People often think about the different ways that they can find a cheaper flight, or maybe secure an upgrade, but it’s much less common to take the same approach when it comes to hotels.
In reality, the hotel industry has just as many hacks and tricks that you can use to your advantage as the airline does. Whether it’s securing great deals or understanding the nuances of hotel pricing benefits that are available, there are plenty of ways to enhance your hotel experience.
Finding the Best Hotel Deals
Securing a great hotel deal can significantly reduce your travel expenses. Depending on how long your trip is, your hotel could even be your biggest expense, so it’s worth looking around for a deal. You could even find a deal that saves you enough that you can extend the length of your trip.
To start, think about timing. Hotel prices generally follow the rules of supply and demand, meaning that a stay during the middle of the week is likely going to present lower prices than a busy weekend would. This is true for times of the year, as well, with shoulder seasons usually being the most affordable time to travel.
Secondly, take advantage of platforms that have already done a lot of the hard work for you. For example, when travelers look for vacation packages in eDreams, they can easily search for different hotels and find suitable ones within their price range.
Platforms like this are able to aggregate all the data and present you with the best options straight away, rather than you having to search through each hotel one by one yourself.
Maximising Hotel Membership Benefits
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or not, joining a hotel chain’s membership program can unlock a host of valuable perks. As an example, huge hotel chains like the Marriott offer tiered membership schemes, each level featuring different benefits. As a member, you start at the base level and move up through the tiers by staying more nights or earning points.
This doesn’t just exist at Marriott, either. Just about all hotel chains will have a similar kind of program. In addition, the secret to climbing the levels quickly isn’t just frequent stays.
Many of these hotels will have a branded credit card with a company like Mastercard that you can use for your normal daily purchases to earn points. Imagine being upgraded to a deluxe suite on your holiday, all thanks to your weekly food shop.
Accumulating points is fairly straightforward, but it does require strategic planning. Keep an eye out for promotions where hotels offer bonus points during different periods of the year or for specific types of stays. Often there will be welcome or sign-up bonuses, too, and these are an excellent opportunity to boost your balance significantly.
Make Use of Hotel Technology
In the digital age, hotels in most destinations throughout the world have embraced technology to make guest experiences more enjoyable. Particularly when staying at bigger hotels, there will generally be an app that you can download to your smartphone to unlock a world of convenience.
You may find that you can bypass the traditional front-desk check-in altogether and do so from your phone. After that, you can simply head straight to your room and open up using digital keys. If you feel your bed is missing a pillow or two, you can request one from the app, as well as order food or make a booking at the spa.
As well as being extremely convenient for you, this also makes things more streamlined for the hotel. As a result, you might find some hotels will reward you for using their app in the form of discounts or special offers on entertainment or restaurants, or even complimentary services like free late check-out.
Unlocking Special Add-Ons and Experiences
Many hotels take pride in catering to special requests from their guests. Whether it’s fulfilling a silly request someone made as a joke when they were booking or providing something extra for a special event in a guest’s life, a good hotel will take these requests seriously.
Trying to obtain room upgrades at hotels is something most people have tried their hands at. The $20 trick in Las Vegas is a common travel tip, but many times you won’t need to spend anything. Just like with booking your hotel stay, timing is everything.
Hotels are more likely to grant a room upgrade during less busy times when they have more rooms sitting empty. Aim for check-in later in the afternoon or evening when front desk staff have a better sense of occupancy levels. This is the time when they may be more inclined to offer an available upgrade.
Celebrating special occasions is another way to unlock special add-ons. Hotels love playing a part in making these types of occasions memorable and often have something unique to provide guests. The guests receive an upgraded experience, and the hotel enhances its service reputation. It’s a win/win.
Either on arrival or in the weeks before your stay, let them know if you’re celebrating an event like an anniversary or birthday. You might find yourself surprised with the complimentary services you can receive. It might be something simple like a bottle of champagne or discounted spa treatments, or something bigger if it’s a very special occasion.
The structure and fierce competitiveness of the hotel industry mean that demand can sometimes be hard for a hotel to predict. It also means that incentives need to be used to make customers choose one hotel over another and grow a sense of loyalty. Armed with these hotel hacks, you’ll be able to get the very most out of your next trip.