Top 7 Tips for Getting the Best Rates on Hotels
Vacations can cost a lot of money, which might be discouraging to some. Still, a few tried-and-true hotel booking tricks can help you get the best price possible. With these tips, you’ll be spending less money on hotels and freeing up funds for other parts of your trip — or even the next one!
How to Get the Best Price for Your Next Hotel Stay
Compare Prices Online with Hotel Booking Sites
Thanks to the advent of the Internet, there are more ways than ever to compare prices directly. While you could check with each hotel’s website and compare them, you could also make use of sites such as Booking.com, Kayak, Travel Ticker, or any of the countless others that will do that work for you. This way, you’ll be able to see hotels that offer similar experiences but at different price points, letting you make the most budget-conscious choice. You can search for specifics too, like a pet-friendly hotel or an indoor pool.
Call or Email the Hotel Directly
While comparison sites can offer great deals, the only real way to know that you’re getting the best deal is by contacting the hotel directly. Email will often work, but calling is a more immediate option. You can inquire if there are any special packages, deals, or discounts, and even consider mentioning the prices you’ve found for their rooms on comparison sites, in case they want to make a competing offer.
Consider Hotels that Don’t Appear on Major Search Sites
Just because a Mom & Pop hotel hasn’t invested in high search rankings, or possibly even a website, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a look. In fact, these hotels tend to be cheaper since they’re not getting internet customers! Talk with family, friends, and locals; anyone who might be able to give you some good local hotel tips.
Search for Coupons Online
Coupon sites are an easy way to save money. Find one that’s applicable and reap the rewards! Groupon and LivingSocial are both great sites for finding coupons; just make sure that you read any fine print. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re purchasing and any limitations in place, such as a particular timeframe during which the coupon is valid or cancellation fees.
Don’t Forget to Check Sites like AirBnB
Airbnb and similar sites offer a huge number of listings of locally hosted homes and apartments available to rent for a time. The offerings are also wildly varied, so if you’re interested in staying somewhere other than your run-of-the-mill hotel, this is a great option. While these offerings tend to be cheaper, they often don’t come with the same commodities that a hotel stay would, and the policies of each listing are entirely up to the owners, so keep that in mind.
Visit in the Off-Season
Hotels are going to charge more when everyone wants to visit them; it’s just good business sense! Save yourself some money by traveling during the off-season. These rewards extend beyond just hotel prices; flights will often cost less in the off-season. You can count on mid-fall and mid-spring to be off-season as most people are busy with work or school and not taking much time off.
Look for Packages
Travel packages are liable to be very specific and may or may not fit your exact needs, but if you find one that’s workable, these packages tend to come with a sizable discount for bundling everything together! Try looking through tour sites for your particular area. Sometimes big destinations will have bundles that offer attractions, food, and lodging together.