If you are looking to get out of town at the last minute to enjoy a vacation, don't be resigned to the fact that you will have to pay a high rate for your hotel room. There are tricks you can use as long as you are willing to put a little bit of effort into your research. Using the Internet and the telephone can save you significant money instead of just accepting what a hotel quotes you as its standard rate. Sometimes just being polite when asking for a lower rate can save you a significant amount per night.
Bidding on Priceline.com
Priceline.com receives blocks of rooms from hotels that can be reserved for discounted rates. Before bidding on Priceline.com, research the prices at other discount websites such as Hotels.com or Expedia and offer a price that is less than what they are offering. Bidontravel.com recommends bidding at least 30 percent less than these advertised prices. You can also check the prices on Hotwire.com before bidding on Priceline.com. Hotwire.com will not reveal the name of the hotel but will reveal its star ranking. Your bid should be at least 15 percent less than the flat rate offered by Hotwire.com and 30 percent lower than the other online websites you researched.
Get On The Phone
Do not rely on the Internet alone when searching for cheap, last-minute deals on lodging. Call hotels directly and ask if there are any last-minute deals available on a room. The rate listed on a hotel's website is not always the lowest rate that the hotel will offer. If a hotel has a large amount of rooms open for a night and it's less than 48 hours before that date, a manager at the hotel may be willing to reduce the rates further than what the website advertises. Do not be afraid to ask for a lower rate. The worst the manager can do is say no.
Be flexible when making last-minute hotel reservations. If you are willing to change your reservations by a day, either one day earlier or later, you may be able to find a cheaper rate. Also remain flexible about the type of room you are requesting. If you would prefer a king-sized bed, but would be willing to accept a queen-sized one, find the rate for both. The same situation applies if you would normally request a queen-sized bed but would settle for two double beds. Being flexible will give the hotel a larger price range that it can offer to you.
Check With Organizations Where You Are A Member
If you are a member of an automobile club, the military or a social organization, check with these groups for discounts they have arranged with hotel chains at your destination. If you are reserving a room on your own, mention that you are a member of the AARP or part of an group such as AAA, and ask if the hotel offers any discounted prices for members of those organizations. These specials are not always advertised online or in the hotel's advertising fliers. Sometimes you have to ask to find out about them.