A great vacation starts with a great deal. Almost any commercial accommodation can be booked at a discounted rate. It is just a matter of knowing how and where to find it. Of course, the comfort level of your booking style will determine how far you are willing to go for a good deal. If you have the time and patience, you can find a great deal on the hotel of your choice.
Don’t Just Take Rack Rate Prices
Hotel websites are the perfect place to start your hunt. Try a mock booking, for the dates you want and review at your discount options available directly with the hotel. AMA/CAA, AirMiles or even a discount card directly with the hotel can put instant savings in your pocket. Seniors, business travel, military and government status may also qualify for discounted room rates.
One important thing to remember is that, by booking directly with the hotel, you have more options. Most 3rd party booking companies have very strict cancellation policies, require payment up front, and will not allow different accommodation options. If flexibility is more important, then book directly with the hotel. If pricing is more important, then this is the start of your search.
Don’t Forget your Membership and Credit Cards
Other membership retail clubs may have travelled partnerships. Certain credit cards that offer travel perks or large scale retail memberships may offer a discounted rate at the hotel you want if you book directly with their travel agents. Check your wallet for all of your options and contact them with the dates and hotel you are interested in.
Use a 3rd Party Travel Company to Book Early, Book Late, or Just have Flexible Dates
Third party hotel sales companies purchase hotel rooms in large batches. They will secure several hundred rooms at a discounted rate in the hopes of selling them to the public at a lower rate and still making a profit. This works out quite well for everybody. Look at these places as soon as you know you are going to be travelling. Sometimes booking well in advance can allow you to snag a great sale. Booking 2-3 months in advance will give you the least amount of options. Booking 2 weeks or closer to your trip can offer you some great last minute sales at extremely discounted rates. However, popular destinations can be sold out by this time. The date of travel is also important. Travelling mid-week instead of on a weekend can cut your hotel cost tremendously. Sometimes by 50% or more. Long weekends and popular vacation dates will also cost more than waiting till an alternate, less popular weekend.
Look for Package Deals
If you cannot find a suitable deal, then look for a package discount. If you already know that at your destination, you need a vehicle, attraction passes and food, then look around for a package deal that has all of that combined. You may not get the rate you had hoped for with the hotel alone, but the entire combination may end up saving you hundreds of dollars.
You can get a great rate on the accommodation of your choice. With some work you can travel almost anywhere and never pay the basic room rack rate. Just take your time to do your research on the accommodation of your choice. Your extra effort is guaranteed to pay off with savings in your pocket.