The Old-School Way to Get a Better Discount on a Hotel Room

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Front-desk worker at a hotel
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In an age of fancy high-tech tools, a simple phone call might be all it takes to get the best rate on a hotel room.

Consumer technology radio show host Kim Komando writes that calling the front desk of a hotel can get you a deal if you ask them to match or beat an offer you saw elsewhere.

She says hotels actually have an incentive to book directly with you because it saves them the commission they normally would pay to a discount travel site.

So start your search at a travel discount site such as Kayak or Expedia. When you find a good deal, use it as leverage with the hotel itself.

Komando writes that it’s not unheard of for the hotel to sweeten the deal by upgrading you to a nicer room or offering a free breakfast.

She adds:

“If it’s feasible, wait until the day you need the hotel room to book it. The later in the day, the better. After 4 p.m., hotels know the odds of selling a room are pretty slim, so you’re more likely to get an even lower rate. On average, the same-day rate of a hotel room is 10% cheaper than booking in advance.”

Of course, there is one potentially significant drawback to this strategy. If you wait until the last minute to book your hotel room and fail to succeed, you could end up without a room at all.

So only try that strategy if you are sure you have a backup place to stay. You probably aren’t going to want to try this in a hot tourist spot or on a weekend when a special event is taking place.

Additional Komando tips for cutting the cost of a hotel room include:

  • Look for membership discounts. If you belong to organizations such as AAA or are part of a group such military veterans, you might get a price break.
  • Sign up for the mailing list. Hotels may offer discounts and promotions to those on their email list.
  • Shop anonymously on the web. Using a tool that allows you to shop privately on the web — such as Microsoft Edge’s InPrivate browsing mode — can prevent your past browsing history from showing up, which may result in being offered better deals.

You can also stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center and search for the best travel deals.

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