Traveling and hotels can be a complex industry to navigate. With online travel agencies offering a blizzard of deals, hotels dangling rewards for loyalty, rates changing by season, and sites like Airbnb letting you rent private houses and condos, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and confused about how to find an affordable stay.
Before you book a hotel, read reviews and ratings of the place from other travellers. This will help you decide whether it’s worth spending your money on it. It can also give you a good idea of what to expect from the accommodation, such as distances to nearby sights and beaches, availability of transport, quality of service etc.
Make sure that the hotel offers free WiFi, as this is a must for most people who travel. It can be used to keep in touch with family and friends, and you can access all the information on the internet (weather, activities, restaurants, etc) while staying at the hotel, without having to pay for data.
Ask for a better rate when booking – this may not be an easy task, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Usually, you will find the best rates when you book your hotel in advance. Some special and lower rates are also available when booking through a consolidator site.
Take advantage of seasonal promotions – these are often offered by the same hotels, and they might be able to offer you a great deal. During the off-season, when there are no big conventions or events in the city you’re visiting, the occupancy rate will be much lower and you can often get great discounts.
Be friendly with the reservation staff – this can be a great way to build a relationship and get some extra perks. They will be happy to provide you with a discount on your next stay if they know that you are a loyal guest.
Don’t be afraid to request extra perks – these can be especially handy for honeymooners and other special occasions. Some hotels might be able to add on services to their standard package or provide you with complimentary breakfast or other perks, suggests Brueckner and Hrubant.
For instance, if you want to be able to shower before you leave the hotel, ask about adding this for an extra fee if it’s part of your package. This can be a good option for honeymooners or anyone who might need to shower before they leave.
Use a travel agent – this can be a good idea if you have never travelled before or don’t know how to go about it. A travel agent will usually be able to put together a package for you, combining flights and hotels with other activities. They can also be a great resource if you need to make an insurance claim or if you need any advice on the area you are traveling to or how to travel in general.