Even if you think that the price listed on a hotel web site is the absolute best you are going to get, you can still find discounts above and beyond to help you save even more money. Although it seems that the hotel web site is the likely best place to find a great deal, calling a travel agent may net you a deeper discount, as most of them will have access to wholesale prices. Eventhough, sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Jeatravel.com have really good deals for hotel rooms, they still add on a commission. Therefore, you are paying retail and not wholesale for the room. That could mean the difference between saving 30% vs saving 55% when you book your hotel room. Here are a few helpful tips to help you save money on hotel rooms:
1. Book During Off Season
The most obvious means of saving money on a hotel room is to book it during the off season. Although a trip at that time may be a bit inconvenient for you depending on what you want to do, booking during off peak calendar dates can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your stay. Discounts are almost always offered when the hotel is not at its full capacity, so try to avoid going during the busy season if you can.
2. Inquire About Club Discounts
When you contact a hotel, question them about certain standard discounts like AAA auto club or AARP senior citizen discounts. Even military personnel can get a discount if the hotels offer it for them, and many do. Normally they offer a flat rate if you don’t ask, so it is important to mention any clubs or affiliates to which you belong before getting the final price.
3. Flexible Arrival Date
Another way to squeeze a discount is to be flexible about your arrival dates. If you are traveling for pleasure, then consider checking in on a Monday instead of Friday. Weekends are usually the busiest for tourist hotels; by traveling during the week instead of a weekend you can save a considerable amount of money. If you stay at a hotel that caters mostly to business people, then the opposite stands true. In that case, you can get a discount for traveling on a weekend since those are the times they lack for guests.
4. Consider Hotel Packages
It may suit your budget better to purchase a package. Many hotels offer discounts with certain packages which include the use of their spa, free meals, and amenities that may not be offered to the general public. If you are going to take advantage of their offer anyway, you might as well book a particular package and save money off the separate price of each.
5. Request An Upgrade
Last but not least, when you get to the hotel and you see that it is not as full as management may have expected, you can certainly ask if they would consider upgrading your room for the same price. The worst they could say is no, and in many instances they will give you a better room that normally costs more to leave the less expensive rooms available for walk-in guests. You don’t have to be pushy, but just making friends with the hotel manager or employee is a great way to secure a better room or discount.
6. Contact Your Travel Agent
The next time you’re searching for a hotel room on one of those online travel websites and you find a good deal on a hotel, contact your travel agent to see if they can quote you and even lower price for that same hotel. Like we said earlier, most travel agents know if the price that you are being quoted is the wholesale or the retail price. Sites like Expedia, Priceline, and Blesses To Travel will more than likely add a commission on top of the wholesale price making what you pay is retail. So, check with your travel agent to see if you can save even more, especially with 3-5 star hotels, people have been known to save and additional 30%-50% when staying in these type of hotels.