Travel, Wealth

Hotel haggling

If you’re planning hotel getaway, why not try to  lower your room rate? All you have to do is ask.

It never hurts to ask if the hotel has a better rate than the one they offer you at the beginning of the reservation process.

If you are booking a room in advance of your visit to the hotel, you should look first at the online rates through the hotel’s own website and sites like Expedia.ca. Then call the hotel to ask if they can do better.

Obviously, if the hotel staff expects the place to be busy during the dates you request, you will not get lower than top rates. On the other hand, if the hotel is not expecting a lot of guests, you may get a substantial decrease just by asking for it. Bottom line: the more the competition, the lower the hotel room rate you will pay.

If you do arrive at a hotel late in the day and find it not busy, you’ll get a lower rate if you ask for it, especially if there are a lot of nearby hostelries wanting your business.

No reservation and the hotel is full?

You don’t have a hotel reservation when you walk up to the front desk. And the clerk says, ‘Sorry, all full up.’ Do not give up.

In spite of what you are told, most hotels have some non-guaranteed reservations for rooms being held until a specific cut-off time – normally 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. Instead of walking away at first refusal, ask the reservationist if the hotel, motel or resort has non-guaranteed reservations. If the answer is ‘yes’, ask if you can be placed on the wait list in case a non-guaranteed guest fails to arrive on time. The clerk may put you on the list or suggest you return at the cut-off time to see if a room has come available.

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