To many travelers, searching trying to find cheap hotel deals is like playing a friendly game of roulette: try just the right amount of combinations (locations, travel agents, dates) and you’ll land the best one. They forget to keep in mind however, that if they have to change their travel dates or find a better rate, they’ll have to pay a penalty of as much as $25 per night. On top of that, most hotels don’t allow the customer to use loyalty points for stays booked through discount reservation sites, factor that in and those bargain basement prices doesn’t seem so appealing. Here are 4 tips to help you avoid these pitfalls:
Tip 1. Check out hotel calendars. An increasing amount of hotel Web-sites use booking systems with long term day-to-day rates. For instance, Four Seasons lets you see prices up to nine months out. on January 7, the Bellagio in Las Vegas listed a rate of $801; when we checked the price of the exact room on January 11, it was $201. At the same time, various travel sites such as Expedia.com, Cheap Tickets and Orbitz have calendars that shows the cheapest rates for each day that information is accessible.
Tip 2. Try the new hotel search engine which uses a special algorithm to find cheap hotels deals. It analyses if the room rate is or isn’t a deal by combining current rates from 3 other sites- Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, and Reserve Travel- with historical data and prices from hotels themselves. This site removes sold out hotels from search results so your great deal won’t disappear when you go to book it.
Tip 3. Dial the phone Get a hold of the hotel directly (not the 800 number). Many times, hotels offer last minute deals that they don’t fill through the reservations line. Customer Service Agents aren’t normally permitted to negotiate the price. Because hotels often give only a set number of rooms to the reservation service, you may be told that the rate has been sold out, which isn’t the case all of the time. If you’re trying to find cheap hotel deals, call a travel agent. Many can get a better room rate than can be found online, with breakfast and an upgrade.
Tip 4. Look for the guarantee A lot of online agencies and hotels will match the price of other hotels. One such hotel is the Marriott. They will give you the lower rate, plus a 25 percent discount. Starwood does this as well but gives you a 10 percent discount plus give you 2,000 Starpoints. Swissotel offers 50 percent off of the first night’s lower rate and will match the cost the next night. There can be a catch however. Most will require that you file a claim within 24 hours of reserving your room.
Tip 5. Hidden deals to look for Membership in AAA, AARP, or in professional groups like the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association, may make you eligible for a discount. You can also look online for coupon codes at various coupon sites online.Travel | Comment (0)