Does it seem as if everywhere you look there's another Web site or offer saying you can get a room for less? Here's the best way to get a great room at a cheap price.
Time Required: 20 minutes
- Find out the "rack" rate. Hotel rooms aren't cheap, especially when you pay the rack (full) rate. Knowing it will give you a baseline price--and you should never pay more (unless buying a package). Find the rack rate by checking the hotel's Official Web Site (link below).
- Check to see if there are any special Internet offers or other promotions offered on the Official Hotel Web site.
- Call the specific hotel's phone number. Rates quoted at individual properties are sometimes lower than the parent company's 800 number or even what you see online. And always, always, always ask for the "lowest rate available."
- You can often save money on a room or get an upgrade by using frequent-guest points. Accrue these by joining a hotel loyalty program. (You can join as many as you like.)
- Before you book, compare prices by going to other travel sites. Start by checking most reliable Online Travel Agents (below), which feature offers from multiple hotels.
- See if Quikbook [www.quikbook.com] has a deal or special in the city you want to visit. This site only sells rooms in the nicest hotels.
- Join the American Automobile Association [www.aaa.com]. Even if you don't own a car, you can show the card and get at least a ten percent discount at most hotels. Let the reservationist know you are a member.
- Consider trading locations. Some properties have more than one hotel in a city. If you have a car or there's public transportation nearby, it may be cheaper to stay at an airport hotel, rather than a downtown, one.
- Tell the reservationist and the front-desk clerk that it's your honeymoon. You may not receive a discount, but if an upgrade is available you may receive one at no additional cost. Everyone loves a lover.
- Ask what the cancellation policy is, just in case you have to change your date. You shouldn't have to pay for a hotel room that you don't use.