Finding the best hotel at the cheapest price is one of the top priorities for travelers.
It is not uncommon to spend time searching the internet or asking friends for advice on where to stay and tips for getting a great deal on a room. When staying several nights it is even more important that you stay relaxed and well-rested, since this will make for an enjoyable trip. A memorable stay will influence whether you will consider visiting again and if a favorable recommendation is given in survey feedback requests from the hotel. Whether the hotel met or exceeded your expectations is likely tied the room’s price. Follow the below suggestions for getting the best price on a hotel room.
Third-Party Hotel Booking Sites
Using third-party hotel sites is the best place to begin the search for the best room and rates. Third-party sites have the advantages of being able to quickly filter by criteria, such as price and reviews. When the ideal hotel and price is located, don’t immediately book from the third-party site. There are instances where a hotel listing on a third-party site will offer a better rate if you contact the hotel directly.
Book the Room Directly From the Hotel
Hotel chains list their rooms on popular third-party sites for more exposure. As a result of listing on another site, the hotel typically pays a small margin to the third-party site. You can usually get the same or better rate by booking directly on the hotel’s website or making a reservation via telephone. If you call into the hotel and are told the room rate is higher than what is showing on the website or a third-party site, ask the hotel to match the price. Booking directly with a hotel can have more savings advantages, such as special packages or discounted room rates for AAA card holder members; something that is usually not offered on third-party sites.
Take Advantage of All Room Discounts Available
Members of AAA, military, and senior citizens are all examples of those who are likely eligible for discounted room rates on their hotel stay. If booking a room over the phone, be sure to ask if any discounts apply for AAA members, military, or senior citizens. If booking online, be sure to look for these discounted options during the checkout process. Don’t forget to bring any cards or identification and be ready to present to the hotel attendant upon check-in or your discount may not be granted. One final way to get a discounted room rate is to consider booking a room that does not allow for cancellations.
While many hotels allow for a full refund on a room cancellation, it is usually dependent upon requesting the refund prior to 24-48 hours before check-in. Hotels prefer to stay at full occupancy, so they tend to offer a slightly cheaper rate on a room with no cancellation option. The slightly cheaper rate is more attractive to the guest and the hotel knows they have the room paid for whether or not the guests arrive.
Begin your hotel search on aggregate third-party sites to get an idea of customer review ratings, room rates, and availability of prospective hotels. Once you have narrowed down the list to a few choices, check the hotel’s direct website or place a call to the hotel to see if there is any cheaper room rates. Be sure to always check for any senior citizen, AAA, or military discounts when booking a room. Consider booking a room that does not allow for refunds if cancelled because this will likely be priced less than a room that offers refunds on cancelled rooms.