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Getting the Best Deal

  Tips Home >> Travelling Tips >> Getting the Best Deal


How could a stay at a more expensive Hotel provide an even cheaper vacation than staying at a discount Hotel?
When comparing rates, look at the whole package. The answers to the questions below could reveal that the more expensive Hotel has included many services in their rate that will reduce other areas of your vacation budget. So, depending on your plans, the more expensive Hotel might provide a less expensive vacation.
Are any meals included with your stay?
If the breakfast is included, does that mean cold cereal or a whole buffet?
Are there any special deals for children?
Are there any special deals for seniors?
Does the Hotel provide free in room coffee, morning newspapers or complimentary evening cocktails?
Does the Hotel have excellent pool, fitness or tennis facilities that could provide a cheap day of entertainment by just hanging around the Hotel?
Does the Hotel have a golf, tennis or spa package that will save you over booking these items separately?
Is the Hotel’s location particularly good, or does the Hotel have a shuttle service that could save you lots of cab fare or even eliminate the need for a rental car? Remember a shuttle service will also save you parking fees and gas.
Does the Hotel have laundry services or the ability to loan out irons, ironing boards, hair dryers or voltage converters if needed to help lessen your luggage needs?
Does the Hotel have other amenities available such as in room coffee makers, refrigerators or even kitchenettes that could save you money in your food budget?
How can I save money on my room rates?
Make your reservation as soon as you have decided on travel plans. A limited amount of the cheapest rates are only usually available to the first few that reserve on a particular date; and they go quickly.
Being flexible about your travel plans can save you money.
The best rates are found during the off-season and at other times when the Hotel tends to have empty rooms. Business Hotels in the downtown area will often have specials on the weekend when their customers are home. Resorts often have specials during the week.
Ask about weekly rates or weekend specials.
Ask about suites. The Hotel might have a suite available to meet your needs that would be less expensive than two separate rooms. Remember to check on the bathroom arrangement, you may find having only one bathroom too limiting.
Shopping the Internet can be the quickest and easiest way to compare many Hotels’ rates to find the best deals.
Check into booking your room through a consolidator, they buy large blocks of rooms and often will pass their large discounts on to the individual consumer.
You can check the national chain’s 800 number and also check with the Hotel directly, since one operator may be offering a special of which the other is unaware. ASK, if this is the best rate they have available.
Check into booking your vacation as a package. You might be able to save by booking your room along with a certain airline, rental car or attraction ticket package.
You can apply coupons, but read the coupons carefully for exceptions and their terms of use.
Apply any special discount programs for which you are eligible.
What other types of special discount programs are available?
Check for special deals with your memberships, associations or clubs.
Memberships in premium clubs, loyalty or frequent flyer programs can offer discounts.
Some credit cards have special discount agreements with certain Hotels.
Package discounts can be found when booking your room with a certain airline, rental car or attraction ticket package.
Discounts are often available for age groups, young and old, as well as, for students.
Group discounts are available if you are bringing your friends.
Discounts are often available for government, military or corporate employees. Some Hotels will even extend these discounts during leisure travel.
How can I find other businesses that have partnered with my Hotel to provide me even greater rewards for using their services?
Check out your Hotel’s web site. They should have a list of other businesses they have partnered with that can reward you with bonus points or miles and discounts or other special offers. These other businesses are usually found on your Hotel’s web site in a special travel partners section or they can be listed under their membership program section as participants or partners.
How can I get a good rate if I don’t have a reservation?
Calling rather than showing up can be a better way to get the cheapest rates when you don’t have a reservation. If you’re calling, they know it’s easy for you to keep calling around to look for a better deal so they may encourage you to come in by quoting their best deal. If you come in, the Hotel might quote a higher rate. They know you’ll be less likely to leave just to shop around for a better rate, especially if you have that sleepy face.
Tell them you are calling around and ask for the best rates that they have available.
If there are extra rooms out there, you can remind the Hotel that something is better than nothing.
What does the term "rack rate" mean?
A rack rate refers to the maximum or full price the Hotel will charge for the room. Of course, you'll want to avoid paying the full rack rate and try to find a discount on the room. You should be able to find the rack rate posted in the room, it is usually on the backside of your room’s door.
What should I know about rack rates and discounts?
Some coupons are only good for a percentage off the highest full or "rack" rates, so using them might end up costing you more than making a regular reservation without them. When you find a coupon or discount program that gives you a discount off the full or rack rate, check the currently available regular rate for the room. The current rate may already be lower than what the discount or coupon offers.
What does it mean if I have a coupon that states a rate "with coupon at check in", "space available" and/or walk-in only?
This is a coupon with limited uses so you’ll need to read the fine print for exceptions carefully. The rate probably won’t be honored with a reservation.
Note that space available may not be the same as rooms available. Hotels will often limit the number of these coupons that they will accept at any one time. Even though they may have rooms available at walk-in, they may still deny the rate on the coupon since the space available for the coupon rate is full.


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