While traveling and staying in hotels, you may have seen ratings posted. They are usually affixed to the backside of your room door or at the check-in desk. The real price you pay is usually much more or sometimes much less than these printed rates. The truth is these rates are set due to government regulations and taxes, but the hotel is free to charge at any rate they feel fit. The prices charged are based on many factors, including occupancy, time of year, booking manner, and more. Find out how you can always get the lowest available rate, every time and everywhere you book.
Video: How to Book a Hotel Room
Shop Online First
With the internet, consumers have a valuable new tool to aid in the search for hotels. Use the following sites to get not only an idea of the average room rate, but hotel details. Many hotels now give virtual tours and actual photos which are provided online, so you can see what you are getting for your money, and also which amenities are included in your room rate.
Try these online hotel clearing sites:
Hotels.com: Hotels.com offers the largest selection of hotels. Search by city, nearby attractions, or airports. A great additional feature included in hotels.com is the ability to perform side by side comparisons of competing hotels.
Travelocity.com: Travelocity is another handy search engine to check hotel rates. With Travelocity, you also have the advantage of including airfare and car rentals into your hotel reservation, getting a package price discount.
Seat61.com: This site is clearly ahead of the pack on your search options. Not just a reseller, this site actually gives you the ability to compare what other hotel room wholesalers are charging for the same hotel rooms.
Go Right to the Source
Using the above search engines have many advantages then just blindly searching for a hotel and calling up for rates. However there is much more you can do to improve upon the already discounted prices they offer. Use these convenient sites to first zero in on the hotel you want, where and when you want it, and an estimated best price. Now that you know where you would like to stay and exactly what you will get, look up the hotel yourself. Take the price and options you found online, and then search for the hotel’s website. Look up the same room and options for the same reservation period, and you may be surprised to see a lower rate given by the hotel itself. If the savings are good and you are satisfied, book the room direct.
Get on the Phone
In the internet age, calling up a hotel may seem like an odd task. The fact many hotels are independently owned and operated under the chain’s brand name. These hotels give owner/operators discretion over their actual hotel price for any given room and night, and they are flexible. Call up the hotel you wish to book at. Tell them the rate you found online either with the online broker or the hotel’s website. Ask them to beat it. You may be surprised to find that they will give you an even lower rate. Additionally, with calling the hotel you may find other benefits. Ask for the manager if they are available, and ask about upgrades. You may have found the best price. Now ask and see if they will give you a better room, maybe on the beach or poolside, for the same price. You will be surprised to see what a little personal touch can accomplish in getting you not only the cheapest price, but a nice room too.
Video: Tips on Getting the Best Deal on Hotel Rooms
Tips When Booking Your Reservation
Here are a few last things to consider when looking for your hotel room. If it is an option, book midweek as these rooms are significantly cheaper than weekend rates. Check and see if you qualify for additional discounts, such as AARP or AAA memberships. These discounts are above the rate you should have, and could mean savings of 15% or more. Finally, book in advance. Rates can double or triple if you wait until the last minute on your travel plans. This rule is especially true if you are traveling during holiday or peak season periods.