For all but the cheapest places and the slowest seasons, reservations are advised. In high-season tourist hot spots, hotels can book up months ahead. In general, many hotels offer specials on their websites, but low-end chains sometimes give a slightly better rate over the phone. Chain hotels also offer frequent-flyer mileage deals and other rewards programs; ask when booking. Online travel booking, bidding and comparison websites are another good way to find discounted hotel rates – but are usually limited to chain hotels; also check out Hotels.com, Hotwire (www.hotwire.com) and Booking.com. If you have a smartphone, each of these sites has a free app – which often are great for finding great last-minute deals. The Hotel Tonight is another good app for booking rooms on the fly, and includes boutique hotels and historic properties.