Hotel prices can change from day to day, and it can be frustrating to try to find the best deal amidst all the available resources. Whether you are planning a trip months in advance or looking for a last-minute booking, you can use online tools to compare rates, as well as talk to the hotel directly to find the best possible price to fit your budget. Finding a good hotel in your price range is possible with a little time and effort.
[Edit]Booking a Room in Advance
Reserve a room in a business hotel to save money. During the summer and on weekends, business hotels are less busy than they are during the week. They may be able to accommodate you at a lower price than traditional hotels because of this.
Checking in on a Thursday or Friday is advantageous because that’s when most business travelers will be heading home.
Browse booking sites to find out about potential deals. These sites do some of the legwork for you in that they can compare multiple locations for your booking. Input the dates you will be arriving and leaving, how many people are in your party, and any other amenities you require (workout facilities, internet access, handicap accessibility).
Sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Priceline will give you an overview of the available hotels at your destination.
Check the hotel’s website directly. Some hotels promise the best pricing when you book directly through them versus through a booking website. Select the dates you’ll be traveling, how many people will be sleeping in the room, and any other details the site asks for. This will show you what pricing looks like so you can compare with other hotels in the area.
If you are unfamiliar with the hotel, look up some reviews to see what other customers have said about the accommodations, cleanliness, and service quality.
Call the hotel directly after you’ve looked at online pricing offers. If you found an online price for a room cheaper than what is offered on the hotel’s website, ask if they are willing to match that price. You can also tell them if you found a less expensive room with a competitor. They may be willing to offer you a different price than what they have listed online in order to secure your business.
This is one of the best ways to get a better deal on pricing.
If you are celebrating a special event, like a wedding, anniversary, or birthday, mention this while you are on the phone. You may get a free room upgrade or a special amenities kit.
Ask about event or group discounts. The hotel may offer senior rates, business traveler rates, veteran rates, discounts for booking more than one room or one night at a time, or discounts if you’re attending a certain event in the area. The only way to find out is to ask!
Bundle your flight and hotel together. This can sometimes lead to big savings, but it may make it harder to change your reservations if you have something come up last minute. Look for vacation package deals online or use a travel agent to have someone else do the research work for you.
Sites like Travelocity and Orbitz let you input your travel dates, locations, and preferred travel class and will give you a list of paired flights and hotel bookings that you can choose from.
Some of these bundles will also include a car rental, which could potentially save you even more money!
Join loyalty programs through the hotel or booking websites. If you prefer to stay at a particular hotel, joining their loyalty program can pay off big time. Most programs guarantee the best pricing for members, free Wi-Fi, or free nights for every so many bookings. Similarly, some booking websites will offer a free night for every 10 nights booked.
If you are going to join a loyalty program, pick 1 and stick with it to ensure you are using all the available discounts.[Edit]Securing Last Minute Deals
Take advantage of upgrades by booking later in the day. Hotels want to book as many rooms per night as they can, and later in the evening they will have a good idea of how much availability they have. Check booking websites and the hotel’s website directly to see how much a room would cost that night and to see if there are any last minute deals.
You can also take advantage of booking someone else’s cancelled reservation this way.
This option works best if you are traveling for leisure or by yourself for business, rather than if you are attending a big event or conference. Bigger events mean rooms will be booked up early in the season.
Call the concierge directly rather than the 800 reservation number. The people who work at the hotel are more likely to offer you a discount or upgrade. Be friendly and polite, and don’t be afraid to ask about getting a better price.
Better yet, go to the hotel directly and talk to someone at the desk. Face to face is often a better way to make a connection with someone if you’re asking for a deal.
Stay at a newer hotel to save money. New hotels are looking to get the word out about their hotel and will likely offer discounted prices to drum up more business. You may even be able to book your stay with the manager directly, who can offer a bigger discount.
Stop into these new hotels rather than making a reservation on the phone. This way you can check out the surroundings to make sure they’ll meet your expectations.
Redeem credit card points for hotel bookings. Many credit cards offer travel deals or points that can get you a few bookings for free every year. Using these to make a day-of reservation will give you more flexibility in where you stay because you won’t be as concerned about your budget.
Cards like Discover and Capital One Venture offer cash back money or bonus points that can be redeemed for hotel stays. Check what discounts your current credit card company can give you.
Bid on a room to get a good deal on a last minute booking. Hotels that have available rooms often place them on booking sites with their lowest acceptable booking price. When you’re ready to make a bid, go to a booking site, select your preferred neighborhood and star levels, and the price you’re willing to pay. The name of your hotel won’t be revealed until your bid is accepted.
You have to be okay with leaving things to chance a little bit, but this can be a great way to get a good room for a good price last minute.
Your credit card is charged as soon as your bid is accepted, so you have to be willing to go with the flow to take advantage of this option. You can’t change or cancel the reservation.[Edit]Tips
If booking a room ahead of time, check the cancellation policy—many hotels require a partial payment if you cancel 24-48 hours before your reservation.
Request a corner room—this will give you more square footage for the same price as other rooms in the hotel.
Mention if you are celebrating a special occasion—like a birthday or an anniversary—when booking your room. This might result in a free upgrade or a special amenities kit.[Edit]References↑ http://www.businessinsider.com/tricks-for-getting-the-best-deal-on-a-hotel-room-2016-3