Planning Last Minute Travel? Here's How to Book a Great Hotel
When the urge to get out of town strikes at the last minute, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg in order to find first-rate accommodations. Though your options may be slightly limited when you book a hotel for your impromptu getaway, there are several tips and tricks that will help you to score a great deal on an excellent hotel so you can travel in style. Read on to discover some of the best tips to book a hotel for a last-minute escape.
Talk to a Person
Though it may seem as though your best bet in finding a good hotel and a great price is searching for the best deals online, sometimes the fastest and cheapest way to get a last-minute deal is to call the front desk of Embassy Suites Albuquerque directly. When you search online, you won’t always see the lowest rates or the most up-to-date availability a hotel has to offer. In fact, if a hotel has a large number of rooms available that they need to book, they may be a lot more likely to offer a discounted rate to you over the phone instead of not booking that room at all.
When you do call the hotel you have had your eye on, make sure to be polite and ask to speak to a manager. It may be a little uncomfortable, but be as respectfully direct as you can about asking for a lower rate than what is advertised. Understand that the worst thing that could happen is your request is declined, but that you won’t know if you never ask.
Visit the Right Websites
A simple internet search won’t always reveal the best rates and availability, which is why there are several websites that are designed specifically to feature last-minute hotel bookings. These sites offer lower rates within 48 hours of your travel, but keep in mind that these reservations are typically non-refundable. As well, many of these websites allow you to search by star rating, price range, proximity to popular sights and general hotel details, but won’t reveal the name of your hotel until after you’ve booked for a discounted rate. While you may not always get your first choice of establishments, you can save a significant amount of money on a great hotel, typically an average of 20-30% off the average nightly price.
Bid for the Right Price
Many hotels reserve a block of rooms for travel bidding websites in an effort to ensure they sell out their rooms on a nightly basis. These websites allow would-be travelers to enter what they’re willing to pay for a stay in one of their listed hotels, and the bid is then either accepted or rejected. Just like with last-minute booking sites, many of these sites don’t reveal the name or several details of the hotel until after your proposed rate is approved. This can put a slight damper on your plans, but the savings generally offset many of the possible disadvantages of booking a hotel stay with this method.
Dig for Discounts
Hotels do not always advertise all of their current discounts or specials on their websites. Many of the most popular travel sites don’t see these deals either. However, you can often find a great deal on a hotel by looking up discount codes that may have been part of a local promotion, exist as part of a partnership through another company, were released as a collaboration between the hotel and an influencer or online publication or exist as a discount code for podcast listeners or other media subscribers. If you have the time, do some digging to uncover hidden discounts that may have been released by local hotel chains or travel websites that can either offer a certain percentage off your total bill or bundle in a free night when you make a reservation for a certain number of days.
Though you may not always have the flexibility to change your dates, especially with last-minute travel, you can often find a better deal by looking for stays a few days before and a few days after your desired travel days. In fact, many travel sites offer this feature as part of their search function in order to provide travelers with the best deals.
When flexibility with your dates isn’t an option, or to increase the likelihood you’ll find a comfortable hotel at the last minute, consider staying slightly away from the central regions of your destination, especially in popular destinations or metropolitan areas.
You can save a considerable amount of money if you consider booking a stay in a nearby city or at an establishment just outside the bounds of where you’ll be sightseeing. Before you do, make sure you know how you’ll get around once you get there. Many destinations have stellar public transportation systems, which can make it easy to explore the area no matter where you stay.