For many travelers, booking hotel accommodations involves searching one of the popular third-party travel sites and choosing the highest rated room within their budget. For other travelers, however, there comes the day when they’re looking for opportunities to up the ante, finding higher quality rooms that still remain within their travel allowance. If you fall into this category, here are some expert tips to help you save more while enjoying the best possible stay.
This can be your number one ticket to luxury at economy prices. Booking a hotel during the off-season can translate into savings of 50% and more over high season prices. None of the amenities change and you face smaller crowds, which puts the “see” back in sightseeing. If your schedule is not that flexible, then consider planning your hotel stay for midweek, when higher-end rooms can be had for less. It’s true that many hotels offer discounted weekend prices, but they are usually for smaller rooms with limited, if any views.
Hotels have recently become very aggressive in driving travelers to their own websites. In addition to offering discounts not found elsewhere, they hold some of their best rooms for those who book direct. Keep in mind that hotels make more money when you book directly with them, so it’s in their best interest to sweeten the deal. Niceties offered include better rooms and views, welcome baskets, drink vouchers, full breakfasts and discounted tickets to nearby attractions. Before booking with the hotel, check out the rates available on third-party sites and use them for bargaining directly with the hotel. Keep it friendly, asking if they will match or come close to those prices without putting you in an inferior room.
You may be entitled to any number of discounts on your hotel booking. Organizations that offer travel discounts include AAA and AARP, while military personnel, government employees, students, alumni, emergency workers and students can all receive substantial discounts on travel. Many sites have a field for filling in this information. If not, call or email the hotel to ask.
Don’t forget about the benefits that come with many credit cards, particularly those offered by airlines and hotels. Reward program earnings can add up fast and offer a real savings on accommodations. Using these cards for purchases and to pay bills earns you points toward free stays, and some cards offer double rewards for specific purchases. Look online for the best promotions, but keep in mind that you won’t be saving at all if you don’t pay the cards off in full every month. Use the cards frequently, but wisely, and save big.
Finally, you can check out social media-based offers. Many of them offer 2 for 1 deals, and if that means a night free at the hotel, it can have a real impact on your bottom line.
Are you flying and renting a car in the same location you’re looking to book a hotel? If so, you can save substantially by bundling the three into a package. Even bundling just the flight and hotel can bring you great benefits, sometimes saving you the equivalent of one or two nights’ stay. These bookings are done through third-party travel sites, so be sure to include any loyalty program membership information at the time you book for the best discounts.
Saving money on hotel accommodations can be a bit time consuming, but the payoff is worth it. Remember – never assume a hotel’s price is fixed. Do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Book smart and right and then sit back and make a toast to your considerable savings.
This article has been submitted by Gouverneur – a chain of hotels in Montreal, Canada.