You don’t have to overpay for a hotel room. There are tricks and tips you can use to find the best room rates so you can enjoy your trip guilt-free.
We spoke to Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert at Coupons.com, Josh Belkin, the vice president and general manager of Hotels.com’s North America branch, Cheryl Rosner, the CEO of Stayful, and Ivy Chou, the content and marketing director for DealsPlus.com, to get their best tips for booking a room. From when to book to how to find hidden discounts, this list can save you bundles the next time you plan to stay at a hotel.
Look into business hotels.
According to Pavini, business hotels can provide great deals, especially when traveling within Europe.The reason is that business can often be slow during summer months and on weekends at hotels that cater to business travellers, which can lead to lower prices.
Ask for a corner room.
Pavini also recommends opting for a corner room, since you’ll typically get more square footage for the same price. If you’re looking to upgrade to a corner room, Pavini suggests that you be discreet and avoid asking at times when there are several guests waiting to be assisted.
Check in near the end of the day.
If you’re hoping to snag an upgrade, checking in toward the end of the day might be your answer. According to Pavini, since hotels have a better sense of occupancy by that point, they are more likely to offer upgrades that are still available.
Instead of calling the 800 reservation numbers, call the hotel directly.
The reason why Pavini suggests doing this is because, often, people who are working directly at the property have a greater ability of upgrading you when possible. If you stay at a hotel regularly, keeping a friendly relationship with it and booking directly can also increase your perks.
Bundle your hotel and flight booking.
Booking your flight and hotel together can sometimes lead to savings.
It’s a tip that Belkin recommends as well, as it can often lead to savings on both hotels and flights.
Sign up for a hotel’s loyalty programs.
“One of the best ways to receive free upgrades is to sign up for a loyalty program and stick to it,” Pavini said.
Marriott’s loyalty program includes a best-rate guarantee for guests, free Wi-Fi on each trip, and access to exclusive events and experiences, while other programs include free nights or free items with bookings.
Sign up for alerts on price drops.
When you don’t have the time to keep a close eye on prices, sign up for alerts through websites like Hotels.com and Kayak. They’ll take care of the work for you, emailing you when the prices start to drop while ensuring that they don’t flood your inbox.
Tap into apps.
Apps can help you unlock a world of discounts.
Apps like Hotel Tonight can get you top-notch last-minute discounts on rooms, while loyalty members can access a secret prices section within the Hotels.com app to get rooms for $200 and under during peak times, like weekends.