Our Top 12 Travel Tips for Getting the Best Deals on Hotel Bookings
Planning on getting away before or just after the end of the year in order to take advantage of those public holidays? Well, I’ve got some handy little tips that will help you get the most out of your hotel stays by using some of the following tactics to get better deals and make your money go even further.
In conjunction with a number of hotel coupon codes available on Buckscoop, these tips will allow you to get the best rates, free upgrades and little tweaks that can be made to your hotel room to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.
If your planning a trip away and would like to utilise some of these tips then make sure you check out some of the coupon codes we currently have available.
Firstly, a word of warning to anyone with a credit card, a rule of thumb that most most experienced travellers use before planning any trip, is that they check their options via their credit cards and associated membership programs.
1) If you happen to be a user of any platinum credit card, its worth checking with their members to see what alliances they have with hotels. You could be paying 2-star prices for a 4-star hotel, as well as receiving benefits such as late checkout, internet, free breakfast, upgrades to suites, welcome gifts and additional point earnings. These cards usually come with a premium price so make sure you use them to your full advantage if you have one.
2) If you have had a poor experience recently at one hotel but feel that your complaint didn’t go too far with the frontline staff, try emailing the general manager about your experience. Most managers will want to rectify the problem and usually extend an offer or upgrade your next visit to the hotel or brand.
3) One tactic that can save big bucks is using websites such as Priceline.com, Hotwire.com and Trivago.com. By selecting only location and “star” you can pick out the biggest discounted rates, albeit that you won’t know upfront exactly where you will be staying. Just consider that part of the fun though.
4) Websites like these are great, but they charge a commission, so try this. Find the best deal you can on the hotel within your chosen location and then give them a call. The hotel usually has an incentive to give you a better deal by calling them directly, because they wont have to pay any commission to such third party booking websites.
5) If you are ever stuck, or happen to be taking your time to book a certain hotel (i.e. need to wait for family/friends to confirm their travel dates) and you notice that the price has gone up since the first time you searched, try this. If you're using Google Chrome, right click your browser shortcut and select "Open Incognito Window". This will prevent any cookies being stored on your search terms by those websites. For Firefox users, right clicking will give you a "New Private Window" option.
Cookies, for those of you who don’t know, are what track what you do on a website. These can be used, for example, if a website records that you have searched on 5 hotels in one area, it can have logic in place to push the price up the longer you spend searching to put pressure on you into buying before it goes up again. Searching in incognito mode means that they can’t track your searches, and I have personally saved money using this tactic.
6) When searching for hotels abroad, try using country / currency arbitrage to snap up a good deal. Using hotel booking websites that are specifically focused on the particular country you are searching within, can result in savings if you pay in their currency. If you are using a travel credit card that doesn’t charge fees for foreign payments and has fair currency conversion rates, this can also be a great way to save some money.
7) If you plan on staying away for a longer period of time, say a week or even a month, give the hotel / B&B a call to negotiate a better rate. The cost to the establishment is less if they keep one customer in that room for a longer period of time, as opposed to a higher turnover of customers within the same period.
8) Take advantage of low-price guarantees and loyalty benefits provided by booking sites, for example Hotels.com give you one free night for every 10 nights that you book through their website. This can be reclaimed through 100,000 eligible hotels listed on their website.
9) Planning on taking the wife away or celebrating a birthday? Most places will try to give you a free upgrade when you arrive at check in, if you tell them. But why take the risk, call the hotel in advance, let them know and most will be obliged to give you a free upgrade or complimentary offering to win you over.
10) If you get to your room and you are not satisfied, ask to see a few other rooms. I have also tried this myself. The reason behind this trick is because the manager will usually try to get rid of the least desirable rooms first. So after you’ve been given your key, head up to the room, if its not up to your standards then simply ask to see a few other rooms, it can’t hurt. You will be surprised how supposedly similar rooms differ within the same hotel.
11) Try this little trick to increase the security of your contents within a room. Leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the outside of the door to prevent maids from entering.
12) My preferred method for the quickest and most effective way to scan for top deals, is to use Trivago. Type the city name, your desired dates and the way the results are laid out, it will show which hotels have the best price on the right hand side of the page. Then check if any of the hotels with the best rates for various hotels match up with the ones listed at the start of this post. That way you can use their active coupon / promo codes to get even bigger discounts. For future reference, visit Buckscoop's Vouchers page to check for active codes on hotel bookings.
I hope these tips help you when booking your next hotel break away and of course if you have any other tips you like to use that our readers would find useful, please share them with us in the comments section below.