If you are a savvy shopper you probably scour the travel websites searching for the best deal before booking a hotel stay. There are plenty of sites that compare prices, so you think you are getting the best deal available. But, as USA Today reports, that’s not always the case. Often times you can score a better deal than what you see posted online.
Here are some helpful hints on how to save money when making a hotel reservation:
- The direct approach – It’s okay to use travel discount websites for research. They do a great job of letting you compare properties available at your destination. But most hotels will beat the prices you see posted online if you contact them directly. A simple phone call could even get you a room upgrade or other perk such as free breakfast.
- Sometimes it pays to procrastinate – The best deals can usually be had if you wait until the day you need a room to book, especially after the standard 4 p.m. check-in time. But, this can be risky, especially if you are traveling to a busy city or hot tourist destination.
- Join the club – Hotels offer a lot of discounts. Check to see if you qualify based on membership in programs such as AAA, AARP, Costco, etc. Joining the hotel brand loyalty clubs is another excellent way to save money on your stays. At higher tier levels you will often receive room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, etc.
- Sneak around – If you are shopping for a hotel room online use an incognito browser. The reporter found that some companies keep track of what you’ve searched for and will raise the price next time you go back to their site. You can avoid being price gouged if you search in the incognito mode.