7 Ways to Book the Best Hotel Rooms at the Best Price:
Traveling to new destinations oftentimes requires spending a few bucks on accommodation, which can take your expenses to a whole new level. Plus, if you’re not the kind of person that likes spending the night on someone’s couch or a hostel, then you definitely have to prepare yourself for paying a few extra bucks for a proper hotel room.
While it’s very true that hotels and resorts always come with their own set of comforts, we often have to pay more to live this experience. So the better the hotel, the higher the price. However, the good part is that you don’t always have to spend a ton of money on hotel bookings.
A couple of hacks might help you cut the costs. So here’s what we’ve learned so far when it comes to accessing luxurious hotel rooms at a cheaper price:
Time is money
That’s the main secret when it comes to booking. Without a little bit of patience, none of the things that are written on this list will pay off. When we’re talking about booking a hotel room at its best price, the secret is to invest a lot of time in researching, comparing, and booking, because that’s when you will find the best price.
In our own experience, the best deals aren’t easy to find, as you need to hunt them down and keep track of any unexpected changes that might appear along the way. Before booking anything, you have to ponder carefully on what’s the ideal value for you and if it’s worth the while to spend a couple of extra bucks.
Consider going on off-season or shoulder season
This is one of the most genius tips you could ask for. If one of your deepest wishes is to visit a specific hotel or visit an expensive city that’s generally out of your budget, this doesn’t mean that you CAN’T do it! Going off-season is by far one of the best ways to visit a destination that’s a bit out of reach.
When you realize that going on a peak season might cost you double or even triple, you start reconsidering if that’s really worth the effort. Just because it’s “off” or “shoulder” season, doesn’t mean that you won’t have a good time! In certain cases, the weather can turn up to be even more tolerable, the attractions easier to visit, and the overall pace of life will be a bit more relaxed, which is exactly what we want, right?
Use hotel comparison sites
Here you will invest a bit more, and I’m talking here about time, more than money. You will probably need two things: a trillion of tabs open, and a notebook where you can jot down all the price differences. So here’s what you need to do: you open the hotel’s website and then a couple of other sites in a brand new tab (or multiple):
- Hotels Combined
These are the top 6 sites that always come with the best price, so it’s important to check all of them before booking anything. We also have another type of website worth checking, which has the best surprises: Last Minute Travel Club.
All you have to do is create a membership profile, so you can use their booking. Trust me, it’s totally worth the while! For example, let’s take The Grand Fiesta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The last time I booked a room in this place, I did it through Last Minute Travel Club. On the hotel’s direct website, the price for 3 nights was $258. Wanna guess how much it cost me on LMTC? Only $158!
Flexible dates are better
If you have the option to shift your time off a couple of days before or after the scheduled trip, then you might save a couple of bucks. The thing is, the time you chose to be at the hotel might run over a holiday, a busy time, or even a conference.
For example, you book 5 nights somewhere and on the fourth night, the hotel happens to be at full capacity. The rate for the night will immediately skyrocket the average rate for the entire stay! That’s why it’s important to be flexible.
But here’s how you can use this to your advantage: let’s say you search for a hotel of choice from May 1st to 8th, but the results aren’t looking too good. You can try shifting those dates ahead or behind a couple of days, or even try searching with 1 night less or 1 night over the dates you originally planned for.
Upgrade at the front desk
If you’re a risk taker, then this trick might work for you. If you like the thrill of the chase, you can ask for a cheap upgrade at the front desk. If the hotels have a ton of premium rooms available, you might be able to get one at a much lower price than you would have found online. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- First, make sure you start a bit of a conversation. Ask how busy they have been lately because if you find out that it’s a slower time for them, then you will know for sure there’s an upgrade waiting for you around the corner!
- Never accept the first price. You get to the point where you ask what’s the price for a room upgrade. They might say a price, and you can ask if that’s the best price they’ve got. In some cases, they won’t back down easily, but in other cases, it’s also to their advantage and they’ll immediately take the opportunity. You’ll probably have to pay a base rate, plus an additional cost, but it’s still worth it.
- If they’re very firm about their price upgrade, you can also check if there would be a lower price for half of the time. If you’re at a hotel for 10 days and they have a great deal for only 5 of those days, it’s still worth taking it.
Use Hotel Loyalty Programs
Nowadays, everyone cares about loyalty, so it can certainly pay off with your next booking. The only downside with booking on third-party sites, such as hotels.com and other ones that I mentioned above, is that the hotel chain won’t give you any loyalty points for your stay.
In case always go to the same hotel, because they always treat you like royalty, you can get points that will add up fast, and you can win free meals, complimentary upgrades, and maybe even free nights!
If you check the price of the hotel chain both on the booking website and the hotel’s website, and you don’t notice any considerable difference, you should book directly on the hotel’s website. This way, you’ll have access to their loyalty programs.
Don’t use ‘blind’ hotel booking sites
This is probably one of the most important things to remember. Never use Hotwire, Priceline Auctions, and any other site that won’t reveal the name of the hotel you have booked it. While this might go against anything you’ve ever read on Google about hotel deals, it’s true.
Why gamble for a location you don’t know? When it comes to your vacation, you shouldn’t go for a “blind” hotel that will turn out to be a total disaster!
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