Book Early & Be Flexible
Almost all hotels have a limited amount of rooms at the best rates and are usually available to the first few that reserve on a particular date. All hotels want a full house and strive for this every night. To get the best prices book early and try to be flexible with your dates.
Book for Off-Seasons
You’ll find the best rates for a hotel room during the off-season when the hotel tends to have empty rooms. Hotels generally have great prices during the week and business hotels in the downtown area during the weekends when their customers are at home.
Check for Combination Offers
You might be able to get even more by booking your room along with certain airlines or attraction tickets.
Ask if You’re Eligible for a Special Rate
Corporate rate: in general anyone with a personal business card with a company name and address on it could qualify. Most hotels are pretty lenient with this. You won’t know until you ask. Government rate – in most cases if you work for the military or federal government most hotels will give you a special rate if you ask for one. In most cases if you are a local or state employee hotels will also offer you the same discounts if you ask.
“Cash In” Your Points
See if you can redeem your accumulated frequent flyer points for a better hotel room. You might be surprised at what other perks they might offer you.
See What Consolidators Offer
See if your hotel room will be cheaper through a consolidator as they buy large blocks of rooms and often pass on the savings to you.
Look for Hidden Specials
Call the hotel chain’s national 1-800 number and also check with the hotel directly, since operators may be offering a special which either is aware of. Also surf to the hotels own website, sometime they offer hidden internet only specials that are not available anywhere else.
If you are unhappy with your accommodations, speak up and make it known that you would like to be compensated with a better room. If your hotel room is close to a noisy utility unit complain and demand to be compensated.
Schmoozing will ensure that you’re remembered by the hotel staff, which can come in handy in your pursuit for an upgrade, especially if you stay in at the same hotel regularly.
Don't Get Stuck
Most hotels will keep a reservation until 6p. m. , if you plan on arriving later ask to guarantee the room with a credit card. If you are delayed en route, call the hotel and ask to hold your reservation until you arrive. Get a card with the hotel’s name, address and telephone on it in case you get lost exploring. Also, most established hotels have checkout times ranging from 11a. m. to 2p. m. If you need additional time request it in advance as you may be charged an additional night.
Julie Summers is an ex-hotel manager who has worked in the industry most of her life. She now writes online sharing her insider secrets on how to get the best prices for your next stay in any hotel. http://www.HotelRecommender.com