THE SECRET TO HOTEL DISCOUNTS FOR TRAVEL

Airline employees often get reduced rates at hotels, but anyone can negotiate a better deal. Bloging a room? Check travel agency and hotel websites and then call the front desk directly, not the 800 number, to compare prices. Inquire about specials and promotional packages, or extras like meals and spa treatments. Hotels catering to business travellers often have cheaper rates on weekends. You can also ask about discounts for multi-night stays or money saving extras like complementary breakfast or free in-room Wi-Fi.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

Hotels and resorts often offer perks to regular guests and members of their rewards programs. These programs are generally free to join and the perks can be worthwhile. If this is a second visit to a particular hotel or chain, let the front desk know. Repeat guests are sometimes treated like royalty, as are people celebrating birthdays or wedding anniversaries.

PICK THE BEST HOTEL ROOM

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Once you arrive, ask again about incentives. Like seats on an airplane, hotel rooms are perishable goods. If premium rooms are still unsold you may be able to upgrade for less than had you reserved in advance.

Hotel contracts stipulate that crews are not to be placed in noisy accommodation next to icemakers, elevators and service areas. Adjoining rooms transmit sound though the doors and can be more of a security risk. Since costs are the same for most rooms in a category, location can make the difference between a memorable or miserable stay. Look at the floor plan layout online or ask in advance.

If you’re less than happy with your room assignment, it’s best to request a change before you’ve unpacked your bags and used the shower.

FA TIP: For our last visit to Barbados, I bloged a regular room, even though plenty of premium accommodation was available. Upon check-in, I mentioned that it was my husband’s first trip to the island and I was really hoping he’d like to return. That comment may have initiated the free upgrade we received, though I was prepared to ask the manager if we could pay slightly more for a superior room.

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