HOW TO GET THE BEST HOTEL DEALS
THE SECRETS YOU NEVER KNEW
In today’s day and age, plane tickets can be relatively cheap. You can find tickets to Europe that cost next to nothing but what does add up is the cost of accommodation. What’s even more frustrating is the internet introducing us to a thousand different price comparison and booking sites that all present us with varying costs for the same accommodation. Some will tell you that it is cheapest to go through a third-party while others will tell you that you’ll save most by booking directly with the property. It is easy to get overwhelmed in the planning process. That’s why I’ve knocked down 10 of the biggest secrets to get the best hotel deals that the industry doesn’t want you to know!
1. Use Member-Only Sites to Find Cheap Hotel Deals
You can find some of the best hotel deals through member-only sites such as Secret Escapes or Travelzoo. These are sites that are free to sign up and offer accommodations with some phenomenal discounts. The only difference with member-only sites and hotel comparison sites are that these deals are only displayed for a short amount of time before they are gone. You won’t find all the properties that are available in your selected location however you may discover something new at an unmissable price, so these member-only sites are worth signing up to and looking at when you’re searching for your next accommodation.
2. The Best times to Book Hotels
Like booking cheap airfare tickets, there is a right time that you should book your hotels to save money. Generally, the belief is that the best deals are found as early as possible – well travel sites suggest at least two months in advance. However, hotel price comparison site Trivago.co.uk suggests planning so far ahead can be more expensive. Studies have found that rates are usually at their highest two to three months before the arrival date. Instead, booking precisely one month in advance will land you the best savings with the cheapest rates. Through that one month window, hotels are more likely to open up to last-minute decisions to the price drop and fill in those rooms that aren’t yet booked.
3. Where to Bag Last Minute Hotel Bargains
To reiterate the previous point, booking hotels are best one month in advance but what happens when you’re looking for accommodation for a last-minute trip? The odds are that you’ll find deals but deals that aren’t good enough. Luckily there are multiple sites whereby you can search a list of accommodations that have had late cancellations. These sites will allow you to find rooms for a reduced price due to these late cancellations. Sites include Cancelon and Roomer.
4. Look Into Business Hotels
I’ve stayed in many business hotels, and sometimes I actually prefer it. Business hotels are catered to the business traveller so a business can often be relatively slow during school holiday months, summer months and on weekends. Slow business means lower prices to shift the rooms, so consider looking into business hotels to find a good hotel deal.
5. Check-In Near The End of The Day
Getting an upgrade on your room is easier than you think. You simply just ask. However, you are more likely to get a ‘yes’ to your question if you check in towards the end of the day as by that point, the hotel will have a better sense of their occupancy. They will then more likely offer room upgrades if they are still available.
6. Consider Staying at a New Property
If it’s a new property, more often than not the business is still trying to get its name out there and build its business up. This can sometimes mean lower rates and possibly free upgrades.
7. Skip Staying The Most Expensive Night of the Week
I always assumed Saturday/Sunday would be busiest but turns out Fridays are subsequently the busiest day of the week for hotels and also the most expensive night to stay as everyone wants to make the most of a two-day weekend. If you want to save some money on hotels, avoid staying Friday night. Instead, arrive early Saturday morning, drop your bags off at the hotel and come back later to check in.
8. Only Choose the Essential Amenities In Your Hotel
Of course, everybody loves staying in a lavish place. And it’s nice to know that your hotel has so many features like a pool, a gym, a spa etc. But how often would you use these amenities, really? The more options you have to take advantage of during your stay, the higher the price per night. If you know you’re going to be out a lot during the day, try selecting the hotels with fewer services as you’ll hardly be using them anyway, so why get charged for them?
9. Book During January
One great way to get the best hotel deals is to book in January. Yes, it’s the month following Christmas, meaning everyone’s holding back on spending after an expensive month, but this bodes well for you if you’re looking for hotels. Minimal bookings take place during January and hotels try to push business by reducing their rates. This means a great deal on the cards for you. If you know you’re going away, maybe put aside some money and wait for January to come. That way you won’t feel too broke after the festive period.
10. Opt for a Cancellation Policy
Booking hotels with a free cancellation policy costs around 10% to 20% more than bookings with no cancellations. However, you can save more in the long run. If you opt for free cancellation, always check back to see if the price has dropped. If it has, then cancel your booking and book again. It is known that many people have saved a large chunk of what they initially paid by doing it this way.
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