Useful tips when Choosing a hotel
With the economy struggling to take off, travelers are increasingly choosing to stay at home. This is bad news for hotel operators, significantly since many of them expanded with new builds during the last decade’s economic boom. Sign up for a great hotel without breaking the bank:
See the hotel website
When booking, first search the hotel website where you want to stay. Hotels often only offer deals to people who book through their websites and not through any other online travel service. Others have a guideline that matches prices if they can find a lower one. Be sure to compare this to online travel sites before booking. Then you can call the hotel directly and ask if they can offer you a lower rate than what you found online – you will be surprised how often they agree.
Go into the off-season.
If you’re travelling to big cities like New York or London, try planning a weekend getaway. Hotels in the city are usually aimed at business travelers who are mainly on business on weekdays. That means that you are more likely to enter a good deal in an urban center on the weekend. Even if you don’t have to be right in the center of the city, try choosing a hotel on the outskirts or in a suburb of a major city. It can save a lot of money but choose carefully because you could be spending more on renting a car or on gasoline and parking than you would save in a hotel. When it comes to resorts, try to travel out of seasons, such as late fall or early spring.
Look for discounts
Many hotels offer discounts to military veterans, triple-A members, seniors, or business travelers. Find out about any deals before booking. Don’t be afraid to ask the hotel directly about discounts, flat rates (e.g. pay for two nights and get the third free), or free upgrades. Make sure you call the hotel number directly and not a national 800. Individual hotels have a lot of leeways to set their rates, while call centers don’t.
Most hotels only use your credit card details to secure your booking, with full payment only being made upon arrival. Occasionally, however, some will prepay the total amount – especially when taking advantage of a special offer like three nights for the price of 2. Always check the cancellation policy as it can vary significantly from hotel to hotel. While many allow you to cancel without penalty with 24 hours notice, others charge an increasingly expensive fee.
Join a loyalty program
Most of the major hotel chains have some form of loyalty program or rewards for frequent guests. They allow you to earn points every time you stay at one of the chain’s hotels. Some big chains also have multiple hotel brands, and you can use their loyalty cards in any of the parent company’s hotels. Most of these loyalty programs are free to join, and the points can be used for several years with few restrictions. Many hotel chains have also partnered with major credit card companies so you can earn points with every purchase that can be used towards free nights at a hotel. But not all hotel credit cards are created equal.
We hope that these tips will help you choose the perfect hotel for your vacation because a good hotel can mean a great holiday.