Planning a trip, either a family vacation or a business trip requires certain considerations. You need to think about travel and lodgings.
When it comes to finding the right hotel, the cost may be a factor. But, don’t let cost force you to book a hotel room at a rundown establishment.
By shopping around, comparing your options, and taking advantage of rewards programs, you can get a great deal and still stay at a great hotel.
Here are 7 simple hacks that you can use to get the best hotel deals.
#1 – Call the Hotel Before Booking
You can do almost everything online nowadays. But, when it comes to booking a hotel room, you should call the hotel before booking.
The reason for this is that the latest prices, deals, and offers may not be reflected on the official website of the hotel or on the online booking sites and hotel price aggregators. Calling the hotel is a simple hack that only takes a few minutes and you might end up getting a better deal.
When you talk to a hotel employee over the phone, you also might receive a few extras, such as free Wi-Fi or a free breakfast, that wouldn’t have been included if you had booked online.
You can use online resources to find the best prices. Just make sure that you call the hotel before you make your final arrangements. It doesn’t hurt to check.
#2 – Pay Attention to the Hidden Fees
Hotels don’t always do a good job of advertising their fees and charges for amenities and special features.
For example, some hotels charge extra if you require a smoking room or Wi-Fi access. They may also have additional charges related to parking or hotel shuttles.
You don’t want to get surprised by these fees, so make sure that you discover the total cost of the hotel room. If you follow the first step and call the hotel, you can inquire about these fees.
#3 – Look for Smaller Hotels
Another option is to look for smaller hotels. In many areas, there are small hotels that don’t want to spend the money in order to advertise online or appear in hotel booking sites. If you only use online booking sites to look for hotels, you could be missing out on some great deals.
Perform an internet search for hotels in the area where you will be staying. The “maps” section of the search engine should provide you with a list of all the nearby hotels. Make a list of the locations that you find and include these in your search for the best price.
#4 – Sign Up for a Rewards Program
Most of the major hotel chains have their own rewards program. These programs will help you save money if you plan on staying at the hotel on a regular basis. This will limit your options, but it does save you money.
#5 – Contact Local Tourist Offices
If you’re planning on traveling to a major tourist destination, you should contact their local tourist offices. These offices are always aware of the best prices. And, due to the increased self-reliance of tourists, these tourist offices are willing to do more to get you the best deal.
#6 – Don’t Make Any Reservations
Sometimes, the best way to get lower prices on hotel rooms is to not make any reservations. This option won’t work during a busy travel season in a major tourist destination.
But, if you’re traveling to an area during the off-season, there’s a good chance that hotels in the region won’t be fully booked. If you arrive without a reservation, you might find that the hotel has lowered their prices to try to fill as many rooms as possible.
This is similar to the airline industry. Hotels will often discount their rooms the day of so that they have fewer vacancies. Just be aware that this option requires you to remain flexible with your travel plans.
#7 – Use Online Hotel Booking Sites
The final tip for getting the best price on your hotel is to use online hotel booking sites. These sites gather all the data related to prices and availability. They scan the latest deals offered from the top hotel chains. Basically, they make it easier to compare prices.
You can enter the date and location of your stay and then begin comparing prices from all the hotels in the area. You can even set alerts so that you get email updates if a better price comes up.
In the end, finding the best price on hotels will require a little bit of work. You’ll need to explore all your options and compare prices. An online booking site can help you get started, but you also need to use a few other hacks.
Make sure that you call the hotel. Their latest deals may not appear on their website. Also, don’t forget about additional fees and charges, such as Wi-Fi or breakfast charges.
If you take your time, you should have no problem getting the best deal.
Author Bio – This article is a work of Steve Bomm on behalf of InsanelyCheapFlights, a leading online travel portal for cheap airline tickets, cruise packages and car rentals.