Who doesn’t love getting away for a weekend, or hitting the road with the family for a long overdue vacation? With prime travel season upon us, we thought now would be a great time to share some tips and tricks from our Sales and Revenue teams on how to get the best deals on your next hotel room.
Never be afraid to call the hotel directly and see what rate they can offer you. It might be better than what you can find online! This works best for day-of bookings since the hotel will be trying to sell all of the rooms they have left. You can still try for future dates, however, just know this isn’t a given if they only have a few rooms left to sell.
Will you be staying for more than a few days? If so, you can sometimes negotiate a cheaper rate with the hotel. The longer your stay, the steeper the discount can be. While this isn’t always available, it never hurts to ask.
Whether you’re traveling for a sports tournament or a local conference, setting up a block of rooms with the hotel can often save you more than if you all book separately on your own. Work with the hotel’s sales team to see what rates they can negotiate. And the earlier you set it up, often the better deal you can get on your rooms.
2. Join Brand Rewards Programs
We know, you don’t want another card in your wallet, but it can really pay off! Frequent travelers can rack up a lot of points quickly. And, even non-frequent travelers can still earn enough points for a free room every now and then. Not only do you earn points toward free stays, you get added perks of being a loyal guest. From bonus points to welcome gifts and better room placement, it pays to be a rewards member.
3. Book Directly on Hotel’s Website
Even though third-party sites like Expedia and Priceline claim their rates are the cheapest, they’re actually the same as what the hotel offers on their website. Recently many bigger brands have actually added Rewards Rates on their sites. Once again, it pays to be a rewards member! These reward rates are actually cheaper than anything a third party can offer. Also, a lot of brands have price-match guarantees. So if you do happen to find the same room on a third-party site for cheaper, not only will they match it, they will also pay you! That’s how confident they are that their rates are the same or better. It’s also always a benefit to book directly with the hotel so if a problem arises with your reservation or room, you don’t have to go through a third party to resolve it.
4. When You Book Matters
If you’re looking for a quick getaway and don’t have specific dates in mind, you’ll find the best deals on Thursday and Sunday nights. These are typically the lowest occupancy days of the week, so hotels lower their rates to encourage bookings. You can usually get these nights for a great bargain!
If you’re trying to plan that perfect vacation, booking day-of isn’t always possible. But when a hotel has low occupancy and you walk in the front door, you have the negotiating power! They don’t want that room to go unsold for the night, so they can be willing to work with you to find a rate that works for both of you.
If you aren’t familiar with an Advanced Purchase Rate, it is when a hotel will give a discount on a room if you pay ahead of time. Sounds great, right? The catch is they are non-refundable, no exceptions! These are great if you are absolutely certain your travel plans will not change. But, just in case your neighbor’s cousin’s best friend’s brother gets put into a full body cast, we wouldn’t recommend this option, as there are no exceptions to getting a refund.
Due to supply and demand, hotel rates are always fluctuating. By keeping these tips and tricks in mind, you may be able to save big on your next hotel room. We know how convenient it is to go online and book a room, but remember, you can’t negotiate with a computer screen. So don’t be afraid to call the hotel and see what they can do for you. Also, booking at the last minute can have its advantages, but could cost you big if there are no rooms available or your plans suddenly change.