BusinessDay

How to save on rising hotel accommodation

Though many economies are showing good signs of recovery, the world is still feeling the impact of the pandemic as evident with the rising global inflation.

The development has also impacted businesses, especially the hotel sector, which is now passing the high cost of operation on guests.

Of course, room rates have almost tripled in some markets, while some have doubled, especially since the second quarter of this year due rising cost of operation globally.

With hotel accommodation accounting for the largest portion of travel funds, it is imperative to save on accommodation. 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.

Moreover, most travellers like good hotels, but when you are on a budget, especially now that the exchange rate is extremely 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 are 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 are just a few of the options available.

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 the rate (but cross check it is actually cancelable) and then monitor the price, as well as, prices of nearby and comparable hotels. It may take a little bit of extra legwork, but this tactic can save you a lot of money.

Read also: Improved strategy, cost efficiency lift Ikeja Hotel’s H1 revenue by 83%

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 are flexible and also do a bit of research, 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.

Subscribe to reward systems

When you subscribe to the reward system of a hotel or some hotels, you become a member of their reward club and automatically stand a chance to earn points at any stay in any of the hotels.

The good thing about the reward system is that it enables you to earn points that can be used as a discount on room during your next trip.

Also, the points earned can be used as discounts on drinks and other offerings in the hotel. But most importantly, it can be exchanged for airfares, especially now that tickets are very expensive.

If you have been staying at your choice of hotel without belonging to its reward system, it is about time to subscribe to earn transferable points.

Health, safety protocol

Well, we are in an era where health and safety have become a priority for all guests. A discerning guest can insist on seeing the facilities supporting safety and also use it for better bargains. Of course, hotels know this and are willing to retain guests even with bigger discounts for fear of spreading news that it lacks safety standards when it is obvious that such is unfounded.

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