Things you should do when you book a hotel to score the best deals

You don’t have to overpay for a hotel room. There are tricks and tips you can use to find the best room rates so you can enjoy your trip guilt-free.

From when to book to how to find hidden discounts, this list can save you bundles the next time you plan to stay at a hotel.

Look into business hotels.

Business hotels can provide great deals, especially when traveling within Europe. The reason is because business can often be slow during summer months and on weekends at hotels that cater to business travelers, which can lead to lower prices.

Ask for a corner room.

Opting for a corner room is recommendable since you’ll typically get more square footage for the same price. If you’re looking to upgrade to a corner room, Pavini suggest that you be discreet and avoid asking at times when there are several guests waiting to be assisted. 

Check in near the end of the day.

If you’re hoping to snag an upgrade, checking in towards the day might be your answer. Since hotels have a better sense of occupancy by that point, they are more likely to offer upgrades that are still available. 

Call the hotel directly.

People who are working directly at the property have a greater ability of upgrading you when possible. If you stay at a hotel regularly, keeping a friendly relationship with them and booking directly can also increase your perks. 

Book within their cancellation period.

sometimes waiting until the last minute can help you snag a better price tag.  Typically, a hotel’s cancellation falls anywhere between 24 hours to 48 hours in advance, at which point rooms become available at lower rates. 

Bundle your hotel and flight booking.

Booking your flight and hotel together can sometimes lead to savings. 

Sign up for a hotel’s loyalty programmes.

One of the best ways to receive free upgrades is to sign up for a loyalty program and stick to it. For instance, Marriott’s loyalty program includes a best-rate guarantee for guests, free Wi-Fi on each trip, and access to exclusive events and experiences, while other programs include free nights or free items with bookings.

Or opt for a loyalty program through booking websites.​

While hotels directly offer loyalty programs, third-party booking sites do as well. For example, loyalty members with Hotels.com can book 10 nights and get one for free. The 10 nights can be mixed and matched in different locations.

Sign up for alerts on price drops.​

When you don’t have the time to keep a close eye on prices, sign up for alerts through websites like Hotels.com and Kayak. They’ll take care of the work for you, emailing you when the prices start to drop while ensuring that they don’t flood your inbox.

Book a room at a new property.

Pavini also recommends booking a room at a new hotel, since this can sometimes lead to lower rates. This is because typically at these times, the hotel will be looking to increase business and get the word out, which can often lead to the ability to snag upgrades according to Pavini. 

Use coupons codes.

Coupons might not be the first thing you think about when looking to book a room, but most hotel websites have entire sections of coupon codes for travelers. These include both discounts on hotel stays in various destinations and on flights. 

Mention when it’s a special occasion.

Whether it’s your birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, or the first time at a hotel, it never hurts to mention that you’re there celebrating a special time. Sometimes, it can lead to upgrades or amenity kits that help make your stay all the more special. 

Refer your friends.​

Hotels like referrals that bring in new business and often reward guests for it.

Book a secret hotel.

Secret hotel rooms are essentially rooms that are being sold at a reduced price from hotels who don’t want the rooms left empty. You won’t know which hotel you’re booking the room in upfront, but savings can often be as much as 20-50 per cent off the original listed price. Examples include: lastminute.com’s Top Secret Hotels section and Hotwire’s secret rates.

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