Almost every one of us is obsessed by the idea that today’s tech (websites or apps) will get us best rates on hotel rooms.
What may have worked for you in past will probably not work for you today. Reason being that hotel industry is so competitive today all around the world that there are more variables in play than ever before. In response hotels have started playing with price based on their demand. Even cases of prices changing on an hourly basis have been witnessed. In short you can get lucky by just walking in to a hotel or getting a reservation over a phone.
Tim Leffel, the editor of lodging reviews website Hotel Scoop and the author of the book “Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune”, says that tech lovers are driven crazy by this. They think that one should be able to find best prices on Internet, but it isn’t always the case.
Not saying that internet will be a waste of time and not save you money. Few pointers like where do you plan to stay and which places you plan to visit, during your stay will surely you save money on taxi rides!
You can begin with big names of the industry: Expedia, Tripadvisor, Travelocity or Orbitz. For a wider perspective, Leffel is a good source to get rates from various search engines, such as Trivago or Kayak. You will get a pretty good idea about price vs star rating and the time you plan to travel.
For discounts check sites such as BookIt.com, Hotels.com or Booking.com, also best price hotels at Hotwire and Priceline. If you come across a hotel that you would like to stay in, first check hotel’s own website. You might get better rates from hotel directly.
If you are on a budget and not choosy about hotel then consider bidding rooms at websites like Priceline or Hotwire. Both offer good discounts. You can filter your choices by selecting neighborhood and/or by star-rating. Obvious con to this is that often the neighborhood filter could be pretty big.
Generally the earlier you book the better rates you get. But there’s no said 100% fool proof time frame where you should book in order to get best price. You may get a best deal on the very last minute. This approach is not encouraged and won’t always work in busy time of the year like Christmas and summer holidays or at a popular location. For those deals, you’ll do better booking earlier.
Here are 13 tips to get best deals:
- Call your hotel: Call the specific hotel itself, before booking the room (Call specific location and not 800 number of the hotel chain). Call them during business hours. Compare their rates with what you found online. They might throw in extras like late checkout, free Wi-Fi, or breakfast. This gives more flexibility as you do not have to pay an advance. Also you will not have to deal with any third party in case something goes wrong.
- Add up total cost:Some hotels might trick you in a low room rent but charge you a resort fee for facilities like pool, gym or parking. This may or may not be mentioned on their online quote. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, always ask for a complete break up of cost that will be charged.