4 Money Saving Hotel Booking Tips
What constitutes a comfortable nights stay for you when searching for your hotel of choice?? Is it about location and proximity alone or do you look deeper beyond the surface for more amenities. Is price your determining factor??
No matter where we are going we all have a set of criteria we follow for finding our ideal location for stay when it comes to our hotels. While no two people look for exactly the same things, we all have common goals of finding that special retreat which is comfortable at the end of the day.
I have always based my travels on many factors depending on the company for which I travel. While I personally like to stick with a budget to leave a bit more money for the fun and recreation, that does not mean I don't like a nice hotel with great amenities. This sometimes just takes a little more searching and with all that searching and planning you might be pleasantly surprised just how much quality you can find.
For example, did you know that many of the larger chains of hotels keep rooms on reserve and these rooms when booked can be negotiated in price. Yep! I didn't know about this one either until I really started to peel back the layers of finding discounted stays. Many times these rooms are used as a write off for the hotels.
But before you go banking on just using this option let's go over a few other alternatives for finding a discounted or in some cases free stay.
Use Hotel Based Points
If you travel often you have a variety of ways to earn points for each stay. I found that while traveling a couple of years ago, mostly staying in Hilton based hotels, these points add up quickly. This is a great option for frequent travelers or people who conduct business mostly while traveling.
Points systems work by adding your code to your check in, for each day you stay you are awarded a certain number of points. These points vary based on the type of accommodations you use while checked in. Some hotels allow you to also receive points for reviewing your stay, booking in advance and even purchasing items from their location.
Points can be tracked typically by app or by logging in online and can be redeemed for free stay at a later point.
Find A Hotel Promotion
Some hotels will advertise their promotions for special occasions and events. These promotions can include anything from free valet services when staying at their hotel to free nights stay. The key to using these is to find them and book quickly. Typically these promotions are valid for certain dates and cannot be further redeemed if hotel has booked entirely. Read the terms before booking.
Use Online Travel Portals
We all have looked online at sites like Expedia or Travelocity and found some great deals. The key to using these is to always clear your browser history and cookies before actually looking to book, this will give you the absolutely lowest prices offered for these sites.
Why? If you log into the sites time and time again to comparison shop, it sees you are interested and does not offer you that impulse lower deal. This is done to encourage you to buy quickly as the prices continue to otherwise rise. If you clear cookies, cache and browser history it presents you as a new customer and allows you to have the lower price point when booking.
These portals are designed to give large discounts for using the service. While sometimes their number of availability might not actually be correct entirely they do show you the amount of rooms available to this service, each hotel allows a different amount of their overall bookings to be available online.
I have found that sites often offer you additional discounts for repeat bookings with the service, send you emails with deeper discounts on other selections for the future and sometimes offer cash back on stay.
Last Minute Deals
Let's face it there is no feeling more uncomfortable to most travelers than to pull into a city and not yet have a booking. But did you know that a last minute booking doesn't always have to be something traumatic??
In more populated cities especially you can use the service Hotel Tonight and find last minute availabilities for rooms at a discounted price point. Some of these rooms are rooms which otherwise were not booked by major online booking systems or cancelled reservations. I have found some really impressive rooms using this last minute booking service and didn't have to break the bank.
When it comes down to it there are many options for finding the perfect room. My suggestion is to always have in mind your main needs and want in addition to your hard nos. By having a concept of what you will be looking for you can better steer yourself through the available rooms and find the gem amongst the chaos.