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Old 03-05-2007, 07:44 AM
teflon_jones's Avatar
teflon_jones teflon_jones is offline
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Getting the lowest hotel rate

I thought pretty much everyone might find this useful since we all travel at some point. You can get the lowest hotel rate possible if you try a couple of things. Some of these are common sense, and some I've learned because I work in the hotel industry.

1. Shop around. Yeah, I know this is a no brainer. Hotels often sell blocks of rooms to sites like Travelocity or Orbitz, but each site will have its own deal and the rates won't be the same. So make sure you shop all of the travel websites you know.
2. Stay away from travel agents. Sure, they can be helpful, but consider this: The average rate booked through a travel agent was 37% higher than the overall average rate paid for a room booked other ways. A travel agent on average gets a 10% commission on your stay, so at the very least you're going to be paying 10% more to start.
3. Look at international sites. This is one thing very few people take advantage of. If you want to stay in Florida, go look at a European or Asian travel website. The rates offered there are often lower than a US website because the hotels know people will have to travel farther, so they have to offer a better deal to get them there. Most websites these days are available in English so you shouldn't have trouble understanding a foreign site.
4. Shop the hotel's own website. The movement in the hotel industry today is towards selling rooms themselves instead of through sites like Expedia or Orbitz. This way the hotel avoids having to pay a commission to those sites (which is the way they make money), and the hotel ends up with more in their pocket.
5. Check eBay. "Buy a vacation off eBay? Huh?" Yes, you can buy these things off eBay! Most often what you'll find there are vacation packages, especially for sportsman or adventurers.
6. Call the hotel directly. Even if a hotel has their own website, you might get a different rate when you call them directly.
7. Book as far in advance as possible. As hotels fill up, they raise their rates as they have less and less rooms to sell.
8. Watch out for conferences and conventions. Hotels raise their rates significantly when there's an event in town. They know business travelers will come regardless of what the rate is, so they charge as much as possible. So make sure your trip to Hershey PA doesn't coincide with the Chocolate Lover's Convention!
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