, offers discounts on rooms through "honey keys." Users earn honey keys when they shop online using the Honey extension on Chrome. A honey key is necessary to book a hotel reservation at a discounted rate; every user gets one HoneyKey to start.
Honey claims an average of $30 saved per night.
A search for rooms in New York yielded savings: On the same dates in August, The Surrey hotel was priced at $376 on Orbitz and $327 on Honey Travel.
In Washington, D.C., The Fairmont was priced at $212 on Orbitz and $157 on Honey Travel.
A search in Chicago also found savings. At the Sofitel Magnificent Mile, the Honey Travel price was $229 for a night in mid August. The same hotel on the same night was priced at $310 on Booking.com.
The popular mobile app Boxed has gotten into the hotel game. Though Boxed is primarily known for savings on bulk items like those generally found at Costco and BJs with home delivery, now shoppers can also save as much as 45 percent on hotel rooms.
Similar to its bulk-buying of non perishable items, Boxed buys hotel rooms in bulk too, passing along savings to would-be travelers.
A spot check of hotels in Boston for a check-in date one week away revealed significant savings. While the Sheraton Boston Hotel was $699 on Expedia, it was $342 on Boxed. Similar savings were found at the Boston Park Plaza: $484 on Expedia and $299 on Boxed.
After trying Boston first, where previous searches found few reasonably-priced rooms, Los Angeles was next on the list.
The Standard Hollywood was $409 on Expedia and Booking.com and $311 on Boxed.
Though TrustedHouseSitters has been a staple for budget-conscious travelers abroad for a few years, it was only in May that the site added U.S. properties. In a short time, the company says the U.S. market has become its largest.
In short, travelers get free accommodations in exchange for taking care of a pet or pets and a home while the owners are away. There is a membership fee of $119 per year and being an animal lover is a must.
Upcoming U.S.-based house-sitting options include caring for two cats while staying in a Palm Springs condo with mountain views; a Hoboken, New Jersey, three-bedroom condo with two cats just 20 minutes from Manhattan and a September sit in Sonoma, California, caring for two large dogs in a home with a heated pool.