Hotels are one of the most essential, and most expensive parts of traveling. There’s plenty to be said about choosing the right hotel; location, quality, and reputation. However, aside from all of that-the strategizing isn’t over when you’ve decided which hotel to stay in. There’s still quite a bit that can be done to make sure you save money on the rates of your chosen establishment between when you choose, and when you book. Take a look, and check out just a few of the most basic things you can do to ensure you get the lowest rate.
Booking online not only gives you an instant price comparison between all the different travel sites, but it also puts the power in your hands. When you're searching hotels on the internet, the hotels know that they're sitting there competing against each other for rates and reviews. This drives prices down, and puts the power in your hands. The opposite situation to this, or the worst thing you can do-for example is drive across country on a road trip; when you get halfway to your destination at 11:30 pm you pull into your desired hotel, walk up to the desk attendant and ask "so, how much to stay here tonight?" In this situation, the hotel managers have all the power. They know you don't want to drive somewhere else, so they'll quote you what they feel is a price you'll pay. The fact is, it's almost always higher than you can get online.
"Guests" vs. Beds
Another trick to saving 5 - 10% on your hotel room booking fees is to always book for "1 guest". Unless you are traveling with friends, or kids - most couples will share 1 bed in a room. When booking online, or over the phone, the hotel will always ask "how many guests for the booking?" Always, always answer "1". The hotels will often charge extra if there's more than one "guest" in a room, but they really don't care at all. They are instructed to ask this as a way of up-selling and making more money. When the room is booked, it's booked - and nobody will ever raise an eyebrow if you show up for your online booked room as a couple, even if it said it was for "1 guest." Hotels always have full or queen beds at least, so you don't have to worry that you won't be able to share the room. Never waste money by adding guests to the registry.
It's not uncommon for hotels to issue discount coupons on the internet to promote booking sales. They will never advertise these on their websites however, or on travel booking websites. You can visit coupon websites, or even do a Google search for "hotel coupons" to find thousands of these coupons and codes. Even if they only save you 5% off the purchase total - that could be one more dinner out, right? It's not a bad idea to print out the coupon as well, and bring it with you in case you need to confirm the purchase price discount at the check in.
Know the Facts
The fact is, hotels break even on booking fees at a fraction of what they charge. Even though you might not be able to go in and haggle for half price at the desk, there's no reason to pay top dollar just because they want you to. When you control the information, you control the power - and that is how you save money on hotel rooms.