One of the unavoidable expenses you might incur when traveling is the cost of booking a hotel room. Even if you have a small budget, it is still possible to find a good hotel at a reasonable rate. To help you get the most bang for your buck, here are some tips on getting a good rate on your next trip.
Stick to Off-Season Periods
If you are flexible in your travel times, try to opt for off-season periods. Holiday seasons, such as Christmas and New Year's, are when hotel rates are usually the highest. By choosing to travel during an off-season period, you have a better chance of getting a lower rate, because the hotels have more rooms available and are more interested in filling their rooms.
Avoid Chain Hotels
Even though you might be more familiar with chain hotels, you should consider smaller, privately owned hotels. Chain hotels are not as flexible when it comes to negotiating rates and also have higher set standard prices than smaller hotels. By contrast, it is possible that you can negotiate for a lower price on a room with a privately owned hotel.
Talk to the Manager Directly
Instead of attempting to negotiate a lower rate for a room with a clerk, ask for the manager. The manager will have more information and has the power to actually authorize the lower rate. When you do speak to the manager, be complimentary about the hotel and its staff. Let the manager know you have heard good things and you want to have that same great experience. Getting on the manager's good side could work in your favor.
Wait Until the Last Minute
There is a possibility that you can book a good deal on a room if you wait until the last minute to book it. As the date nears and the rooms are still empty, hotels are usually more receptive to lowering their rates. As a result, you could cash in and score a good room at a lower rate.
It is important to note, however, that if you wait until the last minute, you could risk not having a room at all. If you are planning to wait, have a backup plan in case you cannot book a room in the hotel in which you want to stay.
If you are hesitant to negotiate for a lower hotel rate, remember that the worst thing that could happen is that the hotel refuses your request. But if you are successful, you can save money and use your savings towards other aspects of your trip.