Why pay more? Grab the best hotel deal possible.

Twelve ways to secure good hotel deals.

Like most people, you probably want the best of everything without having to pay much for it. Sounds familiar? So, when it comes to paying for your vacation accommodation, trust me, you do not want to pay rack rates. No, no! That’s just too nasty on your hard-earned paycheque.

Room for More [Beth Ehemann]

So how do make sure you spend less for your next hotel accommodation and have more to budget for other travel pleasures and still be satisfied?

Here are the top 12 different methods I have used. Today, I’d like to share them with you so that you too can save money on your next hotel bookings.

1.  Booking Websites

This is one of my first go-tos for the best deals. I discussed this topic with a group of well-travelled friends over dinner recently. They too agreed that this approach is their first means for securing better rates.

All you have to do to take advantage of this method is to, first, sign up with a couple of or with your preferred booking websites. As a member, you’ll sometimes land on secret member deals or special privileges. The benefits are tiered, so the deal offers get more attractive the more you book using the website.

The Mars Room [Rachel Kushner]

Each booking website has a unique reward mechanism. These might include one free room exchange for every ten bookings or an additional discount for different tiered members.

There are generally two types of rates offered: non-refundable rates (where the entire booking fee and room cost is forfeited upon change) and free cancellation/flexible rates (where no charges are incurred when you change or cancel your booking). Non-refundable rates are the cheaper of the two, but use this only when you are 150% sure you will not have a change of plan; otherwise, any change will result in this option being more expensive. I have much experience in losing hard earned money this way.

Taxes are usually applied to the final price for website bookings. Do note that some booking websites do not show the final price that would be charged, making them seem cheaper than others. Be cautious of these prices to avoid disappointment after booking. Tip—always compare price after taxes.

It is always good not to rush into any booking, and if time is not a constraint, do the search through several websites first to see who offers the best deal. However, remember, don’t wait too long. There are many travellers there who are looking out for the same deals. Promotional offers are on a first-come basis.😉

The Garden Room [Joy Katz, Author]

2.  Hotel Membership Programs

Memberships are usually offered by established hotel chains to encourage customer loyalty. There are many programs available today from companies such as Starwood, Le Club, Wyndham, and Hilton.

Hotels run exclusive campaigns through their membership programs with added benefits and promotions for members. Such could include free room redemptions with accumulated rewards, an additional free stay for every qualified paid room, dining vouchers, or concert tickets.

How does this work? Upon signing up, members accumulate points for their purchase of goods and services made at the hotel or with their affiliate partners. Affiliate partners include designated car rental companies, casinos, and airlines.

Once you have enough points accumulated, you can use those points to redeem the service you require. Services can be bought for yourself or others. I too benefited from my sister’s membership points. Thank you!!

A Room of One's Own [Virginia Woolf]

3.  Last Minute Deals

No hotel property wants empty rooms for the night. So, sometimes, hotels offer their unrented rooms at the last minute for a reasonable rate.

The term last-minute could vary. During peak travel season, it could refer to unoccupied rooms on the same day, and during the non-peak season, the duration is usually longer.

I recently missed a flight connection. I was lucky to have had a last-minute deal (room + breakfast) at a very classy airport hotel. However, if you are on a planned vacation, I wouldn’t recommend you wait this long to secure your room unless camping in the railway station is also an option. However, seriously, do plan! 😏

The Room With Many Colors [Ruskin Bond]

4.  Bid On a Room

If you are familiar with websites like Priceline, this is precisely what it is. Here, bidders will put up an offer for a disclosed hotel room in the city and location they wish to stay at. Usually, the bidder with the nearest offer settles for the deal. I like this. I had once successfully won a bid for a 5-star hotel at a two-star price. Simple pleasures. Go on, try your luck!

Room for One More [Sorche Nic Leodhas]

5.  Coupons

Heard of Fav (previously operated by Groupon in some countries) or RetailMeNot? These are just a few of the many portals providing retail discounts. Sign up with these coupon-issuing websites for deals and offers. They too, periodically, offer additional discounts for your hotel bookings.
The Inspired Room [Melissa Michaels]

6.  Travel Agents

I used to use this quite a bit in the past. Some travel agencies who conduct regular global and domestic tours, like Ken, Trafalgar, Reliance, have access to attractive offers with their partner hotels. Try contacting an agent to hop on to these offers. The more established and reputable travel agents share these offers. I use less of this today because I get impatient waiting for someone to pick up the telephone line. What has technology done to us?

Room With a View [E. M. Forster]

7.  New Hotels

Keep an eye out for newly opening hotels. These hotels sometimes have unbeatable opening promotions. The services during the opening may be a little off the mark, but you will get a sparkling-clean room and a firm mattress at newly launched hotels.
The Scented Room [Barbara Milo Ohrbach]

8.  Deals with Airlines

Airlines, just as travel agents, do negotiate good deals with hotels for their passengers. You may have noticed when making an online ticket reservation (at an airline’s portal), there is also an option to purchase your accommodation too. Try this; you’d be surprised at how low some bundled offers can get. The catch here is, if you change your flight ticket, you may risk losing the hotel reservation altogether.

Room to Dream [David Lynch]

9.  Airbnb

Airbnb is where individual property owners sublet their apartment, room, or villas just like a hotel. As guests, we have many options to choose from at much lower prices. This option is great because both the property owner and property renter can provide a review of the experience to help future hosts and renters. This encourages both parties to always be courteous and cautious with their dealings.
The Yellow Room [Mary Roberts Rinehart]

10.  Alternatives—Pensions or Hostels

There are plenty of pensions and hostels available, especially in Europe. These are cheaper alternatives compared to the hotels of similar category. Many pensions and hostels also include a decent breakfast in their package. Its concept is very similar to the old B&B style accommodation. The facilities offered are limited (e.g. it may not provide elevator services, safe-boxes or coffee-making facilities). Not all pensions are listed in hotel booking or pension/hostel booking sites. If you are lucky, you may even get a room in a castle. 👀

I like staying in one these when travelling on vacation in Europe because they have the essentials and are clean, cheap, and centrally located.
Chat Room [Kristin Butcher]

11.  Mention the Occasion

If you are celebrating a special but private occasion at a hotel, such as silver or golden wedding anniversary or birthday, it won't hurt to let the hotel staff know what is important to you. I have known of a few hotels that have gone out of the way to make those guests stay a little extra for the memorable occasion. Don’t be surprised when you see a box of specially carved chocolates in your room. The savings you receive here is not in the form of a reduced room rate but the added service for the same price. 💕
The Telling Room [Michael Paterniti]

12.  Reviews

Lastly, good deals are not always valued in terms of dollar and cents. I am sure you’d agree with me on this. It could be intangible in value—perhaps in terms of services available at the property or the distance of the hotel from the sites you wish to visit. Do check out hotel reviews ahead of time. Sleeping with bedbugs or spending too much time in traffic jams to save USD20 may not be the wisest savings. In my opinion, reviews from paying guests are the best because they represent an honest view. So, enjoy some coffee, check out those reviews.

Room Service [Rochelle Alers]

That's all for today. I hope you too land yourself on a smashing hotel deal for your next booking. Do you already use any of the above ways or do something different? Do share your experience with us. Counting stars, Reaching DelphiI am off to count my booking rewards for my next free room. 

Note: Image captions are titles of published books.

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