Ah, the delights of travel. The fun of staying in a hotel where someone else makes your bed! The trepidation as you remember that investigative news show where you found out what a black light reveals on those bedspreads! And last but not least, the emptiness of your wallet. Alas.
Does it have to be that way? I say no.
Hello, lovely, pretty Mir!
Knight and I are thinking about taking a trip to San Antonio for a weekend, and, being the bargain-hunter that I am, looked for deals on hotels.com and expedia.com. I didn’t find anything that made me do cartwheels, so I thought I’d check to see what you knew about the subject. We’re driving, so we don’t need airfare. I’m just looking for a deal on a hotel room near the Riverwalk. We’re also planning to use a gift certificate from Restaurant.com…
Look how pretty Rachel is, already planning on ways to save money. I’m proud of her already!
I had to do some digging around on this one, because of course the very best way to get a deal on a hotel is to buy some sort of package deal with airfare and/or a rental car, and that’s not what Rachel needs.
Did you happen to buy an Entertainment Book this year? They have pretty good hotel coupons, although that’s a moot point if you don’t have the book and don’t want one. (Though you can still get $10 off and a $25 dining certificate with each book, through that link, if you’re interested.) That’s my first suggestion.
My second suggestion, if you’re a bit flexible about which hotel you use, is to try Priceline. In fact, I see they have a 4-star hotel in downtown San Antonio at half price right now. If that one doesn’t float your boat, try the Name Your Own Price option. I’ve heard plenty of people sing the praises of that service. And unlike their Name Your Own Price deal for airfare, it’s not as though you’re potentially going to wind up having to fly at the crack of dawn, or anything.
If you can’t find what you want through Priceline, I’d try BookingBuddy, which is a great aggregate search engine for travel stuff.
I recently read on a deal site where a user claimed that TripRewards has a “lowest price or it’s free” claim for their hotels which is easily utilized for free accommodations simply by targeting a hotel and then finding it cheaper online. I don’t know if I’d necessarily feel right going that route, myself, but you may want to investigate it.
And here’s a general strategy: When you book a hotel online through a deal site, the hotel is paying a cut to that site as a sort of finder’s fee. That means that if you book directly with a hotel for the same price, the hotel actually makes more money. So, what does that mean for you? It means that if you do find a price online that works for you, but you don’t want to deal with the restrictions of the site offering it—such as not being able to cancel, once booked—call the hotel directly and ask if they will extend the same price to you as what you found on the travel site. Usually they will.
I hope that helps, Rachel. Have a great trip! (Take me with you? Rachel? Come back!)