How much will cost me the hotel? Probably this is the first question that we make when we decide of going on vacation. The price of our stay usually is one of the higher cost of our holiday, so we have to decide very carefully about it. Today I want to share some little tricks that I use when I book my hotels.
- I'll try, if it is possible, to be flexible about travel dates. Sometimes only by changing one or two days is possible to get the best bargain. A good tool, in my opinion, is Google Hotel Finder because it allows me to find the best time to stay at the destination that I have chosen.
- I compare prices online using Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Price Line, Booking.com, Travelocity, Trivago, Hotel.com, etc. From these aggregators, I'll get a sense of hotel prices at the time I'm interested in.
- I get price alerts from Kayak or other sites. It's easy, I have only to sign up, give the particular dates I'm interested in, and they send me an email when the prices drop. Of course, it does not mean that I book when it happens, but it advises me that it's time to look around for seeking a better deal.
- I ask for deals before booking online. I always do it. When I have found a hotel that fit my needs, I call directly the hotel and I ask their prices. They usually repeat the same deals I saw online, but sometimes they give me a price reduction, especially if I'm planning a longer stay (more than one week).
- If I'm looking for a short break, let's say one week and only one destination (the classic relax holiday), first I check the possibility to go with a package because, these deals, often include airfare, hotel, car rental, which may be cheaper than buying these components individually.
- If the dates of my vacation are known far in advance, I book my hotel room through the internet almost immediately, but I will be wise to find a room with free cancellation and I follow up during the months to see whether rates have gone down. If they have, I cancel my previous booking and rebook my stay at the lower price.
In any case, before booking, I always read the clients reviews directly on the site of booking, and I compare them with TripAdvisor, taking care of not considering the reviews too good or too bad because I'm sure that these ones are influenced by the mood of clients and, in certain cases, are completely fake reviews.
Finally, my golden rule is, before booking, take in consideration location and accommodations because a good location will pay off to pay a bit more for a hotel close to the main spots (city center, beaches, etc.). In the same way, good accommodations can make a difference in my holiday because they could include free breakfast, evening meals, Wi-Fi, swimming pool, gym, massage service, etc. All these things can make my stay more pleasant or even unforgettable.