Get more out of your hotel stay by using these Hotel Tips and Tricks
Follow these Hotel Tips and Tricks to save time and money while on vacation.
Corner Room: Request a corner room if available because you will get more space and more windows.
Received a different room? Print out a picture of the room and if you get a room with anything different you can say this is what I paid for. You may be eligible for a discount or a better room. A lot of hotels with falsely advertise with better views or amenities than they actually have. One way to know if you are getting what you paid for is check out the reviews on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor: I love using TripAdvisor. I use it to see people’s unbiased opinions on lodging, attractions and restaurants. I also use it to write my own reviews. It has helped me out a lot. You can type in the location and it will rate the best places to stay or the best things to do based on people’s reviews.
“As Low As” Rates: Sometimes the actual rates are lower (and sometimes higher) than the “as low as” rate. Be sure to try your actual dates.
Be Flexible: If you are flexible when you travel you can book when the rates are the lowest. Some search engines offer a calendar that shows you the rates for days within the month so you can see if you go mid week that it may save you money.
Early Check In: Some hotels charge for early check in. The Excalibur in Las Vegas Nevada will charge you $20 if you check in before 10am and after 10am is free. Ask them to hold your bags while you walk around a little until 10am.
On the other hand some hotels don’t mind if you are a little early and if you are in their loyalty program you may get this free every time.
Room Service: You think breakfast in bed sounds great, just make sure you aren’t too tired to double check the bill. Some hotels automatically add a service charge of 15-20% in North America for the tip. That is on top of the delivery fee. Room service is always more expensive anyway. If you still need that midnight snack, or breakfast in bed; then make sure you double check instead of double tip.
WiFi: Free wifi seems to be everywhere except for hotels. Some loyalty programs will provide this service for their loyal customers. Some hotels offer free Wifi and some don’t. It may be as simple as checking the hotel before booking if it is important to you. Or maybe it is worth your while to walk down the street where it may be available at a cafe, libarary or Mcdonalds.
Hotel Tipping: Some hotels now add on 10% for tipping the maids and porters so check the fine print before you double tip.
Baggage Holding: Some hotels are now trying to charge to hold your luggage for the time that you check out until you have to go to the airport. If it doesn’t state it as an extra fee when you booked then you can argue the price and you can always give a bad review on TripAdvisor. Also consider keeping it in the trunk if you rented a car.
Price Check: When you predominately fly one carrier and you sign up on their frequent flyer program which I suggest you do, then you could be saving towards a free flight. However, when I have to pay for a flight I always price check fares. Hotelscombined will list what they have to offer, but will also check what Priceline, Expedia and other major search engines have to offer as well.
Where to book your hotel:
CheapOair: I love this site and they are always offering additional promo codes on top of the already low rates for air, hotel, car and vacation packages.
Hotelscombined: This is another great site for hotels. You put in your search criteria and it will give you hundreds of the top travel search engines and what their prices are with 1 click. It includes Hotels.com, Expedia, GetaRoom and many other major hotel search engines.
Hotels.com: I like this website and have used it more than once. You don’t actually pay for the hotel until you you stay in it. Use Hotelscombined because they will not only show hotel.com price but their competitors so you know you are getting the best rate.
Expedia: This is another great hotel and vacation package website. Be sure to try your actual dates and if your dates are flexible then click on the “rate calendar” feature. Use Hotelscombined because they will not only show hotel.com price but their competitors so you know you are getting the best rate.
Travelocity: I am not sure I have ever used Travelocity. To me it seems like their prices may be a little higher than the other search engines.
Rent Vacation Condos or Home from Owners: You can usually find better prices renting from owners. The rooms can range from studios, condos, homes, villas, apartments on up to mansions etc. We have rented from owners more than once from a Bed and Breakfast, timeshare owner, a studio on the ocean, and also a 5,000 sq foot Lake Home for the extended family. They usually have great rates. The downside is that they don’t usually have a maid service unless you pay extra, if it is even available. But, it can save you money verses staying in a hotel.
Bed and Breakfasts: I have had great experiences at Bed and Breakfasts. Often times they cost less than a hotel room and the breakfast is included. They are owned by individuals who take pride in their business and you deal with them directly, so you usually get better customer service and attention.
Rent from Timeshare Owners: Here is a timeshare website that owners will list their timeshare for sale or rent because they don’t use it enough. There are many other websites out there that do the same thing.
Own a Timeshares: Sometimes new hotels will give out great rates for you to stay in their hotel if you agree to sit through a timeshare presentation with no obligation to buy. If you tend to vacation in the same spot all the time, a timeshare may be the way to go. Worldmark also offers timeshares that you can stay in multiple locations. Make sure you know the annual fees and remember they can increase over the years. They can save you money if you use them and have the locations and amenities that fit your style.
Opaque Services can save you money, but you have to either bid blindly or accept an offer not knowing the exact hotel, airline or car rental.
Guaranteed Lowest Price
Some companies offer a guarantee that they are the lowest price and if not they will make it up to you. These guaranteed deals are hard to match and I don’t know anyone who has actually used them, but they are worth a shot.
CheapOAir has a best price guarantee where they guarantee the best fare for 24 hours. In the unlikely event that you find a lower rate on CheapOair or on another U.S.-based website for the same itinerary within 24 hours of booking with CheapOair, we will either cancel your current itinerary and provide you a full refund, or, at our discretion, refund you the entire difference in price.
Expedia offers a guarantee, but the price has to drop within the first 24 hrs after your purchase.
Orbitz offers a credit up to 110% of the difference however an identical itinerary has to be bought though Orbitz to get the deal.
Some hotels may have the following amenities or items available upon request. Depending on your needs you may want to see if it is available before booking the hotel. Some items may be limited so if it is something you know you will need, make sure to request it when you book the hotel. Items may include: Cable TV, Movies, Clothes Iron, Complimentary Breakfast, Data Port, Free WiFi, Extra Blankets, Extra Pillows with different Firmness, Hair Dryer, In-room Coffee Maker or Kitchenette, In-room Safe, Laundry Services or facility, Mini Bar, Refreshments, Morning Newspaper, Free Parking or Parking available, Portable Crib, Power Converters/Adapters, Shuttle Service to an Airport or Points of Interest, Swimming Pool, Hot Tub, Workout room, Telephone Access Charges, or any other special needs.
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