According to Consumer Reports, an overnight stay at a hotel is expected to cost an average of $107 this year, an increase of 5% from 2011. But don’t let this stop you from taking a vacation. Consumer Reports shares the following tips on how to get great deal on your hotel stay.
Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
You never know if you can get a better price if you don’t ask. According to Consumer Reports, only 28% of those surveyed attempted to negotiate for a better deal. Here’s the good news: of those who did haggle, three-quarters of them were able to get an upgrade or lower rate.
Find Internet-Only Offers
Consumers can often find the best hotel rates online either on the hotel’s direct website or travel discount sites. But be sure to read the fine print, online deals often have stricter cancellation policies and require full payment at booking.
Get in Touch if You Find a Better Deal
If you already have a reservation and find a better deal, call the hotel and explain the situation. Consumer Reports suggests contacting the hotel within 24 hours of booking and says most chains will at least offer to refund the difference.
Show Your Loyalty
If you are a frequent guest at a particular chain, be sure to sign up for its loyalty program or make reference to your repeat patronage. Hotels offer a wide variety of benefits to repeat customers including, free nights, room upgrades, discounts on future stays and airline miles.
Show Your Age or Affiliation
Many hotels offer discounts to seniors, college students, members of the military, and professional organizations, so be sure to ask when booking a stay or upon check-in.
Take a Gamble
Hotels usually have what is called a “fade” rate which is the minimum they will accept per room for walk-in guests. Consumer Reports says the rate used to apply only when the hotel’s occupancy rate was below 30%, but sometimes you can get the rate even when the occupancy is at 60%. So if you are willing to just show up the night you need lodging, this could be a great way to get a score a good deal.
Hotel expenses can put a big dent in your vacation wallet—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these five tips on how to lower your hotel bill.