Hidden Ways to Save on Hotels
Have you ever stayed at a hotel room, only to later realize that you paid too much? This can feel a little disappointing. But, don’t worry. Below we’re going to walk you through some simple steps that you can use to immediately save on hotel rooms.
The “Bidding War” Strategy
Use the awesome bidding war widget below to compare prices from major travel websites:
The Bargaining Strategy
Let’s take a look at another somewhat effective way to save money on a hotel room:
• Step #1: Book a “Cancellable” Hotel- Book a hotel reservation that is cancellable.
• Step #2: Call a Nearby Hotel- Now it’s time to negotiate. Say, “Hi, I’ve reserved a room at [name of hotel] in a single room for [insert price]. But I was looking at the reviews on Priceline and I’m having second thoughts. I really like your hotel and I was wondering if you had a similar room with a lower price?”
• Step #3: Call The Hotel’s Front Desk Only- Make sure that you’re calling the hotel’s front desk (not their hotline) because employees at the front desk can often give you a discount. Those on the hotline are unlikely to negotiate.
With a little luck, this can be a quick and easy way to save money on your hotel room.
The Right Way to Ask For a Lower Price
There’s a right and wrong way to ask for a lower price on your hotel room. The wrong way would be to say something like, “Hi, I was wondering what your best deal on a room is?” It’s vague, and won’t get you the best possible deal. Instead, here are a few steps that you can use to ask for a price the right way:
• Step #1: Write Down Your Potential Options: Visit sites like Kayak.com, Priceline.com, and Travelocity.com, and browse through your potential options. Find the ones you like and write them down.
• Step #2: Call the Hotel’s Front Desk: Make sure that you call them using Skype (this will save you money). Make sure that you’re calling around 6 P.M. local time for the hotel that you’re interested in. This is the best time for hotel clerks to know whether or not certain rooms are going to be vacant for the night.
• Step #3: Speak In Their Lingo: It’s important that you use jargon that the hotel clerk is going to be familiar with. So, instead of saying the statement above, try this: “What is your cheapest nonrefundable rate?” This question will be much more likely to be met with a noticeable discount on your room.
This strategy is a little different than the “bidding war” strategy discussed previously. Instead of telling the clerk to lower their price based on a competing hotel, this strategy focuses on “speaking their language” to achieve the best discount possible.
The “Dibs” Strategy
As children, we were all familiar with the term “dibs”. The phrase, “I call dibs” was common when staking your claim on something. Fast forward 20 years: you can use this same strategy when booking your hotel room.
As you may or may not know, hotel rates typically go up and down each week for the same room. If you’re nervous that a particular room is going to increase in price, simply use TripDibs.com to book your room at your desired price – without worrying about a fluctuation in price. Here’s how it works:
1. Visit TripDibs.com
2. Search the hotel room of your choice
3. Buy the “dibs” option for that hotel room ($5 to $10 per night rented)
4. When you’re ready to stay at the hotel, log on and book your room.
Let’s use an example: let’s say that the month is October, and you want to book a room across the country for Thanksgiving. But, you’re worried that the prices are going to increase. With TripDibs.com, you can “lock in” the price of your hotel now, and by paying a small fee, you can guarantee to pay the same price no matter what – even if the prices increase!