How to Get Discounts at Hotels
Hotels are in the business of filling up as many rooms as possible. If a room is not filled, the hotel does not make money on it. For this reason, hotels are often quite flexible on price. Even high-end luxury hotels will give out discounts to entice savvy customers to stay.
Plan your trip at a time or in a region where tourism has dropped. Vacationing in the off-season will help you get hotel discounts, but even traveling prime time can save you a bundle on hotel fare if you pick your destination right. According to National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Mexico City tourism dropped so much because of swine flu that, as of June 2009, hotels were offering 2-for-1 deals and discounts of up to 70 percent.
Research hotel prices on the Internet. Check prices at travel deal websites such as Orbitz.com and Expedia.com. Then, get quotes from the websites of the actual hotel chains for comparison. Write down the best deal you find and where you found it. This will give you a baseline to compare to.
Call the hotel directly when you book your room instead of the national 800 number for the chain. According to CNN Money, this will give you a better chance of getting a discount.
Ask what discounts are available on the days you want to travel. If the discounts are not substantial, mention the web rate you found and ask if they can beat it. Be sure to mention AAA, AARP, military or any other organizational membership you have, since it may increase your hotel room discount.
Ask what the corporate rate is, and request it if it is lower than the price the hotel clerk quoted. According to CNN Money, the corporate rate is usually about 20 percent lower than the normal rate. Hotels may give you the lower rate if you request it, even if you aren't on business travel.
Quote the rate you received when you arrive at the hotel and politely ask if the receptionist can do any better. If not, ask if any room upgrades are available. If there are empty luxury rooms, the hotel may opt to upgrade you free of charge.