Everyone likes to go on a vacations, so even little getaways can be an exciting way to de-stress. But when most of us get an idea for a great spur of the moment getaway when we have a little free time it doesn’t last long. While the time is still available we quickly learn that most hotels require you to book months in advance to get the best deals. Those who do book at the last minute are very likely to have to pay a premium price just for the luxury of having a place to spend the night.
The good news is that last minute hotel deals are out there to be found. You just have to know where to look. Thanks to new revolutionary changes in booking technology, hotels have become much more customer savvy and have learned how to better manage their available space so finding a great deal for your vacation no longer needs to be too hard. After all, it just makes good business sense to be more flexible with empty rooms that would otherwise go unused. Here are a few little suggestions that can help you land a great deal from last minute hotel deals for your next vacation getaway.
Let Your Smart Phone Do the Work:
There are several apps you can download to your smart phone that will search out the best last minute hotel deals for you. HotelTonight, for example, has more than 15,000 properties in 35 different countries that they can tap into. Their in-app hotel concierge (called Aces) works very much like Siri does for Apple products. The chat function allows you to ask for advice, make requests for special services, or do research on different activities in the area surrounding the hotel. All you have to do is tell Aces where you want to go, what you want to do, and when you want to be there and they will find great last minute deals for you.
There are other apps too that will help you to get into a great deal without having to pound the pavement. Apps like HotelQuickly has more than 20,000 hotels in its database and they can quickly find you a hotel room the same day you make your request and at the lowest possible prices too.
Of course, there are plenty more apps that can offer the same features. Technology in travel is rapidly advancing and is constantly changing so expect that more features like this will be coming out in the future for last minute travelers.
Use Online Travel Sites:
In the same line as the smart phone apps there are lots of discount travel sites dedicated to finding you a great deal on hotel rooms. Sites like Priceline.com, which most people look to for discounted airfare can also help find some great deals on hotel accommodations. Priceline reserves blocks of rooms that hotels have already set aside for discounted rates. Customers then come to their site and bid on the available rooms. The best way to win the bid is to research what other hotel discount sites are offering and then bid a price a little lower than that. Another way to win the bid is to aim your bid at approximately 30% lower than the advertised price.
There is a careful art to bidding on hotel rooms but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to pay full price for a place to stay again.
Learn to Be Flexible:
Just like with other travel discounts it pays to be flexible. You might find a more reasonable rate if you choose to travel a day earlier or a day later. Other ways you can be flexible is in the type of room you want. If you insist on a king sized bed and all they have are queens then you’re not likely to get the deal you want. Most hotel rooms offer the basic accommodations but if you insist you want a wet bar, a mini-fridge, and other extra amenities you may find yourself out of luck.
However, you might find that if you adjust your expectations just a little bit, more opportunities for a favorable rate can be found. This doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a substandard room but if you can bend a little on the extras you might be surprised at how much you will save.
Take Advantage of the Memberships You Belong To:
Most of us can get a discount through memberships. If you belong to AAA, AARP, the military, or even through your employer, you’ll find some pretty sweet deals. In fact, many organizations already have arrangements with travel agencies, hotels, airlines, and such for their members to get extra discounts. These are specials that are not always advertised so it’s up to you to ask about them. Many people would be surprised at how many deals they miss out on just because they didn’t ask.
Call the Hotel Directly:
The Internet is a valuable tool that can open lots of doors for great discounts but there is also something to be said for the human touch. By calling the hotel directly and asking about deals you might luck out. Many hotels will have set prices up until the day of the booking and when they find out that they won’t be able to fill that room they’ll discount it that day. You may get the room just because you were the one that called in.
No one will question the fact that vacations are costly but they don’t have to be. As long as you’re willing to do some research in finding a good deal and you’re flexible in your expectations good deals are there to be had. So, the next time you suddenly find that you need to be someplace on short notice, whether it’s to visit family or friends, a spur of the moment business meeting, or just a weekend getaway when you can, try these simple tips to see what you can find for the next time you’re looking for last minute hotel deals.