4 Tips to Snag the Best Hotel Price
A version of this post originally appeared on January 5, 2014.
Finding the best hotel price is on so many travelers’ minds these days.
According to the Tourico Holidays and Last Minute Travel Club’s Global Travel Trends Report, price (39%) is the most important decision factor when booking a hotel, followed by promotions (18%) and location (18%).
The report also found that 57% of people book their hotels based on a price-related factor, and 75% have a hotel budget of $150 or less per night.
And a bevy on advertisements have been more confusing than helpful! Knowing where and how to look online can greatly improve the odds of finding the best hotel rates available. Follow the below tips to find the best hotel bargains:
1. Be Flexible with Travel Dates
Hotel rates can vary based on time of year, day of the week and vacancy. If your calendar permits a bit of flexibility, try looking for hotels during slower, less popular seasons. Keep in mind that weekdays like Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be available more often at cheaper rates than Fridays or Saturdays. Note: This is not a hard-and-fast rule, but it seems to be the trend with most hotels. And try adding an additional day to your search. Some hotels offer a ‘Buy Four, Pay for Three Nights’ deal – which extends your vacation another day for free!
2. Book by Price, Not Brand
The hotel brand no longer seems to matter to travelers. Only 4% cited it as the most important decision factor when booking a hotel.
If you are like the 75% of respondents who said price, promotions and location are the three most important deciding factors to booking, then you may want to consider shopping for an opaque hotel deal. While you won’t know what specific hotel you are staying in until it’s booked and paid for, you will get a lower price which means you could upgrade to a 4 or 5-star hotel for the price of a 3-star hotel.
3. Consider a Home Rental
The days of negotiations, and multiple back-n-forth emails for Home Rentals are gone. Replaced with a ‘book by the door’ experience. See the exact home and address with availability in real-time – just like booking a hotel.
I found a three-bedroom home just 15 miles from Walt Disney World Resort that sleeps 6, and has its own screened in pool – perfect for a magical vacation experience for only $78 per night.
And, enjoy all the amenities of home: Free parking, full kitchen, free Wi-Fi, private bedrooms…
4. Sign Up for Club Memberships
Travel club memberships, such as LMTclub.com can save you a considerable amount of money. Most club memberships offer exclusive hotel rates and a discounted percentage off the original cost.
Just be cautious of travel clubs that are not attached to a reputable travel company. Do your homework, and research all club membership offers before signing up.
To read the full Global Travel Trends Report that provides insights from more than 2,600 survey respondents on preferred vacation types, booking preferences, hotel selection criteria and more, click here.