Rather than business trips, a travel plan more often than not is more about vacation. And for most people, they only have time to spare during peak seasons. Every travel tip tells you that, too, so you could avoid the hassle of ending up staying at home just because you were not able to book in advance.
But the best and most successful trips are the ones that are unplanned, so they say. So if you’re one of those who believe this or if you’re basically stuck in a travel plan that has to deal with booking hotels during the peak season, keep Skyscanner’s tips on check:
1. Choose your destination carefully.
If you are willing to, stay out of hot spots. It is important, however that if you’re planning to tour around your destination, that you consider the location of your hotel. Mark out hotels near the attractions you want to visit, since you wouldn’t want to spend too much on transportation. But if you’ve made up your mind and chose a hot spot instead, wait up until a week or a few days before booking, which leads us to tip number two:
2. Book at the last minute.
As they always say, timing is everything. Booking at the last minute increases your chances at getting a better deal. Hotels lose money on vacant rooms, and last minute discounts are most likely made for unused inventory, so as to turn a small profit above marginal operating costs to protect their published room rates. The downside however is having fewer options, especially if you’re working on a tight budget.
3. Take advantage of promotions.
Discounts are good, but any way of cutting costs without compromising good services and amenities is better. Cash in rewards. Even on peak seasons, you can still use credit card points which can also be a great way of scoring good deals. You might even be surprised that your bank-issued reward card has earned up enough points to guarantee a free hotel stay.
There are also promotions done through the internet. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter lets you have some of a hotel’s exclusive offers for their customers who “follow” or “like” their online sites. Or, you could register on their sites and go VIP, where you can have access with their “members only” special deals, which may also entail a free night’s stay.
4. Book over the phone.
Unlike online booking, making reservations through the phone allows you to speak directly to the hotel managers and ask questions or discounts or better deals as well. This advantage over online booking can make a huge change on your travel plan, since there are details that are never available online.
Booking over the phone gives you personalized attention as well. Not only will you be able to ask for special rates in which you may qualify, the hotel staff could also fill you in with the hotel’s vicinity, their expected volume of guests, and local events affecting rates.
As for asking for a greater deal aside from an existing discounted offer, a little more talking should do the trick. There may be instances wherein they might say no, but half the time they might give in to your request. Another thing you can’t do via online booking. Besides, there is no harm in trying.
5. Go in groups.
If you are going on a trip where you don’t have to shoulder all expenses, it is better to book in groups. Because peak seasons have steep, sky high rates, even at a discounted price. While this does not hurt for some, others would like to spend their money wisely—and splitting the room tariff can help, more so if you happen to choose an expensive hotel and destination.
This is also a good chance to compare which hotel you would want to choose, now that you only have too little extra time. With a little brain storming, you don’t only manage to book on a high season; you get a better deal as well.
6. Anticipate problems.
Given that your travel plan encountered a peak season, you shouldn’t expect everything to be perfect. Problems come along the way, so as the cliché goes, “expect for the unexpected.” This means having extra cash and leaving space in your budget, enough to get you prepared for any sudden hitch you will encounter. Courage and patience as back-up will do, but nothing beats any concrete solution for a problem.
Finally, never hesitate to ask. Be understanding and appreciative, too. You may still find a good hotel to book in to, but sometimes if you fail to ask, chances are, you won’t fully enjoy the hotel’s offers; same goes for having too much expectations, which usually leads to dissatisfaction.