Hotel accommodations can be the most expensive part of a vacation. Choosing the right hotel within your budget can be tricky, however, with a little research you can end up with some great options. There are factors that may impact the availability of hotel rooms such as peak vs non-peak season, location, type of room, day of the week, occupancy rate, and competition. During a period of high customer demand hotel rates tend to increase, however, these same rooms may be booked at a fraction of the price during a period of low demand. Prices for a centrally located hotel typically are higher than those outside of the city limits due its proximity and access to modern conveniences. The type of room you choose can and will impact your hotel rate whether you choose a suite versus a standard room. A hotel with a low occupancy rate may offer incentives to attract customers such as special packages, a percentage off your stay, free nights, etc. During the weekday when occupancy may be low during certain periods hotels often offer prizes, free food, and marketing to companies for use during meetings and social events.
Here are some tips to find the best hotel rates:
- Book a room at a business hotel because they typically have a low occupancy rate during the weekends and summer months.
- Ask for a corner room, most often they have more square footage for the same rate.
- Checking in later in the day may snag you an upgrade, since occupancy is better established at this point.
- Calling the hotel directly may give you an advantage since the hotel staff have more leeway in offering upgrades.
- You may get a better rate if you book during a cancellation period, so sometimes waiting to the last minute can work to your advantage.
- Bundling your booking can lead to some additional savings.
- If you frequent the same hotel or chain, it behooves you to sign up for the hotel ‘s loyalty program, which may offer discounts, free stays, free WiFi, and other amenities.
- Booking websites may have loyalty programs for discounts.
- If you sign up for price alerts you may track when the price drops to book a better price.
- Most credit cards have benefits use them to get discounts and perks.
- Book a room at a new hotel this can sometimes lead to lower rates.
- Use your corporate discount, many companies allow their employees to use the corporate discount for reservations.
Your hotel star rating matters so pay close attention because it can mean the difference in staying at a budget hotel or a luxury hotel. The rating can range from a three-star hotel to a 7-star hotel. A three-star hotel may be something like a Best Western or Holiday Inn, which has your necessities and not a lot of frills. A four-star hotel would be the equivalent of Westin or Sheraton, which typically has quite a few amenities and may have a view, offer gourmet meals, offer valet, and concierge services. A five-star hotel is like the Four Seasons or Hyatt Regency, they boast opulent rooms and a ton of services. The only 7-star hotel in the world is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and it offers the total luxury experience. The amenities include transportation to and from the airport in a Rolls Royce, private butler service, VIP services, fitness and wellness club, dream car rental of an Aston Martin, Ferrari, or Lamborghini. When I travel, especially abroad I prefer to book five-star hotels, reason being accommodations are not the same in the US versus the rest of the world. Comparing country to country a three-star hotel may not be comparable.
Shopping around for the best price can yield some great results. Share with me some of your great finds when booking hotel accommodations. Visit Ketour Travel’s website (https://ketourtravel.com) read the blogs and updates on current and future trips. Go to https://discover.ketourtravel.com/ to purchase airfare, hotel, transfers, activities and holiday packages. Do not forget to subscribe to the newsletter, follow Ketour on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.