Hotel websites that compare the prices of multiple hotels seem to provide great deals. In truth, however, the only thing these sites really save you is time. There is something to be said for making the process of finding the best price more convenient, but you can save much more by taking the time to do your own comparison and booking directly with your choice accommodations. |
It is incredibly easy to log on to a site and quickly see how much different lodgings cost, and it is not a bad place to start when looking for the best deal either. After you narrow your search down though, you should call to book directly instead of going through the website. There are a couple of reasons why this will often get you a lower price.
First, you are saving the hotel money. That's right. By going through them directly instead of a broker website, they do not have to pay the site a commission for the sale. As a result, they may be willing to pass some of those savings on to you. It really is win-win.
Second, this allows you to negotiate on price. Even if you are satisfied with the quote online, it never hurts to ask for a better discount. Remember, the answer is always "no" unless you ask! Hotels often reserve their best rooms or lowest prices from these websites in order to maintain price parity. All you have to do to get around that though is ask.
Never stop at calling just your first choice either, no matter how good of a deal they give you. Get your second and third choice hotels on the phone afterwards and use their first quote to get them competing against each other.
Being flexible both on where you stay and when you stay can save you loads as well. Picking a location that is a little farther out instead of the high rise right downtown, will certainly lower your rate. Checking in and checking out on less busy days will further reduce your hotel accommodation costs. When you call, just ask what the cheapest day to arrive or depart is. You may find that by extending or shortening your stay by one day can greatly change your hotel nightly rate.
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