Travel Tips

Tips for getting the best hotel rate

Tips for getting the best hotel rate

Accommodation is usually one of the most expensive parts of a holiday budget. Here are a few tips for navigating hotel charges to help keep a lid on your costs.

Compare prices online – Expedia, Trivago, Orbitz and Travelocity are just a few of the places to start your search. But beware – these websites don’t always list all the full fees and surcharges. Call or email the hotel and ask to confirm before you book. And it often pays to actually make the actual booking direct with the hotel anyway for a better rate.

Be flexible about travel dates – This is the best way to ensure you nab the bargains. Avoiding peak season is advisable to ensure you’re not paying premium rates and make sure you check, as seasons will obviously vary depending on the destination. Also, If you’re looking at a hotel that mostly caters for business travelers you may get a cheaper weekend rate or vice versa with B&Bs and other leisure properties with lower mid week costs.

Take advantage of last-minute specials – If your travel plans are flexible, you might also get a great rate by waiting to book your hotel until the last minute. Hotel managers are often willing to lower their rates to fill their last remaining rooms.

Budget for amenities – If you got a red-hot deal on the room, be prepared to pay for the extras while you’re there. What might have seemed a standard inclusion previously could, without warning, end up as an additional cost on your bill. Resorts may charge additional resort fees to cover nothing in particular. Then expect to pay extra for a beach umbrella or pool lounge. Other extra charges that can show up on hotel bills include use of the gym, the pool, internet access or even an ironing board.

Look for packages – You may get a better deal with a package and hotel websites often advertise promotional packages and deals. If you like a particular chain, sign up for its e-newsletter for the latest information on discounts and package deals.

Use coupon and voucher books – Discount guides such as The Entertainment Book offer extensive discounts on a range of hotel chains. You can also search the internet for discount codes on sites like, RetailMeNot, or Coupon Heaven.

Join a loyalty program – There are plenty of loyalty programs available that provide ongoing benefits for travellers. The more points you accrue, the more freebies and upgrades you are entitled to. Your credit cards and frequent flyer programs often provide hotel chain discounts.  

Don’t hesitate to negotiate – And finally don’t be shy about asking for discounts or upgrades. Hotels with vacancies are often willing to negotiate to fill a room. Don’t be afraid to ask for a free upgrade, breakfast, internet, parking or use of the workout facilities. Hotel managers would rather make a little less on an occupied room than leave it empty for a night.


Our Partners