Most folks pay what they are told to – but you can save a decent amount of money if you are brave enough to ask. With a little research and a lot of front, there’s no reason why anyone can’t shave off a nice wedge from your final bill. Read on to find out how to get better hotel rates and put a little extra towards your holiday fund.
Photo by John Stavely
Work Out Your Budget
Have a rough idea of the top amount you want spend. Wherever you go in the world there is a bargain to be had, but it’s important to have a starting point. Working out your upper and lower limits will be a good indicator of when to quit haggling for hotel discounts, and when to up the pressure.
Choose Your Hotel
Use your budget as a guide when browsing hotels that catch your eye. Add on a little extra to your higher end. If you are in luck, that amount will be taken off with a tidy discount later on the process.
Select A Date
Think carefully about when you want to go away on holiday. You will get the best deals in off-peak seasons, but there are other times of year that hotels won’t budge. Get to know what’s going on in the area before you try your luck. Take Edinburgh, for example. It is a fine city, but it is also home to one of the world’s biggest comedy festivals. However much you beg, hotels just aren’t going to drop their rates.
Contact The Hotel
Now it’s time to be brave with your negotiations. Ringing the hotel is fine, but you may not be able to get straight through to the decision maker. It can sometimes be best to send an email – this allows for any language barrier problems, and also gives you a longer time to devise your responses. Emails are also better for those with a more introverted outlook.
Show that you have little seeds of doubt about staying at the hotel. Mention your concerns that your finances may not be able to stretch that far, or even quote the rates of a similar standard hotel in the area. If the hotel is struggling to fill rooms, there will be a chance that they agree a discount.
Enquire About Loyalty Programs
Many hotels have loyalty programs that you can sign up with – make sure you do. It is more likely that you will get a free upgrade if are on one of these, and it is even possible if you have never stayed there before. They will also send you details of special deals in the future, so your long-term outlook could be even better.
There isn’t a hotel in the world that is going to offer you anywhere close to a good deal if you are rude. Be friendly, polite and don’t push it too far. Show your interest in the location and the hotel history, and you will be find your negotiating skills will start to work without even trying.
Did you manage to get a discount using this method? Let us know your success stories!