Probably one of the most important aspects on a trip whether for business or on holiday, is to get the right hotel deal. The fact is with the overwhelming competition that hotels face in the hospitality industry they have to get innovative and find new effective ways to attract prospective clients. As a result most of them offer a variety of deals ranging from discount packages to special promotional offers. Despite that to strike a good hotel deal you need to be shop around and compare prices before you actually sign up.
While it is generally sensible to make your reservations in advance the fact is there a number of great last minute deals available, where hotels offer the best rates to ensure maximum occupancy at all times. With the coming of the smart-phone and the existence of millions of apps getting a good hotel deal is no longer as challenging. Using apps like the London Hotel Booking App guarantees users the best deals available at a hotel.
A few basic tricks that can help you score the best hotel deals around are:
Look out for last-minute deals: If you are open to changing your travel dates and are flexible with travelling later or even earlier you could get the best deal by making your hotel reservations at the last moment. Most hotel managers are keen to fill their rooms when the occupancy rates are low and would be willing to reduce room prices.
Always enquire for lower rates: While it may seem not too effective, the fact is ask and you shall get! Before signing on the dotted line enquire if the hotel has any special offers for guests. They come in a variety of ways ranging from frequent flier to corporate, senior citizens to hotel membership. There are special rates available for these schemes and if you are lucky you might end up finding one just perfect for you. Most hotels also have a ‘fallback rate” which they use for guests who are not too pleased with rate quoted.
Check online: If you want the latest hotel offers in any part of the world, you need to do your homework and check online for the daily deals on offer at the destination you plan to travel to. Another option is to scour hotel websites as most of them offer special promotional rates for guests who book exclusively at the hotel website. While there are a number of independent hotel booking sites they generally charge a booking fee. Instead it is best to either download the hotel app of the hotel you plan to stay at or book directly at their website.
Call the hotel directly: Do not always expect to get the best deals using the 1-800 central reservation system. That is because the agents that man the 1-800 numbers are not aware of the latest special offers, apart from not being updated in real time with room availability. Also most of them are not permitted to negotiate. In contrast hotel agents are fully briefed aware of specials and room availability, along with having the authority to negotiate. As result they offer a better possibility of striking a good deal. Another downside with using a 1-800 number is that some hotels only allot a certain number of rooms to the central reservation number. You may be informed that there is no vacancy when actually there are rooms available because of low occupancy.
Do not be rigid with your travel time: It is a well known fact that hotel prices fluctuate at various parts of the year and even the time of week. For example if you stay at a hotel that mainly caters to business travellers you will invariably find some of the best deals on the weekend. Travelling to London or Europe in the summer will result in higher hotel prices as that is the peak tourist season. Unless you are on a business trip that cannot be postponed you could try to be more flexible with your travel dates. This will benefit you in getting some of the lowest prices and deals.
Try for a package deal: One of the best ways to save money when travelling is to consider opting for a combo or package deal (both airfare and hotels). There are several such package deals on offer at all parts of the year and if you opt for them you could save a considerable amount of money in the process. It may not offer as many accommodation options but it could be a fabulous deal if you are flexible.
Enquire about the total cost: There are times when an eager traveller might think he has found the best deal, but then at the time of payment realises it was not as sweet as he previously thought. The reason is you need to only consider the base rate but also take into account taxes among a host of other expenses and hidden charges that will inflate your bill. Just getting a lower base rate does not guarantee savings as the additional charges need to be taken into account as well.
Check your monthly credit card statements: Many credit card holders are not aware that along with the junk that accompanies their monthly statements, there are occasionally vouchers and discount coupons that offer discounts and special deals to hotels, restaurants and other select locations. You could use that reserve code at the hotel or place the credit card company has partnered with.
Join a loyalty program: If you intend to travel more than once to the same city either for business or pleasure, then one of the best ways to get the best rates at a hotel chain is by signing up for their loyalty program. Each time you travel and stay at any of their hotels or visit any of their affiliate partners you would accrue membership points. These could be redeemed later for considerable discounts both at the hotel or even select partner sites.