Book ahead, save more in 2019

Business Day (Nigeria) - - HOTELS - OBINNA EMELIKE

Ho­tels al­ways seem to ac­count for the largest por­tion of travel funds. Even when you are not book­ing a four or five-star prop­erty, a few days stay in a ho­tel can eas­ily empty your pocket if you are not fi­nan­cially dis­ci­plined or planned well ahead of your trip.

Of course, most trav­ellers like good ho­tels, but when you are on a bud­get, es­pe­cially now that the ex­change rate is very high, it is best to make sure you have enough af­ter air­fare and lodg­ing to ac­tu­ally en­joy your trip; have good meals, go sight­see­ing, and buy some sou­venirs for your loved ones.

How­ever, there a few tricks and tips on how to book cheaper ho­tel rates. Use search en­gines

The pop­u­lar­ity of ho­tel metasearch en­gines is on the rise and for good rea­son: It is one of the most ef­fi­cient ways to find af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tions. If you are un­fa­mil­iar with this con­cept, a ho­tel metasearch en­gine is a web­site that searches mul­ti­ple ho­tel book­ing sites at once. For ex­am­ple, in­stead of run­ning a search on Ex­pe­dia, Or­b­itz, Price­line, and the ho­tel’s web­site, you can use a metasearch en­gine to search mul­ti­ple sites at once to see which provider of­fers the low­est rates and best value. Kayak, Hip­munk, Room 77, Tri­pad­vi­sor, and Tri­vago Call the ho­tel di­rectly

If you have a par­tic­u­lar ho­tel in mind, call­ing the ho­tel di­rectly can of­ten re­sult in bet­ter rates. Since you are able to speak with some­one in real time, the staff will of­ten be privy to rates that are not ad­ver­tised online or, at the very least, they will be able to give you in­sight as to what is af­fect­ing ho­tel room pric­ing. Events like con­fer­ences, con­certs, and con­ven­tions can cause ho­tel room prices to sky­rocket, and of course, cer­tain times of year, such as the hol­i­days, will see more ex­pen­sive rates. If you are trav­el­ing and found out there is an event caus­ing ho­tel rooms in the city cen­ter to be more ex­pen­sive, then you need to re­search ho­tels away from the city cen­ter to find lower rates. Book can­ce­lable rates Room rates can fluc­tu­ate as quickly as minute to minute be­cause a ho­tel’s in­ven­tory is al­ways chang­ing. It is sim­ple sup­ply and de­mand: the more peo­ple book­ing rooms at a ho­tel, the more the ho­tel can charge. One thing you can do if you are not flex­i­ble with your ho­tel choice is to book a can­ce­lable rate. It should be fairly ob­vi­ous which rates are ac­tu­ally can­ce­lable; there is usu­ally a call-out that states some­thing like “FREE can­cel­la­tion – PAY LATER,” as seen on Book­ing. com. You bet­ter book this rate ( but cross check it is ac­tu­ally can­ce­lable) and then mon­i­tor the price, as well as, prices of nearby, com­pa­ra­ble ho­tels. It may take a lit­tle bit of ex­tra leg­work, but this tac­tic can save you as much as $US100 per night.

Book last minute

This is a trick best re­served for shorter trips, like ro­man­tic week­end get­aways or im­promptu get-to­geth­ers with friends in the city. But it is not good to wait till the last minute to book a ho­tel room for that ex­pen­sive in­ter­na­tional trip you have been sav­ing up for or leav­ing your lodg­ing needs up to fate when there could be a ma­jor con­fer­ence hap­pen­ing that re­sults in a ho­tel room short­age. How­ever, if you do a bit of re­search and are flex­i­ble, book­ing last minute can re­sult in much cheaper rates. Last-minute book­ing apps like Hotel­tonight, which works with ho­tels to ne­go­ti­ate deep dis­counts on un­sold rooms, are a great start­ing point, and many of the online book­ing sites, like Ex­pe­dia and Price­line, have their own “Tonight” or “Deals Tonight” sec­tion.

are just a few of the op­tions avail­able.

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