Are you excited to hit the road for your next vacation? You probably don’t want to get an ordinary hotel room, but the luxury options are seemingly too expensive. Tap or click here for five tricky hotel scams that could ruin your next trip.
Like when you book airline tickets, you need to have a strategy. For example, it is often cheapest when you book a domestic flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday. However, international flights are typically more affordable on a Thursday.
Read on for Kim’s four tips on getting the best deals on hotels to make any vacation memorable.
1. Call ahead
There are plenty of websites that can provide you with a good deal. Booking services such as Kayak, Expedia or Hotels.com are excellent options and often have discounted rates if you book for extended periods or special times.
But that isn’t the only way. Once you find a reasonably priced hotel room, don’t immediately book it. Instead, call the hotel’s reservation desk directly. Tell them that you found a special rate on a different website, and often the hotel will meet or beat any internet rate when you book with them.
That’s because the booking website can take a cut from the price, or the hotel must pay a fee to the website for facilitating the booking.
2. Call at the right time
If you want to increase your chances of getting a great hotel room at a reasonable rate, you must call at the right time. One clever trick is calling at 4 p.m. on the day that you want a room.
As Kim explained in a recent Digital Life Hack podcast, “hotels know the odds of selling a room are pretty slim at 4 in the afternoon, so they’ll give you rock bottom rates and nice upgrades.”
3. Rewarding your patience
Late afternoon can score you a significant upgrade, but you might also get a perfect deal when you call directly or book anytime on the day.
Sam Shank, co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight, explains that prices keep decreasing throughout the day of check-in. So, in theory, the longer you wait, the better your chances of an upgrade. On average, the same-day rate of a hotel room is 10% cheaper than booking in advance.
But it comes with a caveat. Don’t use this strategy if you are traveling to a busy tourist city or to a town where a large event is happening. You might get fortunate, but most people book out rooms well in advance.
4. Memberships with benefits
Don’t overlook the power of memberships to hotel loyalty programs and associated discounts. Often government employees, students, and military personnel can get a good deal by flashing the proper credentials.
For example, senior citizens can get up to 15% off at Marriott hotels when they are members of AARP, while Best Western gives 10% off to members. Similarly, Wyndham Hotels have special rates for guests older than 60 years.