Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Myth #3: Lowest Hotel Rate Can Always be Found at {fill in the blank}

Many believe that, Expedia, Priceline, the company (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, etc.), or some other website either automatically gives the lowest rate or will guarantee to match it, if a lower rate is found elsewhere. Just like with Travel Myth #1, there is no single website that will always give the lowest price on a hotel room.

First of all, read the price-matching guarantee restrictions. Guarantees only apply to publicly available rates (see below) and exact matches (room type, dates, restrictions). If the rate cannot be cancelled, then the price match guarantee does not work. Guess what? The lowest rates on company websites, like, cannot be cancelled.

Second, the lowest price may not even be found on the internet.

{wait a few seconds for reality to hit...}

OK, I said it. Often, better deals can be found somewhere other than the web. This does not mean you have wasted your time on the computer (after all, you found this blog!). Lower hotel rates may be found be calling the property directly. Ask the hotel if they have any special rates; I use keywords like visitor, weekend, and promotion.

Even lower rates may be available from a wholesale source, like a city's visitor center. These rates, from the visitor center, often include free parking and/or meals. Many visitor centers offer their rates online but many only make reservations by telephone.

If you are driving, stop at the state welcome center and pick up a lodging discount booklet. If the welcome center is open, ask about lodging deals.

A wonderful website for researching hotel rates is Travelaxe is a great time saver as it searches, company websites, and dozens of other websites.

Upcoming posts will be about saving money, time, and stress on lodging. If you have a specific topic or issue you would like discussed, send me e-mail or post a comment on any blog entry.

© 2008, Charles McCool

No comments: